Here is a song of ascent that was specifically written for Shlomo, the son of David and the one who would build the house of Adonai, the Temple of Jerusalem. King David’s passion was to build a house for the Lord, but he was told by Adonai that he would not be the one to have the honor because of the blood on his hands.
So here he gives his son some wise advice about the building process of the Temple, as well as protecting the house of Adonai. He says that doing things in our own strength is vain and will come to nothing.
He also says that trying to protect things by our own strength is also vanity and loss. The word he uses in verse one for; except the Lord keep or watch the city, is the word ‘shamar’, where we get ‘shomer’ ‘watchman’, and is used many times in the Psalms, but especially Psalm 121, when he says, “He that keepeth (shamar) Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.”
Then David goes on to say that it is also a waste of time to rise early and sit up late just worrying about stuff.
Because Adonai gives sweet sleep to those he loves.
In Psalm 4:8 David says he will lie down and sleep because the Lord makes him to dwell in safety. So it is not the toil of our labors, the worrying of our minds and souls that makes things prosper, but Adonai is the builder and protector who takes good care of his beloved.
Now he seems to change course in verse three and begins to tell us about the blessing of children.
Or maybe it’s no course change at all, but he is trying to tell us that as Adonai cares for and watches over us as a good father, we should do the same for our children because they are a reward from the Lord and our future as well.
The blessings of the Lord are generational; he is the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob!