The Faith of a Child

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Luke 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. (KJV)

Read Daniel Chapter 1:  This story is of the captivity of Daniel and others from Judah.  These young people were in a difficult situation having been ripped from their homes and put directly into the King of Babylon’s palace to live in a completely foreign environment.  The object of the King of Babylon was pretty obviously to raise the children of Judah as members of his household, so that they became more like his own people, than their own people, learning the customs and habits of Babylon.  The King of Babylon was trying to keep them from wanting to rebel and seek freedom as adults.  This method of control has been used by conquerors for centuries.  To control a vast empire from a central location you either had to be a benevolent dictator or didn’t interfere in their culture very much, or you had to find a way to make  your culture their culture, or constantly deal with outbreaks of rebellion and war within your empire. Anyway, the King ordered that Daniel and the others be fed from his very own table.  The King got the very best food, so he thought that this would ensure their health. 

Unfortunately for Daniel, the food that the King of Babylon ate was in direct opposition to what God had told Daniel (who was a Jew) to eat.  Evidentially, the King ate a lot of pork, and blood products, maybe even organ meats.  Also the King’s food was almost certainly food that had been offered to the false gods of Babylon.  These rules about food were dictates put down in the old testament .  Daniel stepped out in faith and took God at his word that he was only to eat certain things.  So, in spite of the King’s decree, he approached the man who was in charge of feeding and caring for them and asked for different food so that he (Daniel) could follow God’s rules. 

Daniel could have said, “Well, I’m a just a slave, I’m helpless, I have to eat what they give me….”  or he could have said, “ I don’t understand why we can’t eat their food, there’s nothing wrong with it…” but he didn’t, he was determined to trust and obey God as far as he was able, even without explanation.  God rewarded this childlike faith with prosperity for Daniel.  Children trust their parents even when they don’t understand  why they are told not to do something, or to do something.  This is the kind of trust God wants from us.

Here is a modern illustration of the childlike faith:  Two fathers are out walking with their sons on a trail, both fathers know that there is a cliff up ahead, and that the rocks near the cliff are loose.   The boys are running ahead.  The fathers each shout out, “Son, Stop!”  One boy stops without taking another step, immediately.  The other boy, hears his father, and starts thinking about why his father wants him to stop, but keeps playing. He hits the gravel and starts to slide towards the cliff edge.  The boy who stopped immediately without question is the son with childlike faith.  His father later explained why he wanted him to stop, or he saw the reason later, but he stopped because he trusted his father.  This is how we are to trust God.

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