The Lord Builds and Protects

Psalm 127:1-5

BY She Reads Truth

Scripture Reading: Psalm 127

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 127 (CSB)
A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

1 Unless the LORD builds a house,
its builders labor over it in vain;
unless the LORD watches over a city,
the watchman stays alert in vain.
2 In vain you get up early and stay up late,
working hard to have enough food—
yes, he gives sleep to the one he loves.
3 Sons are indeed a heritage from the LORD,|
offspring, a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons born in one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them.
They will never be put to shame
when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.


A Song About the Builder and Protector
The pilgrim-disciple sings of how God is both the builder and protector of everything sacred—from our work to our families.

Everyone is trying to build something and protect something. Ultimately, behind many of our attempts to build and protect lies a deep-seated need to be in control. When the need to control grips you, take that to the Lord. Unless He frees you, you will not be free.

1. What are you trying to build or protect? Why? How do you go about it? What does this reveal about how you see God and how you see yourself?

2. What do you do when fear confronts you? What would the people closest to you say you do when you feel the need to gain control? How effective are your methods?

3. Read Philippians 4:6 and Proverbs 3:5-8. What should we do when worry or fear comes over us? How do you respond to Psalm 127:2?


Post Comments (93)

93 thoughts on "The Lord Builds and Protects"

  1. Mary Edwards says:

    What a timely chapter. I’m both struggling in the day-to-day of parenting 3 children (1 of whom rises each morning with the energy of a warrior and makes me want to go back to bed :-)) AND building a house. Verse 1 has been in my head for months as we’ve been preparing for and finally started this process.

  2. Molly Gilbane says:

    This devotion speaks directly to my heart. What a beautiful reminder that we are not in control! God is. He loves us and cares deeply about our concerns. Lord, forgive me for picking back up what I have already laid down at your feet. Forgive me for allowing my anxiety and need to control surpass my trust in You. Lord, Your timing is perfect. Thank you for a peace that transcends understanding. I trust in You. I give You control. And I continue on in confidence, knowing You will protect and grow our family perfectly, in Your time.

  3. Anna N says:

    I try to build myself…make better, physically and spiritually. It’s exhausting. Jesus! Help me enter your rest and carry your yoke -not mine.

  4. Heather says:

    This hit me with great force this morning – I read the Bible reading right after writing in my journal about this house that we are restoring, about selling our current house and how I am making myself crazy trying to make it perfect for potential buyers, how I am trying to control everything and how exhausting it is. And yes I am rising early and staying up late to get everything done. Unless the Lord builds this house, it is all vanity. I really needed to read this this morning.

  5. Eriana says:

    I’m ambitious; sometimes I get ahead of myself. I like doing things, and I never stop moving. I’m graduating college this month, and I have all of these ideas about what I want to do and where I want to go and how I see my life forming. I work a lot and have all these projects I want to accomplish. I rarely take time to truly rest, and time for others isn’t always my priority. These verses hit home for me because I realize that while I’m going after all of these things I’m setting my mind on, I’m trying to be the builder. I’m overzealous sometimes, and I feel that I need to be in control of all it if I’m going to see my life play out how I want it to. I think this is a major challenge for me to let God build something in/with my life and just be ready to say yes to what He decides to build without putting the pressure on myself to make it all happen and in the way I think it needs to. Or else it’s all in vain.

    1. Jessica says:

      I was that exact same way when I was in college. I was so ambitious, such a hard worker, and I had my life planned. I always liked it when things went my way when I wanted. Right after I graduated college, God sent my life somewhere else other than where I saw it. I had a very difficult time dealing with that, but with His guidance, I found peace, a wonderful job, and my husband. Fast forward a few years and I’m learning the same lesson again. My husband and I are trying to start a family, and have recently found out that we’re struggling with infertility. It’s so hard to not be able to have what I want when I want it, but I’ve found over and over again that I am not the builder of my life. God will lead and guide and protect me in the manner in which He sees fit. His plan is the best plan. Best of luck with all your endeavors.

      1. Eriana says:

        Thank you for sharing that, Jessica! It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in that struggle.

      2. She Reads Truth says:

        Praying for you, Jessica. Asking the Lord to guide and protect. So grateful for you.

        – Stormye

  6. Kimberly says:

    Wrote this in my journal not long ago and just read it again the last two nights:

    You silly little creature. Did you forget – this life will vanish. You are trying to build something that will not last even for the briefest of moments – like a sand castle on the beach, it will all be washed away in a moment.

    When I wrote that I’m at the deepest fears like a way to my shoulders that wouldn’t lift. It was encouragement I was trying to give myself to focus on Eternal things and not this temporal life which seems to be filled with one horrible thing after the next.

    Since January I feared the next horrible thing that was going to happen. After all since 2014 it’s been one horrible thing after another — sick father getting worse and dying, son’s addiction to heroin is made known by him almost dying in a car accident, living in a different state far from my husband due to a job transfer and waiting for him to join me, breaking my ankle all alone in another state knowing no one, and then in the midst at losing my job, I need a new job and starting that again in a state far from my husband.

    It took months but I finally convinced myself that it was the enemy and there was nothing to fear…just as soon as that happened, then that horrible thing I had been fearing happened – another loved one died. And all the other fears came back with it. So there’s all these little fears but there’s always one dominant fear, Being the last dominant fear got checked off the list and happened now I’m on to the next one. I can’t live like this – it’s horrible. Thoughts tumble around my head… am I causing these bad things to happen? Am I being punished? Am I somehow making them happen? Does God not really love me like I thought he did? Do really not belong to him?

    That’s raw honesty but it’s how I feel… I am afraid the next best thing that’s going to happen. How do I not be afraid? How do I convince myself it’s either not going to happen or that if it does it’s going to be alright?

    1. Kimberly says:

      Sorry there are so many typos in that post…It should say I’m afraid of the next bad thing to happen to me not the next best thing.

      1. christine says:

        Kimberly- thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us- your vulnerability is a beautiful thing. I will lift you up in prayer right now. I don’t have any answers for you, but I know Gods word does. I pray that He would direct you to the exact words that would minister to your soul. I do understand fear, and I know that God wants us to trade in our fears to trusting in Him, as it can bring a supernatural peace. I also want you to know that you are loved, loved by the mighty King! Thank you for sharing & hang in there <3

    2. Saundra says:

      Lord, I pray that our Lord’s next best thing happens for you Kimberly. Praying for you sweet momma. Praying for your son. Praying for a job for your husband where you are. Praying for healing and strength and peace and release from fear. I love you precious sister.

    3. She Reads Truth says:

      Kimberly, thank you so much for your raw vulnerability and honesty this morning. Praying for you and all of these things. Asking the Lord to bring comfort and peace in this time of hurt and confusion. I am so grateful that you shared and that you are a part of this community.

      – Stormye

    4. Liz C says:

      I know I’m late to respond…got behind dealing with some of the very things you talk about in your post. In the same weekend my brother had a bad fall and my mother-in-law died. And I was sick and overwhelmed at work. But I also take Thy Will be Done very seriously, and know that although my brother is still in the hospital, it gave me the freedom to travel to be my husband and his family and not worry so much about my 85 year old father caring for my brother on his own- God provided the care he needed and let my father and I both rest. Also in the hospital my brother may be able to make positive changes to his life that will help him for many years to come. And while we all wanted Mom to be around much longer, I can’t help but think that is our selfish childlike needs and what she needed was to go home, to be free of the pain she was in and to be reunited with the God she served and her husband of 62 years who went before her. Yes, it was hard and scary in the moment but when I took my inability to see the miracles to the Lord (and this community of Shes) God helped me see that my loved ones are exactly where they need to be now. So I don’t know if that helps, but I understand scary times – and we will have them — but with the Lord we can overcome our fear and trust that He makes all things work together. I don’t know why bad things happen but I know that we are not alone in facing them. I pray that you find peace and strength in the Lord to get through the bad times.

    5. Laura says:

      Prayed over you, Kimberly!

  7. Abby says:

    It is really freeing to realize that it is God who is building and protecting our (my husband and my) careers/jobs. That takes the pressure off because there are so many days when I feel like work didn’t go well that day (same for him). We’re teachers haha! But it is reassuring to rest in God’s promises and know that he called us to the particular schools we are in, and he watches over us.

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