BVOTD (#13): Worship God Like a Baby

Backwards Verse of the Day #13: Luke 10:21.

I believe that the Bible teaches that God equips infants to glorify God in their own unique way.

We adults are conditioned with certain beliefs and assumptions in our day to day lives that we use to filter out certain possibilities when we observe things. When something strange or unusual occurs, we are much more likely to find a plausible, even scientific explanation for it than to explain it in terms of spirits or supernatural phenomena.

Children don’t have these filters. They passively make millions of observations every day which go unexplained until they build up a reservoir of explanations that they build into their psyche.

I was thinking of this while reading through Luke, where Jesus makes this cryptic statement:

I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Luke 10:21

Of course, we at first assume that he is talking about those who are children spiritually. But is this the most faithful reading of the text? Consider some other verses that might lead us to think otherwise.

In Matthew 21:16, Jesus quotes Psalm 8:2 in this way:

Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies

you have prepared praise

And again in Luke, Jesus says,

Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.

At the heart of the Backwards theology of the Bible is our disposition in approaching God. We don’t come to God as knowers and teachers; we all come to God as little children. Here’s some conclusions, then.

1. God delights to reveal profound truths to children; both physical infants and those who are humble in heart. The educated and learned have greater knowledge but often that knowledge comes at the expense of a “childlike” faith.

2. God delights in infant children. The Bible doesn’t explain this, but Jesus clearly has this in view when he quotes the Psalms. God has prepared praise from the mouths of nursing children.

3. God gets a kick out of hiding things from the sophisticated intellectuals and revealing things to the “unschooled” and “ordinary.” This doesn’t mean for an instant that we should strive to be stupid. But it does mean that we should pursue education and knowledge with the greatest humility, because “knowledge puffs up.”

Backwards theology values simple faith and trust over dry intellectualism. But those who are of the simple-faith variety should humbly acknowledge that the English Bible that they now possess was provided for them by generations of tedious biblical scholars who preserved and translated ancient writings into modern vernacular.

  1. It definitely sucks, but all we can really do is change our own actions in order to deal with it. We’ve been spoiled by cheap gas for a long time, now we have to deal with what most of the world has dealt with. The biggest problems are:

    1) Because of the size of our country, public transportation isn’t as efficient as it is in say, Germany or England,etc..

    2) We are too individualistic of a society.

    3) We have put our backs against a wall by living in the suburbs and working in the city.

    One of the problems is that our society is set up on the notion of cheap gas lasting forever. I live about nine miles from my job. You probably live about seven to nine miles from school. When we chose to live where we lived we probably didn’t even consider the cost of gas in relation to our everyday routine. Suburban sprawl is partially because of cheap gas. Obviously not everybody can or wants to live closer to work/school/ or whatever we do on a daily basis, but it’s something we should consider in the future. Until then, we just have to budget for more gas, cut unneccessary stuff (eating out etc) and try to be ignorant to the price. Personally I don’t feel too bad for people driving SUV’s by themselves and folks who eat out constantly and buy needless stuff. I feel bad for people who are already strectch about as thin as they can be.

  2. Ryan…
    You’re right about the assumption that gas prices will always stay low causing urban sprawl. Right before Laura and I got married, I visited her in Grand Rapids and gas there was $.99 per gallon. That was only about 9 years ago. Gas, being an indispensable commodity, has nearly quadrupled in 9 years. About the suburbs thing, I never would have thought that where I’m living now would still cost so much to get around. We chose to live here b/c of proximity to UL (only about 8-10 minutes). I can’t imagine what its like for people who live in Louisville and commute to Lexington; I know of at least one person who does.

    I can’t wait to move to Cincinnati and be closer to everything!


  3. Yea, that’s a scary thought. If it’s gone up 400% in nine years, I can’t imagine what it’ll be like in ten or fifteen. It seems like you’ll be in a good location in Cinci as far as proximity to stuff goes.

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