Devotional Thoughts We have asked the question "Why were we created?" and while the answer was brief and not nearly as in depth as it could have been we have seen that we were created for fellowship, stewardship, and worship. God created us to worship and glorify Him, to fellowship with Him, and to care for His creation and act on His behalf in the world. In looking at an even more specific follow up question, we are now examining the question, "Why were we created male and female?"
We have started to answer the question by showing first that God created us male and female for Lifetime Partnership. The second part of our answer is that God created us in His image as male and female so that we might have a Lineage through Parenting. This then introduces three statements that we will spend a day each studying:
1. God's Purpose for Children 2. God's Plan for Parenting 3. God's Providential Exception: The Barren Womb
We in the church need to be reminded that Jesus loves the little children..... Attitudes today that stem from feminism and liberalism have given birth to ideas that children are a curse, a burden, a bother, a chore, and therefore undesirable. Children we are taught - whether we know it or not - intrude upon our personal liberty. They infringe on our rights over our own lives and our own bodies. These attitudes are obvious, even in the church. While we may stand against abortion, especially when it is used as an after-conception form of birth control, we do not even blink an eye when we decide to use chemical contraceptives that will either prevent conception or prevent implantation (abort) once conception occurs. And even if we attempt to use natural family planning we still miss the whole point. We still see children as something to be planned or prevented as we see fit.
But the Bible teaches us a few things and we need to pay attention. Let us settle these things right from the start. We must understand and embrace these points as truth, because this is what the Bible tells us about children: God gives children as a blessing (Psalm 127:3), God causes conception and crafts each child in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16), God even causes the time of delivery and birth for each child (Isaiah 66:9). If these are true statements then what business do we have trying to prevent conception? If only God can bring a new life into being then what are we really trying to prevent by any form of contraception? We are in fact trying to prevent God from blessing us!
There is so much more that can be said - and should be said - about this in the church today. But for now, I want to spend our time looking at what the Bible tells us about God's Purpose for Children. Our views about the family and family planning will reveal the truth about what we believe about children, so let us make sure today that we believe what the Bible says instead of falling for the lies of the spirit of the age that would have us view children as a burden instead of a blessing.
God's Purpose for Children
What then is God's Purpose for Children? Let us examine Psalm 127 for the answer:
Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
Building a house here refers to building a family. It is not about a habitation, but about a heritage. God builds families. He makes the husband and wife one flesh, telling us that what He has joined together no man can separate. He also actively creates life in the womb and brings children into our homes. The truth is that unless God builds our family we will have no family. We will work in vain to build it ourselves because only God can build a family - giving us the covenant of marriage and blessing that covenantal relationship with offspring.
Further we see that there is no protection unless the Lord guards us. What good is a watchman if God is not watching over us? God is sovereign. Life without Him is vain and all attempts to keep ourselves safe from harm will fail unless He watches over us. Do we then trust God to build our families and to keep us safe? Do we walk by faith in these matters, for we know that the Bible tells us that whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Do we take God at His Word and trust that He knows what is best for us? In order to understand God's purpose for children we must first confess and admit that it is God who alone is capable of building the family and keeping us safe from harm. This puts the focus then on the growth and well being of our family specifically on God. He is in charge. He does as He wills for His own good pleasure. And He tells us to trust Him.
Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.
This verse reveals for us another vanity, something else that is useless. Just as it is useless to try and build a family without God and useless to try and stay safe without God's care and protection, so to it is useless to try and get a good night’s sleep without the blessing of God! The focus here is restful sleep. The goal is to be rested, refreshed, and ready to go the next day.
Some tell us that if we just get up and get going then we will surely come home and get a good night’s sleep. An early start is supposed to ensure that we are sufficiently tired when bed time rolls around. Others tell us that if we work hard and exhaust ourselves through labor then we will sleep good at night. This is to "eat the bread of sorrows" for we know that part of the curse for sin was that God told Adam that it would be through the sweat of his work that he would eat bread. And even others tell us that if we put things off until later in the day and then stay up late, we will eventually tire out and be ready for bed.
But the Bible tells us here that all of these things are vain. We could probably all give testimony to the fact that there are times when we get up early and still cannot sleep later that night. Likewise, we have all worked through a hard day and come home with such energy in our system that we simply cannot sleep. And surely you have suffered with me, staying up late only to stay up so late that it is actually early!
Why are these things useless when it comes to sleep? Because the Bible teaches us that sleep is a blessing from God. Often lack of sleep is shown to be from God in order to cause us to reflect on the day or deal with our sin. At other times God would take sleep away from us so that we might spend the time praying or praising, or ministering to those in need. Whatever the case, we can affirm that sleep is a blessing from God and unless He gives us restful sleep nothing that we do can bring us rest.
The underlying truth here in the context of this Psalm is that it is vain and useless to think that there is anything we can do to bless ourselves with the blessings that only God can give. His blessings listed thus far include a family, safety, and a restful sleep. We cannot do anything on our own to bring these about if God would will otherwise. And we are foolish to think that we should stop Him from blessing us with these things. Who in their right mind would reject God's blessing as if His blessing was ill-timed, inappropriate, or unappreciated?
Interestingly we see in these verses God's definition of prosperity! In God's eyes for us to prosper means that we have a godly family, safety, and restful sleep. And this is all a blessing from God. We cannot manufacture it, we cannot counterfeit it, and sadly we often settle for a substitute - the world's prosperity, those things which rob us from the prosperity God gives us.
Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Now it gets interesting! Now we see how God views children. He has already told us that a family is a blessing that He gives as He chooses and now we see how specific this is - He gives children as a blessing! There are two things we need to understand here, first, what it means that children are a heritage, and secondly, what it means that they are a reward.
Children we are told in this verse are our heritage from the Lord. We first note that the heritage comes from the Lord. There is no other place to get it or find it. God gives children as a heritage and a reward. The word heritage refers to a number of things. It can mean:
1. Something passed down through generations 2. A Possession or Inheritance – Property, Share, Portion 3. What you leave when you leave
To understand the term we must look past our immediate family. This has at its core a generational view. We must look far past ourselves! How sad it is that the things that influence us the most about our view of children all revolve around self. We give little thought for the long term impact we can make through the generations of our family and our church and instead we think only of ourselves. God views children through the lens of generations and wisdom is seeing these things from His perspective.
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