“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Children …are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.” - (Psalm 127: 3 -4)
In our culture today it is obvious that we do not have the values of God in many areas of the way we live. In this magnificent little psalm Solomon declares that children are a gift from God – we should be filled with joy when we realize we are going to be parents. Although millions of people do agree with God on this value, there are many millions who do not. That is painfully obvious as many, many millions of children are aborted every year simply because they are not wanted.
In this beautiful psalm Solomon gives us an inspired metaphor. He writes that children are like arrows and their parents are like bows from which they are thrust out into life. This means that being parents is a solemn and serious responsibility. The way some young people are thrust into life makes me think of the poet who wrote: “I shot an arrow into the air; it fell to earth I know not where.”
As David faced the giant Goliath, he said magnificent and wonderful things. The king was watching from the top of a hill. The king asked his general “Whose son is that young man?” When David reported to the king with Goliath’s head, the king asked the same question. It is as if he was saying to David “You are a beautiful arrow, but I want to meet the bow from which you were thrust into life.”
If you are a parental ‘bow,’ rejoice and trust God to make you more than the best bow you can be.
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)Christ gives his people a new heart and a new Spirit, but then he also gives us a new struggle. Don’t expect the road ahead to be easy.
That’s what we learn from both the story of David and the story of Jesus. After David was anointed he had to put up with Saul. What happened after the Spirit descended on Jesus at his baptism?
The Spirit immediately drove Jesus out into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil. He launched out into public ministry where he faced intense opposition and the relentless demands of the crowds. Then he goes to a cross where he suffers and dies in agony—no crown yet.
There was a great struggle between the day of Christ’s anointing and the day when he rose from the dead and ascended in power and glory to take his seat on the throne. The pattern for David was the pattern for Jesus, and the pattern for Jesus will be the pattern for us!
Christ gives you a new heart. He fills you with his Spirit. Then it’s back into the world with all its pressures and relentless demands – back to that difficult marriage, that secular school, that hostile environment. Why? To honor Christ there!
So Christ offers us a new heart, a new spirit, and a new struggle. Saul had none of them. David had all of them. Saul lived with a crown, and in the end he lost it. David lived without a crown, but in the end he gained it.
Which of these two would you rather be?[Based on the sermon series "A Tale of Two Kings"]
For more resources by Colin Smith visit Unlocking the Bible, where you can request a free sample of LifeKEYS Daily devotional, listen to the radio program, or browse other gospel-centered, Christ-exalting resources. You can also follow Colin on Twitter.