This article is going to be the second part on the subject of children. There is so much to cover on children that there needs to be a second part. In our last study on children, we learned that those who are older should guide them in the way of the Lord, never causing them to sin. We also learned that we as Christians need to be humble and trusting in God, just as children are with their parents. As we dive deeper into God’s word, we will learn more about children. So let us begin.
One flaw in society is that people think that children are incapable of completing God’s work for his kingdom. Which in fact, is completely contradictory with what God says. Look at 1 Samuel 2:18 which says, “But Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.” The word “ministered” here can be translated as “serve”. So as a child, Samuel served the Lord. Children are not looked upon as humans that can serve others, but clearly, God used him for a reason. And it is because he was capable even as a child to minister before the Lord.
Another example of age not being a factor in God’s kingdom is in the New Testament. Timothy, being a young man, was left in charge by Paul to establish a church in Ephesus. Why would Paul leave such a young person in charge of a whole church? I can tell you it had nothing to do with his age. It had everything to do with his knowledge of Scripture and his strong faith. 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” Paul encourages Timothy not to be discouraged by those bashing him for being young. Paul tells him to set an example to the believers. Paul had the confidence in such a young man to establish a church not because he was young, but because he had the right conduct to do so.
Jeremiah definitely knew about how the Lord uses youth to do His work. God calls Jeremiah to be a prophet in Jeremiah 1:4-7 which says, “Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.”” Here we see that God calls Jeremiah to be a prophet among the nations. But Jeremiah tells God that he cannot speak because he is only a youth. But God doesn’t seem to care whether he is young or not. God has a plan for Jeremiah and He knows Jeremiah can complete His work.
God can even make children the rulers of great nations. 2 Chronicles 34:1-2 has an interesting story to tell. It reads, “Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” Josiah was only eight years old when he reigned over Jerusalem. Eight years old! Not only that, but he stayed in the way of the Lord throughout his whole reign. He did not sway one way or the other. He was so firmly planted in his faith at such a young age, that he stayed on the path of the Lord. How impressive and wonderful that is.
As we come to a close, I hope we have learned the importance of children. This time, we looked at several examples of youths who lead the way in God’s kingdom with Samuel, Timothy, Jeremiah, and Josiah. We must learn and possess the humble and trusting characteristics of children and guide and direct children in the way of the Lord. We are supposed to teach children, but sometimes, they might just teach us something.