One of the most prominent verses of Scripture throughout my adult life has been Psalm 127. The focus of that partucular passage is of course the sovereignty of God’s will, the vanity of man’s efforts apart from God, and the blessing which results from walking in accordance with God’s will.
Different verses of that passage have struck me more weightily at different times, but the ones highlighted in my mind recently are verses 3-5:
Beholde, children are the inheritance of the Lord, and the fruite of the wombe his rewarde. As are the arrowes in the hand of ye strong man: so are the children of youth. Blessed is the man, that hath his quiuer full of them: for they shall not be ashamed, when they speake with their enemies in the gate.
Psalms 127:3-5 GNV
(I’ve been reading the Geneva Bible, circa 1560 lately, so anyone freaking out about the spellings, that was prior to universalized spelling or grammar. And I like it. So… There.)
Anyway, that portion of Scripture has been made real to me in the bearing of fruit: that my oldest son has picked up and read (with understanding) God’s Word for the first time! I can’t even describe the joy I felt upon hearing him volunteer to read the Psalms at the breakfast table. I thought my heart would burst. I imagine this is like the feeling Mary had when she treasured those moments of baby Jesus in her heart (Luke 2:19).
It marked an important point in both our lives; until this point, he has had Scripture taught to him, poured into his heart and mind, and saturating his daily life. But now- now my baby is able to decode those holy words for himself and search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11) to find God’s truth for himself.
It is why I decided to home educate, back when I held his screaming, flailing infant body in my arms and through gritted teeth and tear-filled, sleep-deprived eyes I read aloud to him from the KJV, as it was the only thing that would bring either of us peace in those early months following his birth. I knew that I had been given the gifts of opportunity and ability to train my children to know and respond to God’s Word and the best way for me to do that was to forgo a second income and to commit myself wholly to raising my child(ren) in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
It is why I slogged painstakingly through teaching the alphabet, all the repetition of phonograms, and endless hours of reading everything from The Little Engine That Could to the collected works of W.B. Yeats; to introduce my kids to the vastness of the English language and to give them words to use and live and by which to express themselves.
It is surreal. My little man read to me from the first chapter of Romans, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
I told him, that is an important verse to remember, little dude. I can’t help feeling like in his reading of that passage, my Little Arrow was pulled from my quiver and launched straight through the enemy’s eye. He turned back to Psalm 124 and re-read it.
If the Lord had not been on our side — let Israel say — If the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us, then they would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger against us. Then the waters would have engulfed us; the torrent would have swept over us; the raging waters would have swept over us. Praise the Lord , who has not let us be ripped apart by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird from the hunter’s net; the net is torn, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of Yahweh, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalms 124:1-8 HCSB
I asked him why he liked that one so much (he’s read it at least 5 times in the last 2 days) and he said, “Because! God is my good King, and I love Him! With all my whole heart.”
And I melted into a puddle of gratitude and joy. My boy gets it. Praise God, he gets it. And I will continue to help him, and his siblings, along this path of discipleship and I look forward to his public profession of the Christian faith as he comes to know and understand more and more about Jesus Christ- his Good and Conquering King, the Faithful and True Living Word made flesh. Praise be to God!