Anglican Morning Devotion for 23 May 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” (Psalms 127:3-5)
The salient point in the introductory text is the phrase, ‘heritage of the Lord.’ What does that mean? It means that children come from God just as my dear mother told me when I was just old enough to sit on her knee. It is God that grants conception of children and breathes the breath of life into their tiny nostrils. Have we become so callous as a nation that we have forgotten that truth? Do we claim to be Godly people, but condone the sacrifice of our children to the idol of convenience? Do we profess to love the provisions of freedom and liberty codified in the US Constitution, yet, deny the right to life of a living child in the mother’s womb?
Child sacrifice is the mark of a depraved society – far from the most liberal definition of Christian faith. If you do not believe America is drifting toward depravity, please observe the society around you – the drug abuse, suicides, promiscuity, disrespect for authority (including parental), descent into socialism, and a marked decline in love. The mainline churches are just as responsible for this decline in social and moral values as are the political and financial establishments. Why? Because they have failed to lead the people in righteousness. They have slept while the enemy has sown tares – unfortunately, some churches even assist in the sowing.
If God grants conception, then any termination of a pregnancy is defying the Lord God. It is, indeed, MURDER written large. God grants a reward to the parent and what if they unfeelingly destroy that reward. “and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
God has a beautiful manner of describing children as His reward of progeny to the father. “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” There is much to compare between children and a father’s arrows. A mighty man has need of arrows, but they must be properly prepared to be accurate. An arrow must be made of some strong wood that resists warping. The shaft must be sanded and polished. It must be equipped with a means of aerodynamic balance such as feathers. It needs to be sharp at its head. Children need all of the above. They need to be of good and responsible parents, they require nurturing in the right way to go, children need moral training to walk in righteousness, and they must be trained in alert response to problems of the world. Sharpness is instilled by good manners and study.
To have a quiver full of arrows is to be armed against the dangers of the world. A man who has many children is rich in love and joy. “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.” A mother and father’s children are the face and glory of their character. The pride in a Godly child cannot be measured in treasure. There was a time in the not-so-distant past in which children were loved and treasured. No one would even considered the abuse, sale, or neglect of a little child. But times have changed. Abortion has become a matter of convenience. The promiscuity of the parents is not even considered as a reason for responsibility. God asked, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” (Isaiah 49:15) Well, yes, today they may do so.
Concluding points: The arrow remains under the absolute control of the father until he removes it from its quiver, places it on the bow, places it on the bowstring, and draws it back with great force. Still, he maintains mastery over the arrow. But once he releases the arrow for flight, that control is left to fortune and preparation. If the father has aimed the arrow well, and used sufficient strength in its shooting, it will surely arrive on its intended target. The same is true of children. Once we release the child to adulthood, we no longer maintain control. If we have properly nurtured the child in the way that he should go, the flight of the child in adulthood will be long and straight.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
(Proverbs 22:6; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)