Ethan Hansen

Pastor Ethan Hansen

The text of the Declaration of Independence was ratified on July 4, 1776. The colonists felt unfairly taxed, watched over like children and ignored in their attempts to effect change. The second sentence of the declaration reads, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The Declaration of Independence is one of the greatest documents ever written. What can we do today to strengthen our nation? America today faces many challenges. Almost every problem facing America today is a result of the breakdown of the family. Strong families produce strong nations. Perhaps the greatest calling in our lives today is to strengthen our families.

Psalm 127 focuses on the godly family. This psalm provides four insights into producing a strong family. The first insight is that God must be the builder of any family. Verse 1 reads, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”

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A family is not built with a hammer and nails. God must be the architect and the builder. Jesus quoted Genesis 2 when He said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one” (Matthew 19:5). Marriage is not a social construct. It did not originate in the mind of man but in the mind of God. God builds a family through Scripture. As we read and obey the Bible God begins to work! If God is the builder we must pay attention to Him!

Recently a Bible once owned by Abraham Lincoln resurfaced 150 years after his death. Lincoln was once known as the village atheist. As the terrible Civil War unfolded, his faith grew and deepened. Lincoln wrote, “In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it, we would not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

The second insight in Psalm 127 is that God is the protector of the family. Verse 1 says, “Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.” A strong military is important but ultimately our trust is in the Lord. His invisible hand protects and strengthens. An old German proverbs says, “Everything depends on the blessing of God.”

The third insight is that the Lord is the provider. Verse 2 reads, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives His beloved even in his sleep.” We are expected to work. Jesus worked as a carpenter for most of his life. Jesus even provided for his five brothers and sisters and his mother after the death of Joseph. But God is the One Who ultimately provides for His people.

Solomon in Psalm 127 warned against burning the candle at both ends, neglecting one’s family and forgetting about God. As Christians our focus is never on loving money. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.” David wrote, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). We work hard. Work is a gift from God. God provides often through our hard work as an expression of His love for us.

The fourth insight is that God is the rewarder. Verse 3 states, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is His reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children’s of one’s youth. 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.”

We are commanded to be fruitful and to multiply (Genesis 9:7). Children are a good thing. A father is pictured as a warrior. His children are compared to arrows. Arrows are used to defeat the enemy.

Jesus loved children. His disciples rebuked the children from coming to Jesus. Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).

Jesus became a Baby that He might grow up and die for our sins. Our greatest priority must be our families. Children are a gift from God.

Much has changed in America since 1776. The need for strong families has not changed. God has not called us today to fight the British. He has given us a much greater task- to raise strong families. As we focus on the Lord Jesus and obey the Bible, God will produce strong families.

Ethan Hansen is the pastor at Faith Bible Fellowship in Big Lake.

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