The Ten: Stories of God’s protection and provision in the lives of children

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There are so many stories in the Bible where God protects and cares for children. Jesus even said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). Can you think of any that are not included in this list?

Moses (Exodus 2:1-10): To keep him safe, Moses’ mum placed her baby into a waterproof basket and floated him down the Nile river. By God’s will, the Egyptian Princess found him and took pity, deciding to spare his life and raise him as her own son.

Jesus (Matthew 2:13-15): When King Herod wanted to destroy all the baby boys, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him to escape with Mary and Baby Jesus so He would not be harmed.

Eutychus (Acts 20:7-12): During a long sermon by Paul, a young man by the name of Eutychus fell asleep while sitting in an open window, falling three levels to the ground. Unfazed, Paul goes and brings him back to life, telling the crowd “Don’t be alarmed, he’s alive!”.

Ishmael (Genesis 21:8-21): When Hagar and her young son Ishmael were sent out into the wilderness, at first things didn’t go too well for them. Dying of thirst, Hagar places motionless Ishmael in the shade of a tree, not able to bear watching him suffer. This is when God shows up, saying to Hagar, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

Joash (2 Kings 11:1-3): When evil Athaliah decides to crown herself queen, she gets rid of all her grandchildren so they cannot challenge her rulership. But one grandchild was kept safe by being hidden in the temple by his uncle the priest—a young boy by the name of Joash, who later became king at seven years of age.

Elijah and the widow’s son at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8-24): In a double act of provision and protection, God worked through the prophet Elijah to multiply a widow’s flour and oil so that there was always enough for her and her young son. And when the boy became very sick, Elijah prayed to God and the boy was restored to life.

Elisha and the widow’s sons (2 Kings 4:1-7) and the Shunammite woman’s son (2 Kings 4:8): In similar miracles to Elijah, God worked through Elisha to multiply a widow’s oil so that her two sons wouldn’t be taken as slaves by a creditor to pay the family debt, and in a separate event, brought the young son of the Shunammite woman back from death.

Demon-possessed boy (Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43): There was a boy who was possessed by a demon who continually tried to throw him in water and fires. His father had asked Jesus’ disciples for help, but they could not get the demon to come out. Jesus said, “everything is possible for one who believes”, and cast the spirit out.

Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56): When his only daughter became very ill, Jairus (a synagogue leader) asked Jesus to come and heal her. While on the way to the house, a messenger informed Jairus that his daughter had died, but Jairus had faith. Entering the 12-year-old girl’s bedroom Jesus said, “My child, get up!”, and she stood up at once.

The Syrophoenician woman’s daughter (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30): When Jesus was travelling, a foreign woman persistently asked Him to heal her little daughter who had been taken over by an evil spirit. Jesus challenged her but she did not give in easily. This woman had faith in Jesus as the Messiah, even though she was not an Israelite. Her faith was rewarded in the healing of her daughter.

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