Psalm singing continues to be a great joy in my family having a standard place at our evening meal. We began a little over a year ago with Psalm 128, and have added a few more along the way. As we began 2010 we introduced Psalm 127 the other really strong family Psalm. The version of Psalm 127 found in the Trinity Psalter was pretty rough and awkward, so I worked on editing it seeking to follow the biblical text and to achieve more clarity in expression. In the end I still wanted to do more, but decided it was time to start singing with what we had- lest the pursuit of perfection mean the actual practice of nothing.
So, here is my edited version. It is still not as smooth as the version of Psalm 128, but it has been useful to us and we all now know it by heart after singing it a few months. It is in the Common Meter so we have sung it to the tune of “Amazing Grace.”
1Except the LORD shall build the house
The builders work in vain;
Except the Lord the city keep
The watchmen watch in vain.
2‘Tis vain for you to rise ear-ly,
Or late from rest to keep,
To eat the bread of anxious toil;
He gives His loved ones sleep.
3Lo, children are the LORD’s good gift;
Rich payment are men’s sons.
4The sons of youth as arrows are
In hands of mighty ones.
5Who has his quiver filled with these
O happy shall he be;
When foes they greet within the gate
They shall from shame be free.
I believe singing verses 4 and 5 have particularly hit home to my sons. They are reminded of the future God envisions for them. What an encouragement for my children, also, to sing regularly together a scriptural reminder that they are blessings from God. It has been helpful to me, also, to have verse 2 running through my head from time to time, reminding me not to fall for the frenetic lifestyle but to rest in God.
Perhaps some of you will be able to work on this rendering even further.