I don’t like the way Spurgeon often spiritualizes the OT (probably the result of his reading the OT in light of the NT). However, I’ve never read anything unorthodox from him; I just don’t care for his exegetical method all the time. That said, Spurgeon says some great thing about this passage in his Treasury of David–
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward”
[God] gives children, not as a penalty nor as a burden, but as a favor. They are a token for good if men know how to receive them, and educate them. They are ‘doubtful blessings’ only because we are doubtful persons. Where society is rightly ordered children are regarded, not as an incumbrance, but as an inheritance; and they are received, not with regret, but as a reward.
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.”
To this end we must have our children in hand while they are yet children, or they are never likely to be so when they are grown up; and we must try to point them and straighten them, so as to make arrows of them in their youth, lest they should prove crooked and unserviceable in after life. Let the Lord favor us with loyal, obedient, affectionate offspring, and we shall find in them our best helpers. We shall see them shot forth into life to our comfort and delight, if we take care from the very beginning that they are directed to the right point.
When sons and daughters are arrows, it is well to have a quiver full of them; but if they are only sticks, knotty and useless, the fewer of them the better.
Moreover, a quiver may be small and yet full; and then the blessing is obtained. In any case we may be sure that a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of children that he possesseth.
“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”
Those who have many gracious children are upon the whole the happiest. Of course a large number of children means a large number of trials; but when these are met by faith in the Lord it also means a mass of love, and a multitude of joys.
O how love I thy law! it is
my study all the day:
It makes me wiser than my foes;
for it doth with me stay.
Than all my teachers now I have
more understanding far;
Because my meditation
thy testimonies are.
69 The men that are puff’d up with pride
against me forg’d a lie;
Yet thy commandments observe
with my whole heart will I.
70 Their hearts, through worldly ease and wealth,
as fat as grease they be:
But in thy holy law I take
71 It hath been very good for me
that I afflicted was,
That I might well instructed be,
and learn thy holy laws.
72 The word that cometh from thy mouth
is better unto me
Than many thousands and great sums
of gold and silver be.
The Lord our God is merciful, and he is gracious,
Long-suffering, and slow to wrath, in mercy plenteous.
He will not chide continually, nor keep his anger still.
With us he dealt not as we sinn’d, nor did requite our ill.
O bless the Lord, all ye his works,
wherewith the world is stor’d
In his dominions ev’ry where.
My soul, bless thou the Lord.
I mentioned Psalm 107:23-31 during our Sunday morning service. Here is the Scottish Psalter’s rendition, with an audio you can listen to as well. I love this tune…
Who go to sea in ships, and in
great waters trading be,
Within the deep these men God’s works
and his great wonders see.
For he commands, and forth in haste
the stormy tempest flies,
Which makes the sea with rolling waves
aloft to swell and rise.
They mount to heav’n, then to the depths
they do go down again;
Their soul doth faint and melt away
with trouble and with pain.
They reel and stagger like one drunk,
at their wit’s end they be:
Then they to God in trouble cry,
who them from straits doth free.
The storm is chang’d into a calm
at his command and will;
So that the waves, which rag’d before,
now quiet are and still.
Then are they glad, because at rest
and quiet now they be:
So to the haven he them brings,
which they desir’d to see.
O that men to the Lord would give
praise for his goodness then,
And for his works of wonder done
unto the sons of men!