Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Does Psalm 127:3-5 teach that I should have a lot of Children? What is a full quiver?

Children are a blessing! I have 5 children and thank the Lord for them constantly. Since I am a Christian, and have what can be considered today as a “large family”, some may assume that I align myself with what has become known as the “Quiverfull” movement. This movement is made up of a large number of believers who hold to the idea that a married couple should not plan on when to reproduce, nor use any form of birth control. Instead, you should just allow the “Lord to decide”, when or if you have children, and how many.

Proponents of this idea often quote (Psalm 127:3-5) as support for their position. The text reads,
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
In this Psalm, Solomon is declaring that true success comes from God. He is the source of true prosperity. In vs. 1 of this Psalm, Solomon teaches that whatever is built (most likely in reference to the temple or the city of Jerusalem), without God guarding it, will fall! 

In vs. 2, it is taught that even through our most tedious labor, the results of our work cannot compare with the blessings of God. Again, without God, our achievements are worthless.

Verse 3 then gives an example of one of the many blessings of God (ie. Children). No matter what work we may do in this life, the results of that work cannot compare with the blessing of Children. Why? Because no matter how hard we work to fortify our city, or even how skilled our archers might be, it is in shear numbers that a city is often protected from its enemies. Our work to fortify our location cannot compare with the benefits of a great number of children that God blesses one with.

When the enemies gather at the gate, the one who has a great deal of supporters (in this case it would be his children) will often prevail. It is for this reason that that a quiver (the bag in which arrows were stored) full of children provided by God, would be better than a quiver full of arrows provided by men. Blessings from God are more powerful than the accomplishments of men.

Psalm 127 is not a command for people to have as many children as possible, but instead it is a passage that shows that blessings of God are always more powerful than the works of men (even in the case of protection from one's enemies).

Yes, children are a wonderful blessing. I feel I am blessed by my large family. However, I don’t believe this passage or others teach that trying to plan when to start a family, or when to stop having children is necessarily against God’s will.

One Final Thought
God blesses us with many things. I feel God blesses me with food. Yet, God will allow me to eat more food than what is good for me. God will not keep me from becoming obese. God blesses us with food and expects us to handle that blessing in a responsible way.  Likewise, God blesses mankind with the ability to reproduce. This blessing, as the blessing of food, can be used in a way that is responsible and also irresponsible. 

By Cliff Sabroe (Quotes from NASB95 Bible)

What is the book of Revelation about?

When observing the book of Revelation, one needs to understand that although this book is often shrouded in mystery, its main purpose is to bring encouragement to its First Century readers. The Christians at this time were dealing with great persecution and the book of Revelation exhorts them to “be faithful unto death” so they will “overcome”.

There are a lot of visions and symbols in the book of Revelation. At times these symbols can be quite confusing. Understand that most of the visions happened in the past. Remember that in the introduction of the book (Revelation 1:1) it reads,
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John”.
One would assume then, that the visions given through the opening of each one of the seals would be something that was going to happen relatively soon to the time of the writing. Remember, seven churches in the region of Asia Minor are receiving this letter. 

These 7 churches are corrected and then encouraged to stay faithful during what is about to happen. The readers at that time would be able to identify what these visions were of and then make adequate preparations to “overcome”. These visions were for them, not for us today. Although the encouragement to faithfulness stays the same.

The book of Revelation is about staying faithful. It is a book that shows that Christians will overcome. 
“God’s bondservants might know that in spite of tribulation at the hands of the kings of the earth, they will overcome if they remain faithful to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus unto death, because of the blood of the Lamb” (Walker 215)
By Cliff Sabroe
 “From God’s Mind to Man’s Pen”. “Understanding Apocalyptic Literature” by Wesley Walker. West Visalia Church of Christ Lectures 
Image from Christian Worldview Institute Website