Are children a gift or a heritage from the Lord?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Marcia, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rdwhite asked this on a different thread regarding my statement that children being a heritage from the Lord is different from being a gift:
    I was thinking of starting a thread on this earlier. I am going out of town for a few days tomorrow (with no laptop) but I'll go ahead and start it anyway.

    Psalm 127 NKJV
    The NASB does have "gift" instead of "heritage," but I think "heritage" is more applicable in context (please do not argue Bible versions).

    "Heritage" is more than a "gift" imo, especially in the OT context of Israel. I think this passage relates to the promises made to Abraham and how the Lord rewarded people in the OT by opening wombs and giving them children (also see Deut 7:13 and Gen 48:4). This is talked about in the OT but not in the NT that I know of.

    I've been told that "Unless the Lord builds the house" is not talking about a regular house, but the House of David. So the context here is Israel. The second part here about children should be interpreted as part of the first part, not separately.

    When Christians today say children are a gift from the Lord, they often cite this passage, but I am not sure that is what it is talking about or that it is applicable in the same way.

    Thoughtful comments are welcomed.
     
  2. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is part of Spurgeon's commentary on this:
    http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps127.htm
     
  3. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    And from Jamieson-Fausset-Brown on the psalm in general and on the lines about children as a heritage:
    http://jfb.biblecommenter.com/psalms/127.htm

    I think it's really helpful to let the text speak for itself and not try to make it say something it doesn't.
     
  4. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Why would there be discontinuity between the OT and the NT on this point? The Bible also says God desires godly offspring.

    Malachi 2

    14Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

    15And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
     
  5. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    don' matter to me none if they were heritage or gifts.
    I love children, and especially I love my children and their children.
    I'm proud of the ones that bear my last name, but don' love them more than those who don't.
     
  6. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    My children are my children, the product of my wife and I. They are a blessing most of the time, and sometimes a trial. They are my responsibility to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,166
    Likes Received:
    368
    From the 1828 Webster dictionary:

    heritage: 1. Inheritance; an estate that passes from an ancestor to an heir by descent or course of law; that which is inherited. In Scot's law, it sometimes signifies immovable estate, in distinction from movable.
    2. In Scripture, the saints or people of God are called his heritage, as being claimed by him, and the objects of his special care. 1 Pet.5.

    gift: A present; any thing given or bestowed; any thing, the property of which is voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation; a donation. It is applicable to any thing movable or immovable.
     
  8. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's important to apply contextual criticism here. This is an example of a Hebrew word not having an exact or perfect English translation.

    "Heritage" means something that someone is entitled to by reason of birth. "Gift" means something given voluntarily without payment in return. The word in the source text Hebrew is "nachalah". The word denotes a blessing given by God to a person, and that blessing spills over from generation to generation. A nachalah is a gift, but it's one that goes on to bless future generations. It's not just a gift that the person alone is blessed with, but it is not an inhierited entitlement either.

    Hope that clears it up.
     

Share This Page

Loading...