Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I was a kid, I remember several occasions where some adult would say, “Children should be seen, but not heard.” This line was usually offered with a smile, as a not-so-subtle way of telling us to please take our youthful exuberance into another part of the house. Of course, when we did go away we were neither seen NOR heard, but that rarely seemed to bother anyone!
When I think back on that phrase today, it feels like it carries a lot more baggage than I ever realized as a child. We live in a time when there are many voices longing to be heard—women’s voices, children’s voices, minority voices, immigrant voices, impoverished voices, suffering voices. And there is no shortage of powerful, competing voices trying to “shush” them and “shew” them away into some out-of-the-way place where they won’t be such a bother. It happens in our nation’s capital, on our city streets, and even in our churches.
Jesus encountered this attitude frequently. His own disciples told him to send the hungry crowds away (Matt. 14:15), tried to prevent children from bothering him (Matt. 19:13-15), told a blind man to stop asking Jesus to help him (Mark 10:46-48). But Jesus always noticed…always listened. He was willing to see and hear even the most marginalized people of his day. In fact, he told people “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3).
In Psalm 8, David reminds us that God sees and hears all of his children. He begins this great song of worship by declaring the majesty and glory of God in all of creation, but then makes the astounding claim that even the praise of children and infants is powerful enough to silence the foe and the avenger. According to David, all God’s children should be seen AND heard.
Some competing voices want to tell us we don’t matter—we are too worthless, helpless or hopeless. Sometimes those voices seem to belong to people around us, and sometimes it sounds like we are whispering to ourselves. But those voices are the lies of the enemy.
We are God’s precious children. And as God’s children there is power in our praise. Praise reaches God’s ears and touches His heart; AND it’s the only thing that will silence the competing voices of the enemy. God wants to listen to your song of praise; Satan is terrified by it.
Don’t pay attention to the voices that want to shut you down, or send you away to another room. Don’t waste your breath trying to shout them down. Instead, use your own God-given voice to “declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9), and keep thirsting for His Living Water.
Philip Rose, Lead Pastor