The people of the Old Testament didn’t paint pictures on walls or carve images in stone like the ancient Egyptians or Babylonians, but they did leave snapshots in words. Many of these images are of their youngsters. Take a quick look at some of the pictures in their scrap book, with some possible captions.
“From the body of my mother he named my name.”
The wife, obviously pregnant, and her husband, look through the book of baby names. Dreams for the child began before he was even born.
“I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother.”
Few candid photos surpass this one of the sleeping youngster totally contented in its mother’s arms. Old enough to take solid food, the child’s calmness reflects its mother’s tender leading.
“The LORD your God bore you, as a man bears his son.”
This lovely shot of an Israelite father and his son recalls a tender moment. The boy couldn’t make it by himself, so his dad picked him up and carried him instead.
“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and reject not your mother’s teaching.”
The look on the child’s face is priceless as he receives one of the first of many lectures from his father about listening.
Not all the Old Testament pictures are cute and reassuring (see for example the rebellious teenagers in Hosea 11:3), but we’ve seen enough of their pictures to know that they cared for their children and valued the relationship between parent and child. It’s a simple reminder of our spiritual heritage, of God’s dreams for children, and of the goals toward which we must all consistently strive.