The Happiness of the Straight Road

Psalm 128:1-6

BY She Reads Truth

Scripture Reading: Psalm 128

The Christian life is a climb—a journey of constant growth, sacrifice, and trusting God for what we cannot see. As Eugene Peterson said, we are pilgrims, but we are also disciples—always moving and always learning. The Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) were sung by worshipers as they made the journey up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. In this 3-week reading plan, we are digging into these traveling songs with the help of short summary essays and thoughtful, reflective questions for each psalm. Take your pack on your shoulder and walk with us as we pursue God together.


Psalm 128 (CSB)
A song of ascents.

1 How happy is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
2 You will surely eat
what your hands have worked for.
You will be happy,
and it will go well for you.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house,
your children, like young olive trees
around your table.
4 In this very way
the man who fears the LORD
will be blessed.

5 May the LORD bless you from Zion,
so that you will see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life
6 and will see your children’s children!

Peace be with Israel.


A Happy Song
The pilgrim-disciple sings a happy song about how living according to the wisdom of God brings joy, peace, and prosperity.

We all want these blessings in life—the confidence that our work matters, that our home is a happy place, and that what we leave behind will continue to affect change long after we’re gone. We are not passive in this process. This song calls us to work diligently, to love self-sacrificially, and to train the children in our lives to know and walk with God. We don’t just think about God; we live in response to His Word to us. Obedience is a path to joy.

1. This happy song celebrates prosperity. What sort of prosperity helps us know and love God better? What sort of prosperity makes it hard to know and love God? What sort of prosperity does this psalm value, and how do we obtain the “blessedness” described here?

2. Why is obedience to God’s commands a path to joy? Do you believe it is? Where do you struggle to accept this idea? Why?

3. On what basis do we have hope for receiving God’s eternal blessings? What are those blessings?


Post Comments (63)

63 thoughts on "The Happiness of the Straight Road"

  1. Molly Gilbane says:

    Lord, I feel an emptiness in my life that only You can fill. Please help us to find a new church family— one that embraces and accepts us wholeheartedly. Please bless our search— so that we may become involved and volunteer, give back, and share our many blessings with the world. Only then will I truly feel the gravity of my purpose and live a life abundant in love and gratitude.

  2. Erin Crissman says:

    I really enjoy this passage, especially as it follows Psalm 127 when it speaks of the Lord building our homes and family, that unless it is done in God we are laboring in vain. I love how this passage follows suit in expressing that our greatest blessings are in the ones we love, and following the Lord’s daily provision for our lives we will receive His amazing blessings. His plans are far greater than our own when we let Him be in control!

  3. Amy says:

    This is so beautiful and profound. I believe with everything in me God knew that intrinsic to our truly being happy, we need to work and I believe have a fruitful purpose. That may be child rearing, office, home beautification, volunteer work or productive employment in any form. As unique as our fingerprint, it can be an infinite number of things in which we are able to share with the world our unique gifts and talents. Often the most unhappy people have not identified their purpose. This along with obedience truly garners a life overflowing… with His love and joy!

    1. Molly Gilbane says:

      Beautifully said, Amy!

  4. Melody Suarez says:

    There have been times when I have had 1 dollar in my account and no food in my fridge and other times where my fridge was full along with my bank account. I was no more “happy” with no money versus a lot of money. I’ve learned to be content in both situations. And i loved seeing how God always provided for me.
    I struggle with understanding the “blessings” of God, because as I have read so far, they can take on so many different forms, not just monetarily.
    However, i have grasped the joy of staying near to God and being obedient versus living in disobedience and living with depression. It’s only because I’ve gone through depression and disobedience that I have been able to savor the fullness of joy by abiding in Him and His Word..

  5. jessiechatchat says:

    I echo all the other thoughts on monetary prosperity. Have been on all sides of that coin. What I’m wrestling with is whether any kind prosperity at all drives me to God: for example, wealth in relationships can sometimes be a challenge in closeness to God. When my husband and I are feeling super connected, or me and my kids, it’s almost too easy to let them slip into the “bae” position ;) Like they can become a surrogate god, more important than anything else. Same with good health. It’s a daily thing, checking my posture toward prosperity. Am I grateful for it? Using it as a platform to live out God’s kingdom? Or am I using it as a life source? From where do I draw my strength and build my life?

  6. Bonnie says:

    I feel compelled to share my story of prosperity this morning.
    Before our second child was born, we were a two-income family, living very comfortably….Doing well *for ourselves*.
    Then our second son was diagnosed with a birth defect before he was born. Our entire world was turned upside down and rearranged. Fast forward to now, and I work (very little) at home so I can care for our son. I don’t make extra money anymore, though I still have plenty of student loan debt. I certainly don’t have faith in what I can provide anymore.
    But the rewards have been beyond anything I ever imagined. We have real faith, real love, and real joy. I thank God for bringing us down this path and I am certain that a detour of this magnitude was the only way I would have learned to depend on Him. We are prospering, and it has nothing to do with health and wealth.

  7. Sarabeth says:

    For question one my response is similar to previous comments. The questions reminded me of these verses: “12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. 13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phil 4:12-13. This is my definition of prosperity in God’s eyes. Also the verse in James saying Every good gift is from above. I pray that fearing God and loving him will grow my heart and soul to be content and joyful in any circumstance. After several years of asking God why for one thing or another, I am not even close. But He continues to mold and shape me.
    I do believe that in today’s society having much (which I do) can hinder my relationship with God. When we went through the Beatitudes (I think), there was a day we talked dealing with poverty. And how having less can help us rely more on Him than on ourselves.
    Just thoughts swirling in my head. God bless you Ladies. :)

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