Sunday: The Hebrew Child’s Advantage

Hebrew children enjoyed special treatment when compared with their ancient counterparts from surrounding nations. Child sacrifice as divine appeasement had permeated many cultures. Otherwise, children’s value was often measured by their economic contribution to society. Work productivity, not intrinsic worth, defined their relationship with the adult world. It is painful to say, but some of these attitudes, especially when it comes to economic worth, are found even in our present world. Truly, the day of wrath must come.

Image © Lars Justinen from

Image © Lars Justinen from

Evidently Israel’s apostasy affected the population’s estimate of children. Manasseh’s dalliance with witchcraft and other national religions induced the sacrificing of his sons (2 Chron. 33:6). Nevertheless, Manasseh’s reign was the exception rather than the rule; under more spiritual leadership, Israelites greatly valued their offspring.

Read Psalm 127:3-5; Ps. 128:3-6; Jeremiah 7:31; Deuteronomy 6:6-7. What do these texts suggest about God’s estimate of children? How might a proper understanding of Scripture affect our relationships with children?

Education, birthright, and many other cultural practices clearly demonstrated how valuable children were in ancient Hebrew culture. Not surprisingly, Christ expanded the already exalted position of children, as compared with surrounding cultures, to new dimensions. After all, children are human beings, and Christ’s death was for every person, whatever their age-a point we should never forget.

It’s hard to believe that there are adults so corrupted, so evil, so degraded that they hurt children, sometimes even their own. How can we, in whatever situation we are in, do everything we can to love, protect, and nurture the children within our sphere of influence?



Sunday: The Hebrew Child’s Advantage — 11 Comments

  1. These lessons thus far are very helpful. Children are a blessing from God, how do we (parents and adults) come to realizes this great truth? We live in world even as believers become very impatient with our most valuable commodity. Lord, please help us to see children in the light
    that God sees them.

  2. Making the bible a delight is so important to children at a very tender age. Their minds are like sponge during this stage. Modeling a healthy prayer life , allowing them to see us busy with our daily devotionals can help them to form good habits. When they too develop a study habit in the word, their relationship with Jesus will grow and their foundation will be made stronger. May GOD help us as we bring up our children in the fear and knowledge of Him.

  3. Such a great lesson. We have to begin by being an example, setting an example for children so that their offspring, their generation can pass it on. As children, some of us who are adults now, didn't get that positive example and therefore we add to the mishaps that younger children are going through. Routine ( going to church, sending our children to church school etc) is not enough. Our relationship with God must be strong. Our understanding of God must be clear. Our example of a "Christ follower" must be defined. Only then, can we expect to make an impact on the lives of our children and ultimately their future.

    • Yvette, I enjoyed your input this am. I'm agreeing w/your comment, the example of our relationship w/Jesus in our daily life, is the best teacher we set before our children. PTL!
      I pray for the young parents raising children in this generation, as it's much harder than it was 50 years ago.

  4. [Moderators note: Please remember to use your full name.]

    Very true, we have to learn how to better deal with children. I think that if we show them love rather than instant judgment, they would stay in the church when they grow up.

  5. I think the firestorm and foremost thing we can do for children is to pray daily for them. As I think of the prayers of my mother for me, I know those prayers kept me from many hurts and dangers, which she otherwise would have had no control over. I am thankful to have had a praying mother.

  6. [Moderator's Note: Please use your full name.]

    Our children are valuable innocent little beings and they completely learned to trust us parents right from a moms womb. They are blessings from God. Train a child right from birth, he or she will never forget. Train a child to do evil, they will do likewise. Please, don't abuse them, they are only learning how you bring them up, what they see you do, they copy so please take note of wot you don't want repeated or copied.

  7. Am worried about the way children are treated in most churches. There are very few if none programmes meant for children.I always see adults studying and children drilling outside. Churches do not buy materials for children. So how can we help them grow spiritual if they do not read?

    • I am not sure where you are writing from Tivision Sibanda, but in our part of the world (Australia) we have many resources available for children. Have you tried your local conference/mission Sabbath School Dept? (It may be called Personal Ministries - they change the name from time to time just to keep us confused ) I recognise that in some countries and for some languages resources may be a problem. As always the best resource are parents dedicated to the task of making the Sabbath a delight for children.

  8. One of my greatest heartaches is to see our children who once sang in the choir, led in the Pathfinder Club or take an active part in Sabbath School as children suddenly leave the church once they become teens or early adults. Many often assume that these "children" are only going through a phase in their lives and they will return to church. While that may be true for some, many of our young people never return. As someone already suggested, perhaps we should launch a crusade to reach our young people who have left the church. Better still, we should identify missing young people from our churches and find a way to directly contact and reach them even if they are on the rebellion mode. Since these children already know most of our doctrines and teachings, it is easier to reintegrate them into our faith. Above all, we need to constantly pray for our youth and commit them to the Lord as they face conflicting interests that can easily take them away from their faith.


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