Facon and Failed Eyesight


Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table. [Psalm 128:1-3]

In my previous post, we attempted to define “fear of the Lord”. This time around I want to begin looking at the blessings that follow.

Our focus in this post will be on verse 2.

You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

In the garden, after Adam’s sin, God told him that the ground was cursed because of his sin and it would be by the sweat of his brow, and in sorrow, that he would eat the fruit of the ground. Yet here we find that hard work is the secret to happiness.

Happiness is the flower that grows from a thorn of sorrow transformed by man’s cultivation. [Hugh Macmillan, The Ministry of Nature (1871)]

The man who fears the Lord and lives according to God’s ways, finds true happiness even in sorrow. He finds happiness in labor, in working to produce, to earn income, to care for his family.

Call me old-fashioned, I’ll take it as a compliment, but I see in this psalm a picture of God’s design for the family. I do not say this as a binding law on all, I’m sure there are exceptions, though I don’t have one ready to hand. The family is better off, and more able to enjoy God’s blessings when the husband brings home the bacon, and then shares it with his wife and kids.

The man who brings home facon will not find happy, and the barbarian hoards (his children) will see that it does not go well for that man. Anything labeled “bacon style strips” displays a complete dereliction of duty as a provider.

This isn’t to say that the wife can’t have a wage earning job, but it is to say that the husband should. This verse has no blessing for do-nothing, free-loading husbands. Happiness is a tired back, and or, a tired mind.

Likewise, this verse has no blessing for the hard-working man, who does not fear God, or walk according to his ways. Go through life fearing your boss, or failure, or any number of things other than God, and it will not go well with you. Go through life doing what is right in your own eyes, and not God’s…let’s just say that your eyesight isn’t as good as you think it is.