by PJ Salas
“… a little child will lead them.” Isaiah 11:6.
This Scripture is one of the most misapplied verses in the Bible. Taken from its context it has been used in misleading assertions on greeting cards and in political statements. And often wrongly applied and misused in spiritual matters.
When reading the complete verse and the entire passage from which the verse is taken, quickly you notice the Scripture is talking about a little child leading around dangerous animals, unharmed. This Bible verse is not a political statement, nor a metaphor for children leading adults, as it is often purported.
Isaiah chapter eleven, verse six is talking about promised land, about a time when things will be peaceful, when a child can play with hostile and life-threatening animals, and not be at risk or in danger (Isaiah 11:6-9).
In this passage, the Lord is speaking of a time when all things will be as they were originally, before sin entered our world. This verse is in reference to promised land, the new earth, when the Creator will restore all things to the purity of beauty and peace that our earth once was (Genesis 1:1, 31; Is 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).
Need for Carefulness
We should be careful not to misapply God’s Word, not to assert or declare things it does not say. Moreover, using the Bible to proclaim what it does not teach should be avoided. Furthermore, staying true to the Word of God, to what it truly says, is needful and vital. Misleading people with the Bible is wrong and it is dangerous.
What Isaiah is saying in chapter eleven, verse six is so special, and very encouraging; it is heartening and hopeful. We have a future home with Jesus that will be wonderful, beautiful, and peaceful, so much so, a little child will be able to play in the viper’s den and put his or her hand in the Cobra’s hole. Wow.
God never intended for us to live with danger and suffering. Animals before sin were not carnivorous, nor did human beings eat meat (Genesis 1:29, 30). Peacefulness and love were normal, and nothing died. Our first family walked with God; He was their daily companion (Genesis 3:8).
This will be true again when the Creator makes the earth new and restores all things pure and beautiful. We will once again be vegetarians, animals included, and the wolf and the lamb will lie down together, and a little child will lead them, even as the dog that follows. (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1; Genesis 1:29, 30; Revelation 22:1-3, 14).
The English word lead in verse six of Isaiah chapter eleven is translated from the Hebrew word נָהַג meaning to drive, to lead, to carry away, and to guide. Even as a child leads around a family pet, so it will be in the new earth. All animals that are dangerous to us now, will not harm us then, for they will be peaceful creatures as they were in the beginning.
God’s Special Promise
Isaiah chapter eleven is a special promise from God. He will restore our planet to its Edenic condition; and we will live in harmony with God, with each other, with our environment, and with all of God’s creatures.
The earth groans under the weight of sin humans have thrust upon it, groaning for that better day (Isaiah 24:5; Romans 8:22). We all long for a new day; and if we are faithful to Jesus, trusting completely in Him, we will have the great pleasure and privilege of being a part of the new earth, wherein righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).
Just as God promised His faithful servant Abraham, that his descendants would inherit a goodly land, so He promises us that we will inherit a goodly land, the earth made new, restored to its original splendor and pristine beauty, Eden. (Genesis 9:25, 26; 11:31; 12:5; 15:7, 18; 17:8).
What a day it will be when we gather at the river of God, and will live eternally, enjoying the fruits of His making (Revelation 22:1, 2). When “the wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child will lead them.” Isaiah 11:6. “For behold, I (the Lord) create new heavens and a new earth; and the former will not be remembered or come to mind.” Isaiah 65:17.
Alleluia praise the Lord, I am bound for the kingdom, won’t you go to glory with me.