November 4, 2021
Rance Edwards, Sr.
“Steps of Faith”
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
DevotionImagine, a people pilgriming together toward the temple of God. What would they talk about? They finally get to their destination, the temple. They climb the steps together with their families. This is their destination, what they had longed to see as they walked and sung the songs of ascents. This was a time of celebration and reminders of why they made the journey.
The songs of ascents have been compiled in chapters 120-134 for the purpose of walking the journey with meaning and climbing those last steps.
We are going through a pilgrimage of life, and we do this together as a family and faith community. We are tied together in faith and need to be reminded as we travel and climb the steps of faith. Where does our protection come from? Who is directing our steps?
When walking the awe-inspiring steps and consider the immense work of building the temple we can fall into the trap of congratulating ourselves for these buildings created by human hands. Each step we take up the stairs of life we need to remind ourselves that all is in vain if we do not recognize the builder of our faith, God.
At the time the Jewish culture knew the necessity of reminders and repetition—the need of rehearsing truth when the world around them countered God’s Word at every step. The Psalms of Ascent that the pilgrims of old would recite from memory several times a years served as reminders of faith, forgiveness, family, children, peace, hope, brotherhood, sacrifice, and right attitudes toward God and people.
What was true then remains true for us today. We walk the steps of life reminding each other that God walks right with us, the community of faith. We are going to an ultimate destination, and we do this together and as a family of God.
The journey is walked together with young, old, women, men and this list can go on. We express different walks of life. Looking back at the author of our faith we and realize the responsibility we have to pass on our faith to the next generation is ours.
We have just observed ‘All Saints Day’. Where we look at the builders of our faith and celebrate their giving to us the faith that we have. Our Scripture today does not look backwards but forward to our quiver of children that we have a responsibility for. We must keep on repeating and reminding all of our faith. Our strength is our children that we have that will carry on the faith.