An Arrow in Hand

a bearded man holding a bow and arrow
a bearded man holding a bow and arrow
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

At the heart of this psalm in verse 4 is a martial image which presents the theology of dominion in poetic form. A comparison is made between warriors and fathers and arrows and children. As the martial image is extended in verse 5 the theology of dominion is clarified in the portrayal of the warrior who packs his quiver full of covenant arrows prepared for launching into the city gates with an aim to conquer Christ’s enemies and build the kingdom of God. This message explores the duty of godly fathers to train up a covenant family in faithfulness in order to extend his spiritual impact through the multiplication of responsible covenant servants who will themselves multiply, fill the earth, and take dominion over the earth for Christ.

Unless the Lord builds the house,

They labor in vain who build it;

Unless the Lord guards the city,

The watchman keeps awake in vain.

It is vain for you to rise up early,

To retire late,

To eat the bread of painful labors;

For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,

The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,

So are the children 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.

psalm 127