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A View from the Altar / Give me children, or else I die
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Give me children, or else I die

MadonnaandChild1

And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.  (Gen 30:1)

Worst curse you ever heard of

When Rebekah went to be the wife of Isaac, her family sent her out with a remarkable blessing, “Be the mother of thousands of millions.”  (Gen 24:60)  To most American women this sounds like a curse as freakish as it is gigantic.  Most don’t want even one diapered rug rat dripping snot and spitting up.  What kind of madness could wish for billions of them?  And why?

Writing history in advance

After recovering from our bout with the vapors, we realize their blessing was a far-sighted wish that Rebekah and Isaac should be the progenitors of a great nation.  Unfortunately, we tend to dismiss that right away as something apropos to the book of Genesis but out of place in Our Time.  Of course the patriarchs expected to be a great nation, we shrug, because it was the beginning of the world and the whole history of man lay before them.

But not so fast, says I.  There’s no indication that Rebekah’s family had any special revelation about her role in the future of the Hebrews or the coming of the Messiah.  What they had, I think, was a particular mindset about the future which made children the core of their own blessing so much so that to be without children was to be without blessing.

The question is what could account for such an attitude.  We must be careful not to read 21st century assumptions into this, such as the idea that they needed help getting around at the age of 85, so therefore they had a lot of kids.   I don’t want to distract from my central point, so suffice for now to say that the homespun retirement villa theory doesn’t hold up.  Something else was going on.

At a minimum, people don’t want to be forgotten.  The pharaohs built pyramids and the Greeks and Romans put up their fine architecture.  A succession of Mesopotamian kings put up libraries filled with tablets with their works recorded in stone, and of course there are monuments all over the world where the ancient dead clamor like Ozymandius to be heard.  It avails little, and man usually forgets history and its players.  If a memory is to be retained, it must be written on something other than stone.

The people of God decided to write history in their children.  Lots of history.  Billions of little history books.  Books written and read around the world.  And when I assess how that’s working out, I realize there’s practically nobody left on the planet who hasn’t heard of Abraham and Sarah.  And get the contrast: is there anyone other than a professional historian who could name the first ruler of the Akkadian empire?  Quickly now, name any of the sons of Sargon-II.  And who were the sons of Abraham?  And which method of keeping records seems to be working better, erecting monuments or building people?

A different way to write history in advance

Demographics alone doesn’t rule the nations, but it plays a big part.  If people have a lot of kids who have a lot of kids, they end up taking over everything.  The Egyptians were famously afraid of Israel doing that, and now the West is afraid of the Moslems doing it.  And it’s not that hard to understand.  If Culture A features women who have eight or ten kids by age 30 while Culture B features women who have only one child by age forty-something, a couple of generations is all it takes to completely overturn the demographics.  The people with the biggest families end up ruling the future, and in that way, history gets written in advance.

The ancient Hebrews had insight about this, I think.  The Old Testament view on kids can be summed up pretty succinctly: Get married young (Prov 5:19), enjoy living with your wife (Eccl 9:9), and have a pile of kids (Psa 127:4-5).  This is certainly divine wisdom for having a satisfying life, but there’s wisdom underlying the wisdom.   Growth is a precondition for a triumphant civilization. Not only that, but when the history of a people is written well upon the hearts of its children, the history never dies out.  It can’t be forgotten because it lives on as a sort of composite personality shared by the whole population.  Along with those descendants goes the whole freight of a civilization, its religion, language, values, habits — everything, as the prophet said on another subject, written not in stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.  (2 Cor 3:3)  Without them, our civilization stops when the last of us is gone.  Give us children, or else we die.

Earth’s gelded masters

A sterile people cannot possess the world.   But that understates things drastically.  Truth is, a sterile people cannot even hold its place in the world, however small.  The wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, casting up mire and dirt (Isa 57:20), and the nations vy with one other.  It is inescapable that there must be victors and vanquished.  For many centuries, the victors have been the men of the West.   But now the United States and Europe are importing great quantities of humanity just to get their necessary work done.  Once the undisputed superpower, a barren and aborted America shuffles toward the nursing home of history.

freedom_go_to_hellWe at least have the advantage to be importing Mexicans and people from Central America rather than Moslems as the Europeans are obliged to do.  Speaking in generalities, our Hispanic friends are not only willing to work, but they also have no particular desire to annihilate America.  Moslems, on the other hand, have shown a notable enmity against their host countries with famous murders in the Netherlands, riots in Britain and Russia, areas of France off limits to the native French, terrorist kidnappings in the Philippines, and of course, the 9/11 events in America.  In Europe, the demographic reversal has begun, and I would not want to be there when things finally do reach the point where native Europeans are dhimmi in the land of their fathers.  Ditto Russia.  These countries are declining.  They are losing their own places in the world, and now America stands in doubt.  The abortion generation has no starch left and lives for panen et circenses, bread and circus.  It is a schizoid people that craves sex and loathes children.

God’s people

The church, more infected with secular philosophy than it knows (Col 2:8),  has absorbed this world’s warped way of seeing the cosmos as an arena for personal pleasure.  Even the Gospel is often presented not as salvation from eternal judgment, but as a technique for getting what you really want.  Such a belief says, “Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich, and the future can jolly well take care of itself!”  But I am afraid we are bequeathing to our scant heirs a future which cannot be taken care of.

The bride of Christ has a higher calling than this.  May the gracious Lord grant to us wisdom that sees the future generations as an unspoiled field of harvest for the Gospel and ourselves as raising up the ministers who will preach to them.  The Hebrew writer said that one key to the faith of the patriarchs was their understanding that they could not be made complete without their posterity:

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise, God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.  (Heb 11:39-40)

Such faith has changed the world before and will do so again.  Christians of this American generation must realize that unless God gives us children, we shall die, and unless we get to work with the talents God gave us, he will take them away and give them to others.

One Comment

  1. Michael

    Hey, have you seen this news article?
    New details about Michael Jackson’s Death Emerge
    I was wondering if you were going to blog about this…

    Posted on 26-Jun-09 at 1:45 am | Permalink

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