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Unless the LORD builds a house

Use his name YHWH

And not generic God

Unless the LORD builds a house, they who build it labor in vain; unless the LORD guards a city, the watchman stays awake in vain." – Psalm 127:1 NASB

In June 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were sharply divided. They were trying to write a new constitution for the thirteen colonies that recently had won independence from England.

But they faced serious divisions. Many predicted the states would go their separate ways. On June 28 amid this discouraging conflict, an elderly man rose to speak. He reminded them that they had been “groping as it were in the dark to find political truth.” He suggested a new strategy: commit themselves to prayer.

He reminded them how God had answered prayer often in the nation’s brief history. Citing the words of David from Psalm 127, he told them that their only hope was to trust God. He needed to build the house.

Who was this man? Benjamin Franklin – scientist, inventor, philosopher, writer – and known for being skeptical about religion. Yet here he declared openly that the key to success was faith in God. Despite doubts and questions, Franklin had come to realize that no nation could succeed without His blessings.

The principles Franklin talked about still are true. They are true for families and churches, nations, and businesses. They are true for our personal lives. All our efforts are in vain unless we depend upon God, and He is the foundation.

Today, make sure you are trusting God. Call on Him to meet your needs. And base your life on His Word.


Father, I depend upon You for everything in my life. I commit my time, talents, and treasures to You. Help me serve You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Extended Reading

Psalm 127

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