Hearing what is all going on in the world does not inspire great hopes about the future. In fact, parents and parents-to-be bemoan what world awaits their children. Yet, having children and raising them in the fear of the Lord is a noble thing in the Scriptures and highly valued by the Lord. How ought believers to think about bringing new souls into this world that is so full of sin?
Psalm 127 is the answer. It is a song of Solomon, one of the 1005 mentioned in 1 Kings 4:32 (The Song of Solomon being the most famous, but Psalm 127 is not far behind in the popularity contest!). Psalm 127 starts with two verses about making for yourself a better and safer life in this toilsome and insecure world. Then, verse 3 erupts with an exclamation about the high honour of having children – many of them even! And somehow that topic of children ties in with the terrible news of this world’s condition, for the Psalm ends with the confidence that a father of many children has when confronted with those who have set themselves against him.
A SONG OF ASCENTS. OF SOLOMON.
Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
The point is this. When confronted with the uncertain and unstable conditions of this world, it is futile to fret about it all. Make your dwelling better and your community more secure, but trust the Lord to bring success and security. God brings sleep-rich night to those who do what they ought AND trust the Lord for any positive fruit from their labours.
And in the midst of this all, see children as the answer. Your confidence before your accusers one day will be your children. We tend to think of sparing our children the hardships of this world; instead, God gives us children to bear us through the hardships of this world.
Pray for children. Love them. Bring them up in the fear of the Lord no matter the state of this world. Work hard at making your home a better place, but don’t trust your efforts, trust the Lord to make it all beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).