This Psalm stands in the center of the 15 Songs of Degrees.
It is the only one among them attributed to Solomon.
The most prominent element in view in it is the thought of building.
This naturally reminds us of King Solomon because he was the one used by the Lord
to build Him a temple in Jerusalem.
The idea of "build" or "building" is evident at this stage in anyone's walk.
Yet, we must keep in mind several things in relation to this matter of building.
First, there can be no building unless prior to it there is revelation.
This Psalm is a part of and is descriptive of the second period in our spiritual experience.
We have learned that this is a period of revelation and enlightenment.
Unless there is revelation, there can be no building.
How can a person construct a house if he does not possess an architectural plan or blueprint?
Even if we want to build something small, we would still have to draw up a plan
or at least visualize some plan in our mind.
Remember how God gave the vision of His house to David, and later, Solomon was chosen
to build the temple.
It is only in the principle of illumination that the spiritual process of "building" or "growing" is made possible.
Without a perception of the Lord's purpose and His counsel and His plan,
there can be no establishment of the church.
Second, you cannot build unless the war is over unless there is peace.
You cannot construct during wartime.
You can only do so when there is peace.
Spiritually, this is always the case.
If there is conflict, either internally or externally, no construction can occur no growing can occur.
It is only when the peace of God reigns in hearts and reigns in our midst that the building
of the church can take place and continue to grow.
So when peace comes at last to reign in the heart; the process of building or growing
can then take place.
Thirdly, when you think of "build" or "growth", you are apt to
conceive of these in very personal terms.
Oh, that I may grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ!
Oh, that I may arrive at spiritual maturity!
Oh, that I may be built up and made strong!
In the Scriptures when the thought of build or grow is under consideration, it is far more than personal;
it is also corporate in nature and in purpose.
All of us are members one of another.
How are we going to grow?
Do we merely mature individually, each by himself?
No! The whole body with all its members grow together towards the full-grown man.
We grow relatedly, and we grow proportionately.
It if it is purely on the individual plane, then suppose my hand wants to grow and that it develops
so rapidly that it develops out of all proportion to the rest of my body.
Imagine the effect!
It would become an ugly thing.
Therefore, we must remember that the spiritual concept of grow or build is a corporate matter.
We must mature in a related way.
We must be built up together and be fitted together.
During this stage of enlightenment the sense of corporateness will be increasing all the time.
We must grow together in Christ that we may form the habitation of God,
so that we may be truly the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4: 15, 16)
If we keep these three thoughts in mind, it will help us to understand this Song of Degrees much better.
So let us keep these three matters constantly before us as we continue to consider this Psalm.
In the very beginning we read these words:
"Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it."
Solomon is going to build the house of God.
He has learned one lesson.
It is an extremely important and very valuable lesson one which every soul must learn
if he wants to build.
The lesson is: unless the Lord build the house, in vain do its workers labor in it.
If you desire to build, you must see to it that it is the Lord Himself Who builds.
If we attempt to build without the Lord, then it is all in vain.
Three times in this Psalm we find this word: "emptiness."
It is vain! It is in vain! It is in vain!
When you are constructing something in the world and you put
your entire strength and being into it, you may succeed.
The way people in the world go about it is spelled out vividly in the second verse:
"Rise up early, set up late, eat the bread of sorrows."
If you want to build something, you will rise up early and lie down late in order to devote
all the time possible to the project.
Even while you are eating, the thought of building is on your mind.
You experience sleepless powers because you are always thinking of what you have
to do in your building.
In short, this is a description of the effort which one puts into laboring rise up early,
lie down late, and eat the bread of sorrows.
If you carry all like this, you may succeed in the world because you will have invested
your entire person in it.
However, the building of the church is different.
In the building of the church, even if you should rise up early and lie down late
and eat the bread of sorrows, you will not succeed.
It is altogether in vain.