What is the key to a great and prosperous nation?
Psalm 128 challenges our thinking. Greatness is bound up not in the government, nor in economics, but in the individual – which is where this psalm begins. There is movement here from the individual to the family to the nation, but “blessedness” starts with the individual who fears the Lord and walks in His ways.
We should not read this as two separate things. One cannot rightly “fear” the Lord who does not walk in His ways, and one is unlikely to walk in His ways who does not “fear” the Lord. Here’s where it starts. Such a lifestyle moves into the family and influences the spouse and children and later, the grand children. Finally, the city and the country.
An old camp song goes: “It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and soon all those around can warm up to its glowing.” When we begin with individual faithfulness, making a determined effort to live holy lives and urge others to do the same by our example and guidance, the impact will be small at first, but through time and the blessing of God, the nation will be blessed.
Too often in both the church and community, we try to turn the whole without giving attention to the individual. It requires more effort than any one or even a group of people can perform. But when you begin with the self and work outward, great success comes unexpectedly, but it comes.
One final thought on this: We cannot take for granted that productivity, prosperity or a progeny worth being proud of will just happen. These all come by the hand of God, and they come to those who respect and obey God.