Little Child Shall Lead Them"
Through the telescopic insight of prophecy
Isaiah foresees the nature of the Messianic kingdom, which we know as Christ
kingdom, which is no less than his church. In the following verses Isaiah
describes the nature of Christ kingdom and the ultimate goal of Christ’s
A shoot will come up from the
stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of
the LORD will rest on him--the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the
Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear
of the LORD-- 3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he
sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with
righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions
for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his
mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness
will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the
lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and
the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 7 The cow will
feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will
eat straw like the ox. 8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. 9 They will neither
harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of
the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse
will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him,
and his place of rest will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach
out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people
from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam,
from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. NIV
The clarity of Isaiah teaching that
a little child shall lead those in the Messianic kingdom becomes evident
in Jesus’ teaching.
13 Then little children were
brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them.
But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
14 Jesus said, "Let the little
children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven
belongs to such as these." 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he
went on from there. NIV
When Jesus came they were refusing to believe
in him in spite of his works. They accused him of gluttony, being a drunkard,
and of being a friend of sinners. He told them their wisdom was proved
right by her action. If the works he had done were done in Sodom they would
have repented long ago. When Jesus was rejected he prayed saying, "I
praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these
things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure" (Matthew 11:25-26).
Who were the children to whom God revealed
his truth? "He called a little child and had him stand among them.
And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like
little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore,
whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom
of heaven" (Matthew 18:2-4). It is obvious those children to whom God
revealed his truth were those who humbled themselves as little children
to listen to Jesus.
Jesus was active in the synagogues as
a child. On one occasion Jesus was found in the synagogue after
he had been missing for three days at the age of twelve. When they found
him in the temple courts, "he was sitting among the teachers, listening
to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at
his understanding and his answers" (Luke 2:46-48 NIV). No doubt about
it, he was God, but more importantly he came as one of us to exemplify
a way of life.
There are four qualities that children
possess that must lead members of Christ church today. These qualities
will not make us childish but childlike. These qualities that most all
children possess can lead us to maturity. Isn’t it odd that children can
lead us to maturity?
Lead Us in Humility
Jesus says whoever shall humble himself
as a little child is great in kingdom (Matthew 18:4). A child is
the epitome of humility. God resist the proud, but gives grace to the humble
(James 4:6). Jesus put humility at the top of the list of his prerequisites
for entering the kingdom of heaven when he said "Blessed are the poor in
Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God" (Matthew 5:3). Poor in spirit
was Jesus’ definition for humility.
There is no way we can serve God without
humility. Pride puts us into an anti God state because God resists
the proud. Listen to Jesus rebuke pride:
8 "But you are not to be called
'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do
not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in
heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher,
the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever
exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
13 "Woe to you, teachers of
the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in
men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter
who are trying to. NIV
Someone said that humility is not thinking
too little of one’s self; humility is just not thinking of one’s self.
2 Do you see a man wise in
his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool
than for him. NIV
2 Let another praise you, and
not your own mouth;
someone else, and not your
own lips. NIV
God seeks to keep us humble. God’s
work in Paul’s personal life was directed toward creating humility.
2 Corinthians 12:6-10
6 Even if I should choose to
boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But
I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I
do or say.
7 To keep me from becoming conceited
because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn
in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded
with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is
sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore
I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's
power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses,
in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I
am weak, then I am strong. NIV
Have you ever watched how some people
turn display windows in stores into mirrors? They are not looking
at what is on display, but they are looking at the reflection of themselves.
A man who is struck on himself is stuck with himself, and nobody wants
24 Also a dispute arose among
them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to
them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise
authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to
be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest,
and the one who rules like the one who serves. NIV
You have seen those American flag stickers
on cars that say, "We are Proud!" Those stickers scare me. Pride
always leads to our downfall! We need humility more than pride.
Zechariah writes, "The pride of Jordan is
spoiled" (Zechariah 11:3). "The pride of Assyria shall be brought down:
(Zechariah 10:11). That prophecy came true. Pride shall always be brought
down. God says , "I will cut off the pride of the Philistines" (Zechariah
2 When pride comes, then comes
but with humility comes wisdom.
8 Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better to be lowly in spirit
and among the oppressed
than to share plunder with
the proud. NIV
Lead Us In A Forgiving Spirit
Nothing displays a child like attitude
more than forgiveness.
1 Corinthians 14:20
20 Brethren, be not children
in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding
be men. KJV
1 Peter 2:1-3
2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves
of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may
grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is
If we would be, not only like a little child,
but as "newborn babes," we must "lay aside all malice, and all guile and
hypocrisies, and envies, and evil speaking," so that we may grow up. To
be forgiving is to be God-like.
31 Get rid of all bitterness,
rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just
as in Christ God forgave you. NIV
Children don’t generally hold grudges.
Those who do, have been taught to do so by the example seen in older people.
Children playing together often get mad, but, as time passes the anger
is soon forgotten and they are back to playing together. All is forgiven.
Wouldn’t this world be a better place if we would follow the example of
Rebuke an older person and see what
happens. They usually hold a grudge. They become resentful and
bitter. It is a battle for the corrected to have the right attitude toward
the one who corrected him.
Children know how to work out their differences.
A child is a great example in forgiveness.
Leads In Sincerity
Children lead the world in sincerity.
They often are so frank they embarrass their parents. This past week my
three year old granddaughter, Skylay, was very plain spoken to her other
grandpa. She was visiting him in Virginia. She doesn’t get to see him as
often as she sees me. He came into the room where Skylar was. He asked
her to come to grandpa and you want believe what she said, "My other grandpa
is better!" He handled it well. He simply said, "I am sure he is but this
grandpa wants to see you too." Of course, her parents regret that she said
that, I also regret it. But her other grandpa took it in great stride.
We are all laughing about it.
A child is sincere. They tell it like it is
without shading the facts. Sincerity leads us not to say one thing and
mean another. We can’t hide anything from God; let us not hide anything
from one another.
14 "Now therefore, fear the
LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which
your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve
the LORD! NKJV
8 For God is my witness, how
greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. 9 And this
I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and
all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent,
that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, NKJV
9 Love must be sincere. Hate
what is evil; cling to what is good. NIV
When you try to make an impression that
is the impression you leave. We are called upon to prove the sincerity
of our love (2 Corinthians 8:8). When a compliment is passed, or a criticism
offered, there must be sincerity. When a song of praise is sung, or a prayer
is uttered, there must be sincerity. There must be genuineness in all that
we do. May a little child lead us in this matter of true honesty!
Leads In Confiding Trust
Children have a tremendous confidence
in their parents. If a child has a dad that is mechanically minded
the child believes the child can fix anything. Children believe that there
isn’t anything their parents can’t do.
In times of need a child doesn’t seem to question
where the next meal is coming from. Children trust there will be food on
the table. .
A little boy once asked his father to
buy him something expensive. He was unable to do so, so he attempted
to explain by saying, "That takes money, and I just don’t have it." He
quickly replied, "Go to the bank, and get it." The rebuttal was, "You have
to have money in the bank, before you’re allowed to draw any out." With
an unwavering confidence he innocently said, "Well, Daddy, go put some
money in the bank!" Why can’t we have that same confidence in God?
When you pray do you have implicit confidence
in God’s ability to grant your request? Just how strong is your
faith? Abraham staggered not at the promises of God; he was fully persuaded
that God could perform the impossible.
16 Let us then approach the
throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find
grace to help us in our time of need. NIV
Children often try to be like their parents.
The way they dress, the way they talk. My oldest grandson talks just like
his dad. His sister sounds just like her mother. When they answer the phone,
I have to figure out to whom I am speaking. Our children imitate us in
the way they live. Are you seeking to imitate them in humility, forgiveness,
sincerity, and a confiding trust?
"Last night my little boy confessed to me
Some childish wrong;
And kneeling at my knee,
He prayed with tears:
‘Dear God make me a man,
Like Daddy—wise and strong!
I know you can.
Then while he slept,
I knelt beside his bed,
Confessed my sins,
And prayed with low bowed head:
‘O God, make me a child,
Like my child, here—
Trusting you with faith sincere."
Learn these qualities from your children when
they are small. It will make all the difference in the world when they
grow up and start imitating you.