Psalm 127 “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.”
What an incredible metaphor for children – arrows in the hand of a warrior! But first this Psalm of Solomon begins with the idea that trying to live life without God is useless and futile – Solomon calls it “vain”. This parallels his message in Ecclesiastes well. Trying to build a house, trying to guard a city, and trying to work laboriously without God in the midst of our efforts is profitless. God, the sovereign One, is the Author of meaning and purpose and effectiveness in every aspect of our lives … including the rearing and releasing of children.
The last three verses are rich with meaning in this picture of training and protection and provision with respect to children. The parent is the “warrior” … the Archer; and his offspring are 1) a “gift of the LORD”, 2) a “reward”, and 3) “arrows” in his hand. So much emphasis is placed on the arrows when we read supplemental material on this beautiful psalm; but to me the arrows will only be effective if employed properly, and that is only accomplished with training, knowledge, and skill from the Archer whose trust is in the LORD.
Arrows are designed for flight to a definitive target, and they each have a specific use and function; for a quiver can have several different types of arrows. If the Archer does not draw the arrow fully with a strong and steady hand, and if he does not release the arrow smoothly with a keen and focused eye, then it will either miss the target or not fully accomplish its purpose. The Archer must be intentional and adept, engaged and on mission – again he is the one who makes the arrows effective … with the blessings of God at the center of his efforts.
Yes … the Archer gets my full attention in this Psalm. And blessed is the Archer whose quiver is full of arrows. I want to be an expert Archer who launches his children smoothly and effectively … and On Target! What about you?