Is Your Quiver Full?

April 22, 2013


I must admit this is one of the hardest messages that I have ever brought because I have struggled with this over the years. In fact, as a grandfather of seven, I have had second thoughts about what I taught for years about birth control. I even offered to pay for my son-in-law’s vasectomy. I have questioned my daughter’s sanity for wanting another child and now the Lord brings me back to my first thoughts on the issue to rebuke me for my carnal thinking and acquiescence to the world’s view.
Christianity suffers from birth problems. We are not birthing and raising our own children in the faith nor are we bringing people to spiritual birth into God’s family and we wonder why we are surrounded by evil. We are twice missing His inheritance. We need to reassess to be blessed.

Ps 127:3-5
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

I do not believe that we see children as God’s inheritance anymore. It is obvious that the non-believers do not value children as they see them as polyps or growths that can be ripped and torn out at will. They can be assassinated while only partly within the birth canal and still be considered non-humans. What else can we expect from folks who think that we are only hi-tech apes? So, it is no surprise when a child is tossed into a Dumpster to die by its mother. It was an inconvenience to her, not a gift to her.
We cannot expect godly reasoning from unbelievers. It is irrational to do so, but what about believers? We do not see them as a reward either because no one can plan their inheritance. When one inherits something from someone the one leaving the inheritance determines the amount, the timing and the type of inheritance. Yet, we dictate to God what He will give us and the time He will give it to us. We say, after we are married five years we will have a child and then two years later we will have our second and last child.
Ever try doing that to a rich uncle or a parent? “Uncle, I need five thousand dollars of the fifty thousand you are going to leave me. Please send a check by Tuesday.” You may be shocked to find out you were only going to get five thousand, but now since you have ticked him off you can kiss that good-bye as well.
If children are God’s inheritance to us, should He not then be the one that determines how much of an inheritance we receive and when we receive it? If we believe the Word as we say we do then why do we hedge or renege on this passage? Planned parenthood once meant that if you planned on marriage you planned on parenthood.

4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.

How many arrows would a mighty man want? Enough to win the battle, at least. Since he does not know how many soldiers he will face, he is going to take all he can carry. A mighty man also knows how to use those arrows to hit his target.  So the children of our youth are given to us to aim correctly into the path of victory. How many struggles will we face, we do not know. How many children will we need to fulfill our mission? We do not know, but God does.

5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (KJV)

Blessed is the man that has his quiver full of arrows. You can be the fastest and most accurate archer in the battle, but if there are fifteen soldiers coming at you and you only have fourteen arrows you are still dead unless you get two men with one of those arrows.  In time that this Scripture was written, families stuck pretty close together. If an enemy came to you house in your old age would it not be nice to have 12 sons, at least 60 grandsons and maybe 300 great-grandsons to stand between you and the enemy? Sure beats 2 sons, 4 grandsons, and 8 great-grandsons at the most because half of your children and grandchildren could be daughters who do not feel compelled to be G. I. Janes. How many folks do you want to speak with the enemies at your gate? Churches, we do not have enough children either biological or spiritual to meet our enemies. We need more of both types! Be fruitful and fill the earth!
I already hear the arguments and I know many have tuned me out as insane. Consider these other verses. There are many passages that speak to children and the womb, but here are two.

Genesis 30:1-2
1 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.
2 And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? (KJV)

Jacob knew that while his seed was used in conception that it was ultimately God’s decision to either open or shut wombs. I have known people that have tried for years and cannot have children. Doctors have said everything was fine, but still they could not have children. Some took years before they conceived. Others just seem to smile at each other and the wife is pregnant.
There are some questions that I do not have answers for, but must leave them to God. Why does He open wombs in poverty stricken countries? Why do harlots and drug addicts have children? Why do people who abuse children seem to have them easily while godly people go childless? I have some ideas on these issues, but none that I can be dogmatic about. These are just things that I must trust Him to work out. I do know that in all these situations there are testimonies of His power and grace and children are born that rise out of their bad starts. They find Him early and His power takes them places they could not have gone without Him. Whereas there are children raised in wealthy homes that become drug addicts, criminals and harlots.

Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (KJV)

Again, God said that He formed Jeremiah in the belly. Yes, He used Jeremiah’s parents, but it was He who granted conception. Sarah was way past childbearing age, but God gave her a son. Samuel’s mother did not conceive him until she prayed and dedicated him to the Lord. Therefore, we must concede that whatever part biology plays in conception it is a very small part. Unless God allows the conception, the biology does not work.
Some will argue that with fertility drugs and test tube babies that it is all a matter of biology. First, even with all the human intervention many times there is still failure. Secondly, we are told that God takes the wise of this world in their own craftiness so at the final judgment we may find that God was more involved then we imagine in the laboratories. The scientists think they are breaking away from God. As they imagine their vain thing, He laughs until the day He judges their unbelief and insolence. (Psalms 2:1-5)
Daniel predicted in the end times that knowledge or cunning would be increased. (Dan 12:4) The word does not only mean increased in abundance, but can also mean to be in authority. Indeed, does not knowledge rule the world? However, even in genetic engineering men are allowed to see God’s building blocks and play a little with them, but they cannot create their own blocks out of nothing and they never shall. They see the building blocks but they refuse to see the intelligent designer of them though it has taken years of study and intelligent design to even see those blocks. “Professing themselves to be wise they became fools,” is another fulfilled prophecy. (Romans 1:22) Play all they want they will only achieve what God allows them to achieve. God still opens and shuts the womb.
Some would argue that we are overpopulated, but actually we are just not using the land as well as we should. A few years back, someone stated that if we gave everyone a square foot place to stand the entire population of the planet could be placed within the city limits of Miami. Space is not the problem. Resources are not used properly, but that is not to say that there are not enough resources. Many alternatives are possible, but we have not found a way to make them gross as much profit for investors as the current methods. If we were as rugged as our pioneer forefathers were, we could reduce electric consumption by less use of air conditioning and heat. Figure out what Texans did for heat and cooling in the 1800’s. If we only cooled or warmed our homes a few degrees differently than what their technology allowed we would save a great deal of energy and still have it better than they did. We might even be healthier as well as wealthier and surely wiser than we are now.

This may sound odd coming from a preacher, but religion poses a problem in at least some cultures. I read an article about India. People are starving there not because of a lack of food, but because the resources are squandered due to their religion. If they would kill rats and properly manage and use the cattle they have they would free up not only enough grain to feed themselves but would also have enough to export. Unfortunately, people suffer because of their belief in karma and reincarnation. Proper management of the resources is the problem not overpopulation. In different troubled spots other countries freely distribute food and supplies, but corrupt governments prevent the people from receiving them. End the corruption and efficiently manage resources and the hungry will grow fat.
Another religious problem is Thingism. We worship things. “He who dies with the most toys wins” says a bumper sticker. That may be the main theological tenet of Thingism. Many are involved in that religion. We are a gadget and possession crazed society. We will do almost anything to get the latest and greatest thingamajig. We pay way too much and lose interest in it far too quickly but still the possession of it is the main thing especially if we are the first one on the block to get it or it is the biggest and best of its kind to date.
This religion traps us into becoming slaves to items with little lasting value and ignoring what is the true and lasting treasure, our children. Ah, but both parents work eighty hours a week a so that our children can have all the thingamajigs they want. Maybe so, but the home has gone to Hell loaded with thingamajigs while the children rebel or commit suicide. Our focus is wrong.
Sometime back at a seminar the speaker broke down the average cost of a woman’s job. Yes, cost. By the time, he broke down childcare, second cars, insurance, taxes, etc. the average woman cleared very little or actually spent more than she earned. All her job did was help with cash flow issues but profit was not an outcome. Yes, some folks do profit fiscally by the wife working, but more often than not the profit is really only the ability to buy more thingamajigs. We tend to live beyond our means regardless of how often those means are raised. In the mean time, strangers raise their children and women are frustrated and worn out. Women once outlived men by seven years, but the gap has narrowed since they have joined the rat race and adopted the bad habits of the men. Yep, “you’ve come along way, Baby!” My Black mother told me that if I was looking for the devil I should look in the kitchen because he ran the woman out. Before you fuss at the comment you should know that she raised a child alone and worked thirty-three years. She may know just a tad bit more than you think.
I do not wish to go into everything about the Women’s Lib movement here, but I do think this is a fitting place to make a point. I concur that a woman doing the same job a man is doing should receive the same pay if indeed they are doing the exact same job and are as proficient in it as the man. I have seen cases where women were in the job title, but were not performing the job. I have also seen women in jobs where they were doing better than the men. Salary adjustments should have been made in both scenarios.
Sadly, one of the goals of the movement was to end women being looked at as just sex objects. I am afraid in this area they have failed. One benefit of being a man is that I hear conversations that women would not. Having served in military, federal and private sector jobs from blue collar to management positions I have had a pretty good mix of men from which to hear their views on women. I would say that compared to how men felt about women in my parent’s day and even during my youth, men think of women as only sex objects more than ever.
In the old days, the marital roles were fairly defined and each was fairly dependent upon the other. Leaving out love and companionship, it was a fairly good corporate merge of talents. Today, men are expected to be as domestic as the women are and women have careers. Many of the men I have overheard over the years have a basic philosophy whether they know it or not. They may never set it down as such or would not answer a survey in this way, but they basically believe that the only reason they need a woman now is for sex and children.
If the man is to clean and cook in a relationship, he can do that for himself and have less to do since it is for only one person. Men will eat out everyday and be happy and let’s say that on a whole our concept of housecleaning and laundry is far different than that of a woman. At the least we can go for a longer period of time between cleaning and laundry sessions than a woman can. Men can have companionship with ESPN and the guys at the gym, bars or whatever. Many men are not into fatherhood as they once were so children are not a need to develop a relationship. So what is left? Sex. They look at a relationship from a corporate concept and all they see a woman bringing into the relationship is sex. So, at least in this area the Liberation movement has failed miserably.

In fact, I believe the converse is true as well. Since women are self-sufficient n their careers they do not need a man for that kind of support. Albeit, I have overheard many a woman say to her girlfriends that she wishes she could find a good man that would get her out of the workplace. Some miss the good old days of the Cleavers. Others realize that most men are not domesticated as they would like and they have no desire to spend thirty years trying to train one. So, what is the result? They marry or have their two children out of wedlock and then leave the marriage or the relationship having acquired what they wanted out of it.
Interestingly, I have found more men with pictures of their wives on their desks than I have found women with pictures of their husbands. Of course, the men may be coerced. C];-)}|> Anyway, it would appear that women find men as merely sex objects more today than any other time in our history. This means that no one wins in this state of affairs. No pun intended, although more and more women are linking up with married men so as to have the sex they want without the hindrance of a husband and in their estimation cut down on their risk of disease. Not a valid concept, but it is what they perceive.
It is not a complete fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 4:1, but it has some of the characteristics. As the shortage of good men increases, we may see an unofficial polygamy develop or at least an increase in the mistress practice with the knowledge and consent of all involved. I have heard wives say that they did not care where their husband got sex as long as they left them alone. Somehow, I find the old ways at least much more honorable and romantic, if not perfect.
That may have seemed like a complete divergence from the main topic, but not really. Relationships between men and women certainly determine if there is even going to be a quiver let alone a full one. I believe it was Kant that said it was a hateful sin of selfishness if a man and woman married and purposely did not have children. Kant was not a professing Christian or a theologian, but I do believe he hit on something there. Children have become a hindrance and we desire none or they are a status symbol to others to show that they “have it all.” However, many would not consider them as an inheritance from the Lord and treat them or cherish them as such.
What is your view of children? Are they God’s inheritance or a biological hindrance? Are you willing to let Him fill your quiver or will you dictate how much of an inheritance He gives you? Are things that break and rot more important than the eternal treasure God has or will give you? Do you have a false view of relationships that keep you from the blessing of a full quiver? Reassess and be blessed, my Brethren! May your quiver be as full as God wants it to be so that you can accomplish your mission and they will victoriously meet the enemies in the gate for you! Selah!

http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/is-your-quiver-full-dr-ronald-shultz-sermon-on-parenting-36585.asp

 

 

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