A common pattern emerges when discussing birth control, large families and such, among other Christians who favor the liberal use of birth control. Among a number of other arguments, both great and small, for using birth control in our modern society, one such excuse of note is what I shall call the "back in those days..." excuse. I call it an excuse instead of an argument not only because an excuse is precisely what it is; but because the manner and tonality with which the birth control advocate will deploy this particular piece indicates not only an absence of Biblical knowledge (and just about every other type of knowledge), but also a complete lack of conviction and belief in their own rhetoric.
An example: "Well back in those [i.e. Biblical] days, people had to have a lot of children, because no one lived very long.".
This statement does not stand up against scrutiny of even the tamest sort. Where in the Word of God are many children considered as anything but a great blessing? Are they to be as blessings in "quantity" because so many of them will die in childhood or before their time? No! Is it not the LORD's loving will that they should continue to increase, and that none of them should perish, but obey Him and love Him and enjoy long and abundant life?
"I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore." Genesis 22:17
See then it always has been God's will that those who belong to Him, those who love Him with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their strength, that His own people would increase greatly upon the earth to fill it! Time and time again He has revealed this in His holy word! He makes no mystery or secret of it!
See our King has made His heart's desire known to all men, for through the prophet Isaiah God spoke of a New Heavens and New Earth:
"Never again will there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not live out his years;
he who dies at a hundred
will be thought a mere youth;
he who fails to reach a hundred
will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them;
they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
the works of their hands.
They will not toil in vain
or bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the LORD,
they and their descendants with them." Isaiah 65:20-23
Even so, Moses writes in psalm at the time of the Exodus:
"The length of our days is seventy years—
or eighty, if we have the strength" Psalm 90:10
Man's days in THOSE DAYS, were seventy! Or eighty for those with the strength for it! This verse alone debunks the myth of "back in those days..." assuredly and without doubt. But let us continue, for God has much more to say in His Word, concerning length of days, for it is written:
"Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess." Deuteronomy 5:33
And David spoke in psalm, confirming the Holy Word of God to be true! For it is also written:
"O LORD, the king rejoices in your strength.
How great is his joy in the victories you give! You have granted him the desire of his heart
and have not withheld the request of his lips.
You welcomed him with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
length of days, for ever and ever."Psalm 21:1-4
God alone gives length of days to His servants as a blessing, as a reward from Him! Just as He gives CHILDREN as a blessing, and as a reward from Him! It is pure foolishness to believe that the only reason for having large families was to "make up for" the ones who would die in infancy or before their time! As if God were deficient in one type of blessing, so He has to "make up for it" in other areas! No, the promise of blessings of the womb to His servants was so that they would GREATLY INCREASE AND FILL THE LAND! Fill the land with righteousness, faithfulness, mercy, that they would have hearts close to His and like His own heart! Is that not WHY God created man in His image from the very beginning? Or did He say in vain these words: "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Genesis 1:28 A command He also repeated to Noah, and to the children of Israel later.
We are without excuse! The very nature which God has placed in all mankind IS to increase, to be fruitful and multiply! And if that were not enough for the simple to learn by, He also has declared in His Word the COMMAND to be fruitful and multiply! There is no such command that we eat food, for even the most foolish man knows that if he does not eat he will die! But God DOES give the command, first to Adam, then to Noah, then to all of Israel and all who belong to Him "BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY!". The LORD has spoken.
Another such excuse is along the same lines: "Well back in those days they had to have a lot of children, to help with the farm work.".
Has the Lord Almighty only given children as a blessing of free labor? Indeed, diligent hands, and many of them are a great blessing from the King's bounty, but that is neither their end nor their purpose, and those who suggest such show themselves ignorant of God, and ignorant of the purpose of man! The ignorance of such a suggestion; to say that God gave blessings of children in abundance only to serve as farm slaves!? How debase and animalistic! How void and spiritually destitute is such a statement, and the lips who utter it! Not so the words of David, who by the Holy Spirit wrote of God's wonderful creation,... even yet so small in the womb:
"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16
Fearfully and wonderfully made! Rightly did Martin Luther speak when He said of God's creation of sexual union:
"Otherwise we would marvel at procreation as the greatest work of God, and as a most outstanding gift we would honor it with the praises it deserves."
"...for in the image of God has God made man" Genesis 9:6
"The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple." Psalm 19:7
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