Psalms 127 pt II

Steve Viars October 16, 1993 Psalms 127:

- now, we're going to pick up where we left off last week,
   and our outline will "pick up" right where we left off (at
   II, D)
- we said that children are a heritage (stewardship, gift) of
    the Lord, and that the fruit of the womb is His reward.
- I'd like us to spend some time now and think about the
    question:


    D. What about those who haven't been rewarded?

        - INPUT - would it be right to turn verse 3 around
            and say that "a barren womb is His punishment?"


            (- you and I never have a right to declare that
               we know why God brought something into someone
               else's life.
             - there are many examples in Scripture where the
               Lord brought a difficulty into someone's life
               which was not a direct result of their
               individual sin.
                 - cf. Job
                 - cf. man born blind - John 9:2-3 - "and his
                    disciples asked him, Master, who did sin,
                    this man, or his parents, that he was
                    born blind? Jesus answered, Neither this
                    man nor his parents, but that the works
                    of God should be made manifest in him."

             - the other side of that is, any time a person
                is going through a trial, it is always right
                to ask, "Is there anything in my life that
                God wants me to change that this trial might
                help me identify?  cf.  James 5:14-15
              - there's a big difference between that person
                 (or couple) going through that introspective
                  process, and someone else going through it
                  "for them."


        - INPUT - how could the Lord use a couple who didn't
           have children in special and unusual ways?

              (cf. the argument of I Cor. 7:32-33)


- INPUT - how might we be insensitive to folks in this
     situation and how can we avoid it?


III. The Challenge Of Spiritual Parenting

    verse 4 - as arrows are in the hand of a mighty man

    - INPUT - what is David picturing here?

       (an arrow must be prepared, an arrow can be directed,
        an arrow can either serve very useful purposes or
        very destructive ones)

INPUT - let's do another one of our "white board comparisons"
   - what would be some characteristics of a parent who
      understood the truth of this verse and characteristics
      of a parent who didn't.

      (hit:
        - issue of spending time
        - importance of solving problems biblically, teaching
            children that method
        - importance of (Eph. 6:4) "bringing them up" as
            opposed to letting them bring themselves up.


INPUT - How does our view of man affect our interpretation of
        this verse?

         - go after the issue of - we're not just talking
           about the issue of a "arrow" being a "neutral
           arrow."
             - we're talking about a child with a sinful
                nature who is bent on destroying self and
                others.  "Foolishness is bound ..."


- one last thing we need to say about verse 4. David has
    stated this concept very positively. He wants us to think
    about the influence a godly man's family can have.
-  children who are brought up in the nurture and admonition
    of the Lord can make a great difference for Christ.
- the other side of that is - "As arrows are in the hand of a
    fool, so are children of one's youth."

    - perhaps you've seen a parent at a Christmas party give
      alcohol to a child to try to make them drunk and
      entertain people at the party.
    - and of course we could come up with hundreds of ways to
       illustrate this idea.

- the point is - there's a real challenge to spiritual
    parenting--our children are like arrows in the hand of a
    mighty man.


IV. Joy And Protection Of Spiritual Parenting - verse 5

    - happy is the man that has his quiver full of them.
    A. Minimum family size?


- you probably know that this verse has been used to talk
       about a "Christian minimum family size."
    - let's take a minute and think that one through.

    - some are saying, Christians ought to raise huge
       families so we can reclaim our society for Christ.

       - INPUT - what do you think about that kind of
          reasoning?  (it's not the church's job to reclaim
          society.)

 

- the bottom line is - there isn't a verse (here or
   otherwise) that gives a magic formula for the appropriate
   family size that we can legalistically slap on everyone.

- that’s exactly what that would be -- legalism.

- having said that--we could definitely talk about sinful
    habits that could be true of a family that was too large,
    or a family that was too small.

 

    - INPUT - for example - what sinful reasons might a
        family have in deciding to have fewer children than
        God would desire?

 


    - INPUT - what might be some sinful reasons that
        motivated a couple to have children (or more
        children?)

 


    - INPUT - what biblical principles might a family violate
        in being too large?


- so instead of using this verse to come up with a legalistic
   standard to impose on all, let's use it as an opportunity
   to think about how many children we have, and WHY we have
   that many children.
- once that's done, let's go back to the thrust of the verse:


B. Children are a source of great joy and happiness

    "they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the
      enemies at the gate."

    - the picture, of course, is the custom in Bible times of
       gathering at the gate of the city to discuss matters
       and settle disputes.

    - David wants us to think about a man who's raised a
       group of godly children, who have adopted his
       convictions and character as their own, and who can
       stand with him at the gate.

- there's at least two ideas that go with that picture:

1) the happiness that results from influence

    - many parents have had children that have "gone further"
       in their work for Christ than they did.
    - that can be a tremendous source of joy and
        encouragement to a mom and dad.

 

2) the happiness that results from protection

    - those "children at the gate" would also serve as
       protection for their parents.
    - there's safety and confidence in numbers.
    - all of us have things we'd be willing to "stand alone"
        for, but it's great to have other brothers and
        sisters who will stand with us, and it's especially
        gratifying and encouraging if some of those standing
        with us are our own children.

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

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