Arrows in the Hand of a Warrior
Sunday, 12 September 2010 13:13
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them...” (Psa. 127:4-5).
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The psalmist left us an amazing picture in words describing what children should be to those who bear them.The power of this image is realized in all that comes to mind when we ponder the arrows in the hand of this warrior—particularly his happiness at having a quiver full of them.
In so many ways this picture is contrary to our modern way of thinking. Children cost money. Children are inconvenient. Children take time. Children require energy. Yet, for this warrior, they are a blessing and only a blessing. They are something for which to be thankful.
The image of the arrow is a striking one. An arrow in the hand of a statesman or another similar profession paints a different picture than an arrow in the hand of a warrior. These arrows have a specific purpose. They are not ornamental or decorative. They are meant to be shot from a bow. They are meant to leave the quiver at some point. They have been carefully crafted, fletched, sharpened and honed by the warrior for just that reason. What are we doing to prepare our children to leave the quiver and take flight in the great big world (cf. Eph. 6:4)? In whose image have we crafted our children (cf. Col. 3:8-11))? The fletching often bore the mark of its owner. Whose fletching do your children wear (cf. John 8:42-47)? Have they been sharpened and honed to fly straight and true and fulfill their ultimate and eternal purpose in this world (cf. Eccl. 12:13)?
It adds further to the picture when we consider that in order to be shot from a bow, an arrow must be aimed at a target. At what target are we aiming our children (cf. Phil. 3:14)? Before we can point them at a target, we must first be capable of hitting that target ourselves. It is folly to think we can just point our children at a target, tell them to go, all the while ourselves heading in the completely opposite direction. Are we setting the example our children need (cf. Matt. 18:6)?
An arrow in the hand of a righteous man has a much different purpose than an arrow in the hand of a wicked man. This warrior is pictured as having received the blessings of God (Psa. 127:3). An arrow in a righteous warrior’s hand will be used to slay wickedness, in all its forms. An arrow in the hand of a wicked warrior will be used to slay righteousness, in all its forms. Are we sending our children into the world to slay wickedness or are we sending them to slay righteousness (cf. 2 Kings 21:20; 22:2; et al)?
The arrow is meant to be fired in such a way that it goes out and accomplishes its intended task bringing satisfaction to the warrior. At times, those arrows pierce the very heart of the warrior who shot them from his bow (cf. Prov. 17:25). It may be the result of an arrow that falls short of its target. It may be the result of an arrow gone astray—perhaps picked up by another warrior and fired back at its owner. Maybe the environment the arrow is fired into is not taken into consideration and this influences the arrow in a disappointing and unfortunate way. There may not be a visible explanation, only the painful wound of an arrow that has missed its mark (i.e., sinned).
For this reason we must make our aim sure and true when we send our children out into this world. Let us carefully craft them, hone them, and train them on the target the Lord God, who gave them to us and wants us to raise godly offspring to glorify Him. Let them be a great joy to us. Let us be like that happy man who has his quiver full of them. As the apostle John wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4).