Summary: Children are "A Father’s Treasure" because: 1) The growth of a family is God’s work (Psalm 127:3) 2) The growth of a family is an Important Resource (Psalm 127:4), 3) The Growth of a family Impacts a City (Psalm 127:5), and 4) The Growth of a family Needs
Psalm 127:3-5 "A Father’s Treasure"
Everton Community Church. Sunday June 19, 2011 Father’s Day.
Behind every advertising message, there is an implicit morality. If you watch how father’s are treated on TV, bumbling dad is just looking to get away: Get away from the pressures of work and family. What they want is a fast car, more power tools and some time away from the pressures of work and family.
Modern readers of Ps 127 find themselves at a distance from its cultural setting and so perchance from its message. Its emphasis on the value of sons... cries out for a wider perspective. Living as we do in days of overpopulation and birth control, we need to appreciate the rigors of ancient society in constant need of replenishment against the ravages of disease, war, and famine. Living as we may in a more secure and just society, in which we enjoy peace, freedom, and lawful order guaranteed by a fair police force and judiciary, where urban alert systems and friends at court are unnecessary, the psalm’s immediate impact on us will be lost. In a more positive assessment of the psalm, we may well regret the apparent passing of times when high value was set upon the family as the basic unit of society and as a divinely intended source of comfort and strength and, conversely, sphere of responsibility (cf. 1 Tim 5:4, 8) (Allen, L. C. (2002). Vol. 21: Word Biblical Commentary : Psalms 101-150 (Revised). Word Biblical Commentary (240–241). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.).
In contrast to the frantic, self-absorbed, and self-sufficient work ethic described in the first stanza (vv. 1–2), the second stanza (vv. 3–5) unfolds the quiet blessing of God on a family through the gift of children. This stanza seems so different from the first, both in its subject matter and its tone, that quite a few scholars believe that it must have been an entirely different psalm originally. They are far from thinking like an ancient Jewish person for whom the well-being of his family was never far removed from every other concern or endeavor. Most of us think of work and our families in nearly separate categories. We live highly compartmentalized lives. But the Jew would ask, Why is the house being built if it is not for the family? and why are the watchmen protecting the city if not for the families that live in it? Then as now, the family is the basic unit and most important element of society. The only difference is that the ancient Jew knew it, and we generally do not.
Children are "A Father’s Treasure" because: 1) The growth of a family is God’s work (Psalm 127:3) 2) The growth of a family is an Important Resource (Psalm 127:4), 3) The Growth of a family Impacts a City (Psalm 127:5), and 4) The Growth of a family Needs God
Children are "A Father’s Treasure" because:
1. The growth of a family is God’s work. (Psalm 127:3)
The second stanza begins by confessing that children are a gift of God, a heritage, and a reward.
Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. (ESV)
God builds the house and the family to live in it; he guards the city and raises up the families protected by its walls. Reward translates a word that means “wages”; (it is not) a payment for good deeds, but in parallel with heritage the word stresses the idea of an unearned gift... (it is) the lord’s generosity in giving children (Bratcher, R. G., & Reyburn, W. D. (1991). A translator’s handbook on the book of Psalms. Helps for translators (1074). New York: United Bible Societies.)
Families are God’s idea. It was God who gave the first woman to the first man in Eden:
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (ESV).
• It follows from this that we must thank God for our families and look to him for wisdom to raise them rightly.
What then if God is not the builder and foundation of our family:
Poem: (Family, Spiritual Decline of)
To our forefathers, our faith was an experience.
To our fathers, our faith was an inheritance.
To us, our faith is a convenience.
To our children, our faith is a nuisance (Michael P. Green. (2000). 1500 illustrations for biblical preaching (146). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.).
Children are "A Father’s Treasure" because:
2) The growth of a family is an Important Resource (Psalm 127:4)
Psalm 127:4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.