What a blessing it has been since July of last year to be searching the Scriptures for Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian.
How wonderful that our last word AWAKE is a springboard ~ A to B ~ onto our next word BABE. Let us think of waking from the dead in trespasses and sin to new life as babes in the heavenly kingdom.
There are three different words for babe in the Old Testament and two in the New Testament.
From the Old Testament, we find the babe Moses in a basket in the river (Exodus 2:6), and in the New Testament we see Jesus, the babe in a manger (Luke 2:12; Luke 2:16).
H5288 as in Exodus 2:6 (babeMoses)
A masculine noun na`ar nah’·ar meansa; boy, lad, servant, youth, retainer
H5768`owlel ō·lāl’; child, boy
from H5763; a suckling:—babe, (young) child, infant, little one.
“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings
hast thou ordained strength
because of thine enemies,
that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.”
Early church history records many amazing instances of the testimony of children for the truth of God, but perhaps more modern instances will be the most interesting.
Fox tells us, in the Book of Martyrs, that when Mr. Lawrence was burnt in Colchester, he was carried to the fire in a chair, because through the cruelty of the Papists, he could not stand upright, several young children came about the fire, and cried as well as they could speak, “Lord, strengthen thy servant, and keep thy promise.” God answered their prayer, for Mr. Lawrence died as firmly and calmly as anyone could wish to breathe his last.
One more instance is still nearer to our time. In a postscript to one of his letters, in which he details his persecution when first preaching in Moorfields, Whitfield says, “I cannot help adding that several little boys and girls, who were fond of sitting round me on the pulpit while I preached, and handed to me people’s notes–though they were often pelted with eggs, dirt, &c., thrown at me–never once gave way; but on the contrary, every time I was struck, turned up their little weeping eyes, and seemed to wish they could receive the blows for me.
He who delights in the songs of angels is pleased to honour himself in the eyes of his enemies by the praises of little children. What a contrast between the glory above the heavens, and the mouths of babes and sucklings! yet by both the name of God is made excellent. Spurgeon
Psalm 17:14 speaks of men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and who leave the rest of their substance to their babes.
H8586 ta`aluwl tah·al·ül’; wantonness, caprice, vexation
From H5953; caprice (as a fit coming on), i.e. vexation; concretely a tyrant:—babe, delusion.to act severely, deal with severely, make a fool of someone
In their rebellion, Israel would experience fulfillment of the Lord’s promise,
“And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.” Isaiah 3:4
G3516 nēpios nā’-pē-os; an infant, little child; a minor, not of age, metaphorically, childish, untaught, unskilled.
Jesus quotes Psalm 8:2 when the people are shouting “Hosanna.”
“And (the Pharisees) said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” Matthew 21:16
Paul speaks in Romans 2:20 of one who is an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
Paul and the writer of Hebrews speak of immature Christians
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:1
“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” Hebrews 5:13
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father,
Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”
Matthew 11:25 and Luke 10:21
How blessed are those who come in humility to learn of Christ and the things of His kingdom ~ things not revealed to the wise and prudent of this world. These words Jesus spoke before His invitation, “Come to me.”
G1025 brephos bre’-fos;an unborn child, embryo, a foetus
The same word is used for infants and children, but especially of the unborn child in Luke 1:41 when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe (John) leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
“For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation
sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby:
1 Peter 2:2
Dear Father in heaven, whose glory outshines the brightest star, we thank you. For new Life in Christ that satisfies more than any earthly joy, we praise you. How can we express appreciation for your Word and Spirit that enables us to grow in grace and knowledge of you? Work it in us, I pray. In Jesus’ precious and Holy name. Amen.