The phrase, “Out of the mouths of babes,” now generally refers to times when youthful innocence blurts out some truth, usually at a most inopportune time. I wonder if God doesn’t allow that to remind us that if we’re always on the “up and up,” the utterances that come out of the mouths of babes are mostly painless because, like the law, the mouths of babes hold no terror for those with nothing to hide (Romans 13: 3). As adults, any statement we’re about to make that’s merely critical, demeaning, or otherwise harmful should be kept to ourselves because that silence is golden (Ephesians 4: 29).
I also wonder if the archaic philosophy that, “children should be seen and not heard,” wasn’t designed to keep them from revealing any family secrets. Most parents know that they need to have at least one regular sensory contact with their children, however, because children that are neither seen nor heard are probably up to something and the silence can become deadly. To keep us from falling into deadly circumstances (sin), God always provides an escape route (Romans 3: 23; 6: 23; 1 Corinthians 10: 13; 15: 33; Matthew 26: 41; 1 John 1: 5-9).
If we take the way out and our actions still become public through the mouth of a babe, or by some other means, we’ll be able to stand tall and say, “Yeah, but I had the good sense to back out of that situation before it was too late,” or, “I recognized my wrong and got it straightened it out with God.“ Still, if our intentions are on the up and up (we intend to not sin), God has the power to keep us from sinning (Genesis 20: 1-7; 1 Thessalonians 5: 23, 24).
The Bible says that praise to God will come out the mouths of babes (Psalm 8: 2; Matthew 21: 16). Jesus said if they/we didn’t praise him, the rocks would (Luke 19: 37-40). God created the world in such a way that it does that whether they/we do or not (Romans 1: 19, 20).
Consequently, for the present, Christians have the responsibility to speak for God, without altering the message (1 Peter 4: 11; Revelation 22: 18, 19; Deuteronomy 6: 1, 2). Not speaking up is a matter of life and death for others and ourselves. This is silence is deadly (Galatians 2: 11-14; 6: 1, 2; 2 Timothy 4: 1, 2; 2: 24-26).
Additionally, we need to speak up on issues like the pending racino (look for further announcements about the time and place of a hearing next week), When we speak, though, we must be sure our statements are fact-based, rather than borne out of prejudice, emotionally-driven, or worse yet, based on information derived from television and movies. We also need to make sure we address issues that matter from a community improvement or protection standpoint rather than things like the specifics of how infrastructure will be funded. That should be the developers’ concern alone. I am not in favor of gambling and associated activities, but I am definitely in favor of economic growth and we need to set aside our prejudices about the “kinds” of jobs we’re willing to accept here.
Whatever the case if we have the childlike faith and innocence described by Jesus, everything will work out to God’s glory (Matthew 18: 1-5; 19: 13, 14; Romans 8: 28; Philippians 2: 12, 13). Additionally, we’ll be able to see the great things God has done for us in meeting our every need (Matthew 11: 25, 26; Acts 17: 24-27; Ephesians 1: 3-10; Romans 12: 1, 2).
Have you come to Jesus with the faith of a child, accepting his sacrifice as the wages for your sin and his plan for coming into his kingdom by receiving salvation (1 Peter 2: 22-25; 1 Timothy 2: 3-6)? Jesus’ plan is so simple that many stumble over its simplicity (1 Corinthians 1: 18-31).
We need to be like Naaman who was reminded by a young person and his other servants that if he’d been told some great feat to do to be healed of leprosy, he would’ve done it without complaining, so why not do the simple thing he’d been told to do (2 Kings 5: 1-3, 10-15; Romans 10: 9-13; Acts 22: 16; John 3: 3-5; Titus 3: 3-8). The verses just cited present the basic principles about Christ and salvation (Hebrews 6: 1-3).
Note that when Naaman followed God’s plan, he became healed – renewed – clean again, like a young man from whose lips came the true recognition of God in praise, which comes naturally out of the mouths of babes in Christ (Acts 8: 27-39)!
Leonard Lauriault, church of Christ