The Blessings of the Just

1. All they are bless’d, who truly fear
    The Lord through all their days;
Who always seek to persevere,
    To walk in all His ways.
For, of the labours of thy hands,
    Thou shalt eat peacefully;
It shall be well with thee, and thou
    Shalt have prosperity.

2. And so thy wife shall be to thee
    Like to a fruitful vine;
As in the chambers of thy house
    She doth in peace recline.
Like olive branches are thy sons,
    Who gather round thy board;
Behold, so shall the man be bless’d,
    Who truly fears the Lord.

3. To thee, from Zion, may the Lord
    His blessing ever give,
Jerusalem’s good things to see,
    All days that thou shalt live.
And mayest thou thy children dear,
    And children’s children, see;
Born from Jerusalem above,
    A peaceful family.


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The metrical text for this Psalm comes from Bishop (Edward G.) Bagshawe’s Psalms and Canticles in English Verse (1902).

The Psalm speaks of the blessings that come from living a righteous life. This is one of the issues contested in the Great Controversy. Satan, in the garden, implied to Eve that she would be much better off by departing from strict obedience to the principles of righteousness. This lie is still believed by the vast majority upon the earth today.

Why this lie is so convincing is that for a while, departing from righteousness, does seem to bring great blessings. As a crude example: if I rob my neighbor, I am suddenly made much richer, and with little effort. But such transgressions are rather blatant, and even society does not look well upon these open breaches of law and order.

Instead, the departures from strict righteousness take more subtle forms, which people who do not study to be spiritually enlightened, will not discern: self-promotion or pride, giving special benefits to the rich, valuing or esteeming men based on their social or economic status, praising human talent, looking upon prayer and dependence on God as “not so important”, diverting money into selfish and unneeded pleasures, striving for unnecessarily high wages, eating more food than is needed by the body, or choosing food simply based on perverted appetite, avoiding taxes, speaking evil of rulers, lusting after the opposite sex, wasting time in games and sports, and so forth. These are mostly looked on as normal and acceptable in our day, yet they all depart from the principles of righteousness, and corrupt the society.

It is common in the churches of our day, to allow and excuse many of these evils, and yet claim that God is blessing the people. But Psalm 128 does not apply to law-breakers. Their blessings are obtained through thievery and will eventually come to nothing.

At the same time, those who strive to live according to righteous principles, will find themselves in a disadvantage in such a society. When all are thieves, a man who is not, will often find himself poor. In these times, God will still provide, but the righteous must live very simple lives. He makes it up to them by giving them an abundance of spiritual riches and opening up to them the treasures of the knowledge of His word.

Jesus, when He was on earth, was in such a situation. He was a poor man, yet never was there one who was so abundantly blessed in spiritual things. We may expect the same in our time.

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