by Thomas Watson
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (v.9)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
“They shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9
How Christians should bring up their children
6. The sixth particular, is the honor and renown of God’s children. For the illustration of this, observe two things:
I. God makes a precious account of them.
2. He looks upon them as people of honor.
1. God makes a PRECIOUS account of them. ‘Since you were precious in my sight’ (Isaiah 43:4). A father prizes his child above his estate. How dearly did Jacob prize Benjamin! His ‘life was bound up in the life of the lad’ (Genesis 44:30). God makes a precious valuation of his children. The wicked are of no account with God. They are vile people. ‘I will prepare your grave, for you are vile’ (Nahum 1:14). Therefore the wicked are compared to chaff (Psalm 1:4), to dross (Psalm 119:119). There is little use of a wicked man while he lives—and no loss of him when he dies! There is only a little chaff blown away, which may well be spared. But God’s children are precious in his sight. They are his jewels (Malachi 3:17). The wicked are but lumber which serves only to ‘cumber the ground’. But God’s children are his jewels locked up in the cabinet of his decree from all eternity. God’s children are ‘the apple of his eye’ (Zechariah 2:8), very dear and very tender to him, and the eyelid of his special providence covers them. The Lord accounts everything about his children, to be precious.
Their NAME is precious. The wicked leave their name for a curse (Isaiah 65:15). The names of God’s children are embalmed (Isaiah 60:15). So precious are their names that God enters them in the book of life, and Christ carries them on his breast. How precious must their name needs be, who have God’s own name written upon them! ‘Him who overcomes, I will write upon him the name of my God’ (Revelation 3:12).
Their PRAYERS are precious. ‘O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet’ (Canticles 2:14). Every child of God is this dove. Prayer is the voice of the dove, and ‘this voice is sweet’. The prayer of God’s children is as sweet to him as music. A wicked man’s prayer is as the ‘howling’ of a dog (Hosea 7:14). The prayer of the saints is as the singing of the bird. The finger of God’s Spirit touching the lute-strings of their hearts—they make pleasant melody to the Lord. ‘Their sacrifices shall be accepted upon my altar’ (Isaiah 56:7).
Their TEARS are precious. Their tears drop as pearls from their eyes. ‘I have seen your tears’ (Isaiah 38:5). The tears of God’s children drop as precious wine into God’s bottle. ‘You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book’ (Psalm 56:8). A tear from a broken heart, is a present for the King of heaven!
Their BLOOD is precious. ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints’ (Psalm 116:15). This is the blood which God will chiefly make inquisition for. Athaliah shed the blood of the king’s children (2 Kings 11:1). The saints are the children of the most High God, and such as shed their blood shall pay dear for it. ‘You have given their murderers blood to drink. It is their just reward’ (Revelation 16:6).
2. God looks upon his children as people of HONOR. ‘Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and I love you.’ (Isaiah 43:4).
God esteems them honorable. He calls them a crown and a royal diadem (Isaiah 62:3). He calls them his glory: ‘Israel my glory’ (Isaiah 46:13)
God makes them honorable. As a king creates dukes, marquises, earls, barons etc., so God installs his children into honor. He creates them noble people, people of renown. David thought it no small honor to be the king’s son-in-law. ‘Who am I that I should be son-in-law to the king?’ (1 Samuel 18:18). What an infinite honor is it to be the children of the High God, to be of the blood-royal of heaven! The saints are of an ancient family. They are sprung from ‘the Ancient of days’ (Daniel 7:9). That is the best pedigree, which is fetched from heaven! Here the youngest believer is an heir, a co-heir with Christ who is heir of all (Hebrews 1:2; Romans 8:17). Consider the honor of God’s children positively and comparatively.
Consider the honor of God’s children POSITIVELY. They have TITLES of honor. They are called ‘kings’ (Revelation 1:6); ‘the excellent of the earth’ (Psalm 16:3); ‘vessels of honor’ (2 Timothy 2:21).
They have their ESCUTCHEON. You may see the saints’ escutcheon or coat of arms. The Scripture has set forth their heraldry. Sometimes they give the lion in regard of their courage (Proverbs 28:1). Sometimes they give the eagle in regard of their sublimeness. They are ever flying up to heaven upon the two wings of faith and love. ‘They shall mount up with wings as eagles’ (Isaiah 40:31). Sometimes they give the dove in regard of their meekness and innocence (Canticles 2:14). This shows the children of God, to be people of renown.
Consider the honor of God’s children COMPARATIVELY. This comparison is double. Compare the children of God with Adam; with the angels.
Compare the children of God with Adam in a state of innocence. Adam was a person of honor. He was the sole monarch of the world. All the creatures bowed to him as their sovereign. He was placed in the garden of Eden, which was a paradise of pleasure. He was crowned with all the contentments of the earth. Nay more, Adam was God’s living picture. He was made in the likeness of God himself. Yet the state of the lowest of God’s children by adoption—is far more excellent and honorable than the state of Adam was, when he wore the robe of innocence, for Adam’s condition, though it was glorious yet it was mutable—and was soon lost! Adam was a bright star—yet a falling star.
But God’s children by adoption are in an unalterable state. Adam had a possibility of standing—but believers have an impossibility of falling; once adopted, they are forever adopted. As Isaac said, when he had given the blessing to Jacob, ‘I have blessed him—and he shall be blessed!’ (Genesis 27:33). So may we say of all God’s children, they are adopted, and they shall be adopted! So that God’s children are in a better and more glorious condition now than Adam was, in all his regal honor and majesty.Let us ascend as high as heaven and compare God’s children with the glorious and blessed angels. God’s children are equal to the angels, in some sense above them, so that they must be people of honor.
God’s children are equal to the angels. This is acknowledged by some of the angels themselves. ‘I am your fellow-servant’ (Revelation 19:10). Here is a parallel made between John and the angel. The angel says to John, ‘I am your fellow-servant.’
The children of God by adoption are in some sense above the angels, and that two ways. The angels are servants to God’s children (Hebrews 1:14). Though they are ‘glorious spirits’—yet they are ‘ministering spirits’. The angels are the saints’ servants. We have examples in Scripture of angels attending the people of God’s children. We read of angels waiting upon Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Mary etc. Nor do the angels only render service to God’s children while they live—but at their death also. Lazarus had a convoy of angels to carry him into the paradise of God. Thus we see the children of God have a pre-eminence and dignity above the angels. The angels are their servants both living and dying; and this is more to be observed, because it is never said in Scripture that the children of God are servants to the angels.
God’s children are above the angels, because Christ by taking their nature has ennobled and honored it above the angelic nature. ‘He in no wise took the nature of angels’ (Hebrews 2:16). God by uniting us to Christ has made us nearer to himself than the angels. The children of God are members of Christ (Ephesians 5:30). This was never said of the angels. How can they be members of Christ, who are of a different nature from him? Indeed metaphorically Christ may be called the head of the angels, as they are subject to him (1 Peter 3:22). But that Christ is head of the angels in that near and sweet conjunction, as he is head of the believers, we nowhere find in Scripture. In this respect therefore I may clearly assert that the children of God have a superiority and honor even above the angels! Though by creation they are ‘a little lower than the angels’—yet by adoption and mystical union, they are above the angels!
How may this comfort a child of God in the midst either of calumny or poverty! He is a person of honor. He is above the angels. A gentleman who is fallen to decay will sometimes boast of his parentage and noble blood. Just so, a Christian who is poor in the world—yet by virtue of his adoption—he is of the family of God. He has the true blood-royal running in his veins. He has a fairer coat of arms to show than the angels themselves.