Thursday, June 11, 2009

Benaiah's Dedication

Well, we didn't get very good pictures, so I don't have any to post, but the event itself was such a blessing...who needs pictures really.

We did a double dedication with another couple from church who we are close to and who have a baby just 10 weeks older than Benaiah. We each shared why we wanted to dedicate our babies to the Lord and what it all means to us. For me, the whole thing was much different than for the others because of what I went through before Benaiah was born. Jonathon shared about who Benaiah was in the Bible and what his name means. He was a mighty man who stood by David and helped build his kingdom for good. His name means "whom Jehovah has built". We had the name picked out after we had Josiah. It was one we liked and after becoming pregnant with Benaiah, we decided that if this was a boy, that would be his name. Clear through the pregnancy we had a hunch this was a boy, but couldn't figure out what the meaning of his name had to do with our family. Well, the last 4 weeks it all became clearer. God certainly used those last 4 weeks to bring growth and build Jonathon and I's faith and trust. He was also working in the lives of other families too in building their relationships with one another and learning how to serve when there is a need. Our church family experienced this and was such a huge blessing to us during this time.

Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds, they labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows;
for so He gives His beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from 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.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Oh, what a great passage. We want the builder to be Yahweh in our family. And how interesting that along with making sure that the Lord is the builder, this passage talks about children being a reward. There is blessing in having these little ones whom God has entrusted to us.
I wanted to read Psalm 118, but I had a crying baby through the whole thing, so I paraphrased it and said what it meant to me. Here is what it is says:
Psalm 118
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let Israel now say "His mercy endures forever."
Let the house of Aaron now say,
"His mercy endures forever."
I called on the Lord in distress;
The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.
The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
The right hand of the Lord is exalted;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.
The Lord has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them, and I will praise the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord, through which the righteous shall enter.
I will praise you, for you have answered me,
and have become my salvation.
The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord's doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Save now, I pray, O Lord;
O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
This chapter perfectly sums up how I felt the last 4 weeks of pregnancy. God truly was my salvation from death. Not just in a spiritual sense, but literally. His mercy was shown every day while I sat in the hospital room wondering what was going on and what was God trying to teach me through everything. His mercy really does endure forever. And with each passing day, I rejoiced in having another day to breathe, and praised Him for His marvelous works in my life.
The dedication, to me was more than just offering up to train this child according to God's Word. It was dedicating myself to continue in His ways. That is where the blessing comes from. We can dedicate our children, but if we are not committing to dedicating ourselves to walk in all that God commands us to, then we will fall short of the training that our children need to grow up with hearts that want to serve and please the Father. That's what the dedication meant to me.
And we have truly seen blessing! Blessing in our home with our children making good choices. Blessing with Jonathon continueing to make good sales to provide just we need to live. Blessing in our garden with healthy plants and animal tracks (but the animals aren't eating everything like in years past). And blessing in hearing the voice of the Lord and seeing His Scriptures come alive to us. What a marvelous work the Lord is doing in our lives! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!!!