Psalm 127 has one of the wisest sayings in the Bible:
“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.”
People and nations throughout history have discovered the power behind these words – some to their benefit and some to their disaster. Today I want to share about them from a personal family level. 60 years ago, I realized the truth of this passage as I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. For the last 60 years I have been growing in my understanding of its truth and I have only just begun to plumb its depths. The Psalm goes on to reveal the way in which God builds the house spoken of here.
“Behold, children are a heritage from 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. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”
Children! Children raised with love and the fear and admonition of the Lord. I have learned that children have at least two powerful functions in your life: 1) They are the motivation that brings forth care, patience, and unqualified love like nothing else in life, and 2) they are also the mirror God uses most (after your wife of course) to show you who you are. In them you can truly see yourself. As they grow into adulthood they also drive you to depend on God more than most things because they soon make it clear that you can no longer directly control their every step. You are forced to seek God in prayer on their behalf and hope beyond hope that you prepared them to meet life.
On November 21, 2015, before Thanksgiving, at 1:30 am on a cold Sunday morning our house burned. What didn’t burn was ruined by smoke and the abundant water the fire fighters needed to put out the fire. As I stood outside watching the flames and smoke, there were my children and grandchildren forming a line to carry valuables and mementos handed through a bedroom window by firefighters and police who were there to save as much as possible. My children shouldered the burden of providing food and clothing for us (all was lost), meeting with insurance agents, itemizing things lost, and the abundance of details you never think of that need to be done after such an event. It is surely true “They shall not be ashamed but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” Not that the insurance agents are our enemies, but the fire and Satan certainly was!
Children are a piece of you, and they are also a piece of God because He gives every one of them a spirit that comes directly from Himself. You might say, they are the down payment on the future. When the prophet Malachi laments about the ugly practice of divorce declaring that God “hates divorce”, he reveals the divine reason for marriage:
But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. Malachi 2:15
Children truly are a heritage from the Lord! They are the greatest opportunity God ever gives to man; his hardest challenge and his greatest reward all rolled into one. Jesus commanded –
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matt. 28:18
and your children are certainly the very first persons to obey this command on!
Now if God has ordained that you should not have children, then trust in Him, because He has a plan for your life as well, and His plan is always good. To the young couple perhaps having their first child, rejoice in the Lord for He is giving you a chance to shape the future and only He knows of the plans He has for that precious life. So, depend on Him for the help you will need in raising them. To the Grandparent, your job is not yet done. To you is given the all-powerful ministry of encouragement and prayer for God’s plans and purposes for your Grandchildren to not be hindered in any way. Parents and Grandparents are given the all-important job of standing beside God and helping Him in performing His purpose for those children.
But this word is not just to families, it is also to nations because nations are built on the family. In a nation such as the United States it is important that the elected officials understand that they are building God’s House.! Our first President, George Washington, is quoted as saying, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert great pillars of human happiness.” By religion he meant Christianity and its tenants.
In its history, America has had several revivals of that sentiment in which it turned back to God and His words. But that is not the current case as the entertainment industry, epitomized by Hollywood, has become the Antichrist’s immorality voice of the world. And our current government encourages them by eliminating God from public view. Democrats have dropped the phrase ‘So help me God’ from the testimony sworn by witnesses before Congressional hearings, Democrat Jerry Nadler remarking “God’s Will is No Concern of This Congress”, to passing the Equality Bill which elevates homosexuals and Lesbians and transgenderism to protected status.
There is much more I could point out that shows the spirit of Antichrist taking over our government but the responsibility rests with the Church, who alone has the Light and is called to be the salt that preserves. Jesus predicted there would be famines in the last days, and so there are, but the worst famine is a famine of the word of God! The prophet Amos predicted this in the last days –
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD, “That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” – Amos 8:11
What is the answer? How can we change this condition? The prophet Hosea has the answer –
“Come and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.” – Hosea 67:1-3
And above all, make sure God is building your house.