Plants and pillars
I don’t know about you, but personally, as a parent, I wonder what kind of Nigeria we shall leave behind for our children compared to the one our own parents delivered to us if things continue the way they are. That is why we must pray for our children and also for our Nation. It is like the experience of the Psalmist is similar to that of Nigeria. In verse 11 of Psalm 144, he prayed, ‘rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners.” This was a wise and patriotic prayer. I believe the problem of Nigeria is the problem of foreigners, whether they are in the bush, in our villages, in our cities, and, unfortunately, some of them are in power. But the Lord Who delivered the Psalmist shall equally deliver Nigeria from foreigners, whether known or unknown. These are men and women whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. May the Lord silence them (vs6). The Psalmist connected what was going on then to the future of the children, and he prayed a very powerful prayer for them and the same we must do.
That Our Sons and Daughters…. (vs12). Realising that children are not more than two i.e. sons and daughters, the Psalmist prayed for their future. He prayed that God should make them:
This is the prayer for sons. That our sons may be as “plants grew up in their youth.” Like plants, not like weeds. There are definitely some differences between plants and weeds. Weeds are not wanted; plants are prized. Weeds just grow on their own, while plants are planted. A whole wagonload of weeds is not worth anything. The best thing that can be done with the weeds is to burn them up out of the way. Unfortunately, some boys grow up like thistles, or like nettles, or like docks and there is no demand for them. They are not wanted in offices, nor in shops, nor on ships, nor in factories, or warehouses, or schools, or colleges. They are not wanted in America, or Australia, or New Zealand, not in Africa, or in fact, in any part of the world. But plants are valued in many ways. Some are prized for their beauty and fragrance. As flowers, some have healing and medicinal capabilities; and some are valued like the strawberry plants for the good fruit they bear. May all our sons grow like precious plants that are needed all over the world. Amen.
This is the prayer for our daughters that they may be “like pillars/cornerstones; sculptured/polished after the similitude of a palace.” It is a prayer that our girls should have in their characters great firmness and strength. Like a rock or a massive cornerstone, they must never be moved from the place God has appointed for them. There is a great deal of difference between a rock and a sponge or an India-rubber ball. The rock is solid, firm, and unyielding while the sponge or India-rubber ball is soft, pliable, and can be pressed into any shape whatever. Unfortunately, some girls are like sponges; they can be persuaded to do almost anything without thinking whether it is right or wrong. But may our daughters, having chosen the right way, be like a splendid cornerstone that has been placed in the wall of a building, there to abide as long as the edifice lasts. Nothing shall move them from their foundation. May all our daughters be pillars. Amen.
Fathers and mothers, it is a pleasant thing to see our sons growing up as precious and prized plants and not as weeds/thorns, while our daughters are pillars or cornerstones. If this will happen, as current and future parents,
• We have a job to do training our children/
• We have a life to live- showing a good example to them.
• We have a prayer to pray – calling on God to make them plants and pillars. We must pray that they will be beautiful, vigorous, and be free from all ungodly encumbrances. Nothing thrills me from Psalm 144 verse 12 like the phrase, “sculptured in palace style” (NKJV)/ “polished after the similitude of a palace.”(KJV) I believe both our sons and daughters are meant for the palace. Therefore, sons and daughters reading this, you are meant for the palace. Let nothing prevent you from being palace children/palatial. So, I charge you today, live as children of the palace. May you not just grow in the palace, but possess the authority and command the respect of those who live in the palace. Shalom.
Rev. Dr. Israel Kristilere, Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace &Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.
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