Psalm 128: An Enduring and Useful Life
Supper Table Psalms
By Zach Dietrich
This spring, Pastor Zach began a new series of short family devotions that you can read along with Soteria’s psalm of the month. The Dietrich family calls them Supper Table Psalms because they just so happen to read psalms at suppertime. But, each family is different. Whether it’s in the morning at breakfast or in the evening at suppertime, during family time in the living room or before lights out at bedtime, make moments to read God’s word together.
“Your children will be like olive shoots around your table” (Psalm 128:3).
The Bible teaches us to pray for children to be like olive branches? You might be thinking, “Olives go on pizza. If I have to be a topping, can’t I be pepperoni?” Sure, some kids love olives. But, most pick them off when Mom isn’t looking.
You might be unimpressed with being compared to an olive branch, but that’s because olives and olive trees aren’t a part of our everyday life the way they were in the Bible. If we learn about olive trees, we will see why Psalm 128 prays, “Your children will be like olive shoots around your table.”
Olive trees are always green. They produce lots and lots of olives! Do you know what olives are used for? Food, certainly. But, so much more than pizza. Olives were useful all day, every day. The oil of olives was used to light lamps, as medicine, for cooking oil, for anointing leaders, and more. Psalm 128 prays that children, like olive branches, will be fruitful and useful.
Do you want to know something else amazing about olive trees?
Olive trees can live a really long time. There are olive trees that are over 2,000 years old and some that are perhaps twice that! Will we outlive olive trees? In this life, most likely no. But, parents do pray that their children will have a long, wise life. And grandkids. Parents want grandkids. “May you see your children’s children!” (Psalm 128:6). And, parents have no greater joy than knowing our children are connected and abiding in God’s everlasting family.
Being an olive branch isn’t so bad after all.
You are made to be enduring, fruitful, and useful. But, where does an enduring and useful life come from? What is the root of the tree? Psalm 128 teaches that the wisdom that bears fruit in our family comes from the root of fearing God. “Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD.” And, “your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.”
When we sit around the table, sometimes holding hands while we pray together, we are like an olive tree. Rooted in God, we are branches growing together that are strong, enduring, fruitful, and useful.