The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.
Psalm 127:4 says, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.”
This verse may be a little strange at 1st glance, but it makes sense when you put it in the historical context. You see, in ancient times, a “warrior” was nothing without his “arrows”; if he went into battle without his bow and arrow, he might as well surrender or paint a bulls eye on his stomach, stand still and wait to be killed. He was a sitting duck, as they say.
Just as a “warrior” is nothing without his weapons, so a husband is parent is nothing without children. Parents need the support of their children. They need their metaphorical arrows, because they cannot go at this thing along. One day, they are going to need more support than they are able to manage on their own. Sometimes children can protect their older parents just like arrows can protect a warrior. Children are like arrows in a number of ways:
- Like an arrow, children are for protection. Children can help protect their older parents later in life. They can strengthen them when they are weary, assist them when they are weak, etc.
- Like an arrow, children need to be carefully prepared and shaped. You couldn’t buy arrows at a sporting goods store in Solomon’s day. You have to cut them from trees, sharpen them, shape them, etc. Children are the same way. Children need to be nurtured and trained and molded in order to be affective in life. Solomon wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6). You don’t shape and direct your kids well and equip them for life by sitting them in front of a TV for four hours a day. Derek Kidner warns, “It is not untypical of God’s gifts that first they are liabilities, or at least responsibilities, before they become obvious assets. The greater their promise, the more likely that these sons will be a handful before they are a quiverful.” Children don’t become straight arrows without being shaped.
- Like an arrow, children need to be well aimed and directed. Children don’t always know the path to take, just like an arrow. You have to guide them and point them in the right direction.
- Like an arrow, children are to be sent with all power. When children leave the home, they need to be sent out with encouragement, support and the ability to survive. What good is an arrow, if he is equipped with everything he needs to survive if life and be responsible and then told to go live in the basement until he is 30? You can lose your kids if you hang onto them like that.
Then Solomon says, “Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! …” (Psalm 127:5).