‘Out of the Mouths of Children’
WHEN Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem in the spring of 33 C.E. to present himself as king, boys at the temple cried out: “Save, we pray, the Son of David!” In thus acknowledging Jesus’ kingship, these boys were praising Jehovah, the One who had designated him as king. (Matt. 21:15, 16) Similarly, children among Jehovah’s Christian witnesses today have, by their words and actions, brought praise to their Creator.
A five-year-old in Japan was faithfully taught by her mother about God’s purposes. But her father, who is not one of Jehovah’s witnesses, sent his daughter to a Buddhist kindergarten. Here this little girl refused to adore the Buddha as she entered the gate, and did not worship the idol. The teacher scolded her severely and also tried to stop her from offering thanks to Jehovah before her lunch each day. Finally the teacher tried to force her to take part in the Buddhist Tanabata Festival, but to no avail. So she asked: ‘Is it because your mother told you not to do it?’ The five-year-old replied: ‘No, I won’t do it because it is not pleasing to Jehovah God.’ What a fine expression from a little tot!
Of her persecution from fellow students, an eight-year-old girl from Bolivia states: ‘One day during classes my school companions decided to force me to go with them to the local Catholic church to see how pretty it is with all its images and decorations. I told them that even if the church is beautifully decorated with images, it isn’t worth anything. The images have eyes but can’t see, feet but can’t walk, ears but can’t hear and a mouth but can’t speak. My classmates threatened me, saying: “When we die, we are going to pull on your feet so that you will fall for what you are saying.” I told them that I was not afraid, since the Bible says that when a person dies he returns to the dust and knows nothing.
‘When class was over, they began to hit me and knock me down and, when I would stand up, they would trip me. They dragged me to the church door. I was scared and prayed to Jehovah. They grabbed me by the hair, dragged me into the church and then said: “Now you are going to look at our images and do what we do.” At this moment a stranger came in. My classmates fled, but not before I was able to stand up and call out that I was still one of Jehovah’s witnesses and always will be.’
What enabled this girl to withstand such pressure from her classmates? She herself explained that it was the regular weekly family Bible study conducted by her parents that strengthened her faith.
That children can be instrumental in aiding others to come to an accurate knowledge of Bible truth is illustrated in the case of a little Canadian girl. Her mother began to study the Bible with Jehovah’s witnesses and was encouraged to study with her five-year-old daughter, using the publication From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained. This little girl then began to talk to her baby-sitter about what she was learning. For example, she told her, ‘We always pray before meals.’ So the baby-sitter started to pray to the Virgin Mary. But the five-year-old interrupted her, saying that she and her mother prayed only to Jehovah. After lunch she insisted that the baby-sitter read to her from the Paradise book. The more she read, the more interested the teen-age baby-sitter became. Finally she began to question the little girl’s mother. Thereafter the baby-sitter spoke to one of her girl friends and she, in turn, talked to her family. This brought about amazing results. Within one year, not only did the five-year-old’s mother become a baptized Witness of Jehovah, but, additionally, four other persons took this step in service of God.
Small children are also sharing in the public proclamation of the Bible’s message. In South Africa four-year-old James accompanies his mother in the door-to-door ministry. In introducing him, she says: “As Jehovah’s witnesses, we teach our children the Bible and also train them to speak to others. Would you like to hear what he has to say?” So far everyone has been willing to listen to him as he proceeds, either in English or Afrikaans: “My name is James, I’m doing a Bible work, telling the people the good news of the Kingdom.” He then shows them the first picture in the book The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life, giving a brief explanation.
Truly children are never too young to learn about the Bible and to praise Jehovah. How fine it is, therefore, for parents to be diligent in giving their children the best of instruction from God’s Word!