In the 127th Psalm, the first verse is a pithy comment on the futility of what we do unless God is in our plans. Spurgeon made an interesting comment on this verse by noting how those who built the tower of Babel said, “Go to, let us build a city and a tower,” to which God promptly replied, “Go to, let us go down and confound their language.” We would surely save much frustration and wasted time if we made sure God is in our plans before we proceed. This works on a personal level and certainly on the corporate church level.
The first verse, however, is not what caught my eye. Verses 3-5 speak of the blessing of children—not just children but lots of them. According to the psalmist, the more you have the better it is. I suppose some would say he was not a mother! I also suppose this is true of grandchildren because you get the love and affection from them and when that part is through you can send them home. Obviously, the parent does not have this luxury.
When visiting our daughter Clarissa in San Diego, I wonder how she makes it work with six children. She doesn’t get any relief since seven days per week they are home. They are home-schooled which means there must be a strict regimen to make sure everything gets done decently and in order. Without observing how her home runs, you may think she wonders how verse 2 fits with the rest. She rises very early in order to have some time for Bible reading, study and prayer. Early bedtime is neither usually an option.
Does God understand these things? He does. He never steers wrongly with bad advice. Most people cannot understand what is going on with God. When visiting the market, there are many stares from those who are thinking, “What in the world is wrong with that woman? What was she thinking?” But that’s not just the world’s reaction. It’s also the same in the church. Initially it was the same from us. “Are you crazy? What could possess you to have six kids?” as if such a preposterous thought must be from the underworld. Here it is—it is biblical. It is as much a part of the word of God as John 3:16. If you can believe one part, can’t you believe it all?
The truth is she likes being a mom. She is fulfilled by motherhood which is eminently biblical. God made the woman for motherhood not corporate boardrooms (or president…). This is the rub in our society. Being parents is not as fulfilling as it should be. The more selfish you are the less time you will want to spend on the hard stuff of building a family. Most of our planning stages do not end with being fifty years old and with young children. Get them grown, get them out, and get it over.
Perhaps we need to take a step back to see if God knows what He is talking about. But don’t forget verse 1. The Lord must be in it which rules out the unconverted and the unfaithful. For members of the church, the Lord does not want many children from those who don’t care to raise them to serve Him. God is never in a plan that does not put Him at the head of every list.
Thankfully, this is what I see in my daughter. She rises early to start her day with the Lord. God is in this plan and it will not fail. Whatever you seek to build just pray you have included God so that He doesn’t say, “Let us go down and confuse them.” You will know the difference. The outcome without Him is chaos and confusion.
Pastor V. Mark Smith