May 12, 2016
The Prophet Isaiah had to deliver a lot of negative news to the Israelites as God declared His plan to discipline them for their rebellion. But throughout the Book of Isaiah, there are glimpses of the promise that eventually Messiah Jesus will come and all will be at Peace.
Chapter 11 is one of those bright spots that describe unity among people as well as animals. Imagine a wolf and a lamb living together, or a leopard and a goat. In the context of this happy future is the statement: “A little child will lead them.” My mental picture includes a caption: “Dwelling together in unity.”
I have been pondering the example of children and what they can teach us about getting along with each other. Two children can have a disagreement over just about anything – wanting the same toy, desiring the same play space, needing the attention of the same adult or thinking the other one has the bigger snack. It may take an adult to talk them through their issue, but very quickly they will make up and play together as the best of friends. The problem is temporary.
Unless taught to think differently, children do not notice skin color or accent. Physical appearance does not matter. There is an acceptance among children that is refreshing.
Somewhere during the course of adding years to life experience, the differences seem to become important. Teens worry about looks and clothing along with the ability to be the best in sports and music. Young adults vie for position in career options. Married people hold grudges and play power games. Leaders are willing to say ugly things about people who get in the way of their success.
Jesus said that we need to become like a child in order to trust Him. I think that implies the need to put aside our selfish tendencies and focus on His greatness. It is amazing what can be accomplished when we serve with joy and do not care who gets the credit. I enjoy watching children get excited over the accomplishments of their peers. We can learn from their example.
Pastor Bill Ehmann