Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 29, 2021

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD … How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 5:25-31.  Here is a link to this Scripture –

I quote only the following verses.

“Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son.  Now he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed.”  Then Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years after he became the father of Noah, and he had other sons and daughters.  So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died.”  Genesis 5:28-31. 


“3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5.

Consider Lamech’s statement highlighted above in today’s Scripture. Are children a blessing, primarily because they work for us and thus “give us rest from our work”?

Or, are children a blessing to us primarily in other ways?

We cannot ignore that as a practical experience particularly on farms and other family-owned labor-intensive businesses which has been the majority of world history, children certainly have provided much needed labor and that has been the primary blessing that children have been to many parents throughout history. 

But now, we see fewer families on farms and other family-owned labor-intensive businesses where children provided labor.  Rather, we are confronted more with the cost of raising each child.  The United States Department of Agriculture at its official website reports:  “Based on the most recent data from the Consumer Expenditures Survey, in 2015, a family will spend approximately $12,980 annually per child in a middle-income ($59,200-$107,400), two-child, married-couple family. Middle-income, married-couple parents of a child born in 2015 may expect to spend $233,610 ($284,570 if projected inflation costs are factored in*) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise a child through age 17. This does not include the cost of a college education.”  The Cost of Raising a Child Posted by Mark Lino, Economist at the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in Food and Nutrition on Feb 18, 2020. 

Yikes!  If we walk by sight, rather than by faith, to use the title of yesterday’s devotion, we would now either have no children or fewer children.  

But, most importantly, what does Scripture state?  

In my study of Scripture, I found little to support the first view that children a blessing, primarily because they work for us and thus “give us rest from our work”.  

The closest Scripture that I found that would support the view that children a blessing, because they work for us and thus “give us rest from our work” is the following 1 Timothy 5:3-4.

“Honor widows who are widows indeed;  but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.”  1 Timothy 5:3-4.

Instead, the following Scriptures provide the dominant theme of what I found.  

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife;  and they shall become one flesh.”  Genesis 2:24. 

“Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you;  for I do not seek what is yours, but you;  for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.”  2 Corinthians 12:14.

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.” Proverbs 13:22.

Next, I point out that Bible Gateway, my online resource to the New American Standard 1995 version that I use, has the Footnote to Genesis 5:29 “Lit comfort us in”.  The King James Version of the verse is:  “29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.”  Emphasis added by Bill.

Along this comfort theme, consider the following Scripture.

“So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her.  And the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.  Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel.  May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age;  for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”  Ruth 4:13-15.

My testimony to date is that it seems to me that the biggest blessing my children, three sons, have been to me (that comes to my mind using the language in these Scriptures) is not their labor, but rather they are both a “comfort” Genesis 5:29 KJV and “a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age” Ruth 4:15.  

But, things could change for me over time, and I also do not want to neglect or diminish the importance of what other Scriptures state nor the practical experiences of other Christian parents. 

And so we do not love sons more than daughters, let us note in the preceding Scripture the reference to Ruth, Naomi’s daughter-in-law, “…  for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”  Ruth 4:15.

In conclusion, please consider the following points.

We know that not all the saints who have been blessed by God have had biological children.  They have had other blessings, and they have had spiritual children, so to speak.  Nor do we necessarily think that the more children a father and mother have, the more proportionately they are blessed by God.  So to speak, their quiver may be filled with one child or three children or ten children or different number of children. 

Above all, we trust in God, our Heavenly Father, to provide what is best for us.

“11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalm 84:11-12.


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