Monday, September 14, 2009

Psalm 127 - Part 2

If you are familiar with Psalm 127, you may know what comes after the verse I quoted in my previous post.

"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127: 3-5

These verses have troubled me throughout my struggle with infertility. I could never wrap my head around them. I have thought about them a great deal, especially recently. I asked the Lord to please give me insight into them and help me to understand.

"...children a reward from Him" I have struggled most with this part. Children are a reward it says. So am I being punished? If I had led a better life, been more righteous, more deserving would I have children? I have been taught that you must interpret scripture with scripture. Do any of us "deserve" children? No. God's word is clear: "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23 and the "wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23. Elsewhere it says, "all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" Isaiah 64:6 and "God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one." Psalm 53:3. There is no one worthy, no one who is righteous on their own, no one who "deserves" anything other than death from God. If it was up to us to be worthy of having children, no one would have any. Our righteousness is from Christ. In Him, I am found "not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes through God and is by faith" Phil 3:9 So I can't earn God's reward, favor, or blessing. It is God's grace. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights" James 1:17. The Lord causes "his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous" Matthew 5:45. We don't do anything to deserve it or not deserve it. The account of Zechariah and Elizabeth even more clearly speaks to this. It says, "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years" Luke 1:6-7. They were "blameless" and yet they were not rewarded, experiencing years of barrenness. But as many of you know that is not the end of their story. In time, Elizabeth did become pregnant and gave birth to the forerunner of our Messiah. They were direct participants in a miracle, in their own personal lives and in God's plan for the world. As I thought about this, it finally hit me. It is about timing. God's perfect timing. Right now I wonder why I am not receiving this "reward," gift, blessing, whatever you want to call it. I wonder if I am being punished, and believe me, I have done much to warrant that punishment. But when I look at the whole story, I don't question why Elizabeth was barren or think she was less rewarded or blessed. In fact, I think she was incredibly blessed by her years of waiting. God knit together a miracle in her womb - John the Baptist - who prepared the way for Jesus as he went throughout the land preaching repentance. As I look at other accounts of infertility in the Bible, do I think Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, or Hannah were less blessed, less rewarded. No I do not. Each of them experienced years of barrenness and each of them saw God perform a miracle in their lives. They knew it was God, everyone else knew it was God, and He received all the glory. But it happened in God's way and timing. Perhaps they too questioned why God was withholding this blessing from their lives. But in time, God's perfect plan was revealed and they witnessed God doing a mighty work in their lives. They received their heritage from the Lord.

We can only do as Hannah did, "I was pouring out my soul to the LORD" 1 Sam 1:15 and continue to pour our hearts out to God, depending on Him to build our houses and give us the gift of children.


Our Journey... said...

praying for you!

Alicia said...

This post is just simply breathtaking! Your wisdom is from heaven! You explained the Gospel so well. Yes, we deserve only death. Thank God for His mercey!

It's so true that we need to interpret scripture with scripture, then these verses are put in there proper place and God's grace is magnified.

I often meditate and pray to God about the women you mentioned. I wonder how they glorified God in the waiting.

Thank you for the encouragement!!!!

Lisa said...

I love this post. I too have struggled with all of the Bible verses that speak of children being blessings. And wonder why are other couples being blessed, some who don't even want children, and we are not. But you are so right, it is all about timing, God's timing, which is sure not mine! :) I have no doubt that you and I both will be blessed with children - in Gods timing. It makes me kind of excited to see what plans the Lord has in store for us!!

Stacey said...

Excellent, excellent post. Thank you so much for putting this into perspective. Thoughts about this topic run through my mind constantly, it seems. Even if you know the truth -- that none deserve God's blessing any more than others -- it can still be a struggle to truly live like you believe it.

I once heard this verse explained that IF one has children, they should be considered a reward. (In other words, not that they are necessarily given as a reward, but should be treated and cared for as such if you have them.) I think this is also an interesting perspective.

There is so much comfort in God's word for an infertile woman. I'm so grateful for that - and for you!

Jesus, My Best Friend said...

such a good post. i, too, studied these different stories of women who were barren in the Bible and i agree... they seemed so blessed beyond measure for their faith in waiting. your miracle is coming... God has not forgotten you. it's so hard to see when you are in the middle of it all but when it comes you just cannot get over how thankful to Him that you are. Praying for your precious blessing!

A said...

I am super late to the party, but this post is beautiful!! I have been praying for you :)