Isaiah 11:6 (NKJV) says, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them.” This is the name sake of my blog. What does it mean “a child shall lead them”?
I want to dive into this scripture because it is full of hope, promise, and the beauty of what God has in store for those who love Him. It reminds us to keep out focus on the spiritual and of the coming kingdom and not the trouble of this world. I pray it encourages your heart today.
Background on Isaiah 11:6
Isaiah is commonly called “The Messianic Prophet”, because of the numerous prophecies that were fulfilled in Jesus. The writers of the New Testament quote from the book of Isaiah about these prophecies often.
As with most prophets, Isaiah’s message to Israel was for now and the future. The people were turning from God and were in danger of God’s wrath. But, God always has a message of hope. And, along with the prophecies of the coming destruction for sin, there is the theme of restoration with the coming of the Messiah.
In chapter 10, God has just pronounced judgement on the wicked. He will cut them down to stumps. There will be so few left that even a child could count and write the number. God leaves off promising a remnant and then in the very next chapter, chapter 11, He begins to describe the coming Messiah and His reign.
He has a Spirit of wisdom, understanding, and might. He rules in righteousness and justice. He promises peace and rest to all who trust in Him. This is where we get the promise of “a child shall lead them.”
It is also a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah, who would come not as a conquering king but as a baby in a manger. He would come humble and lowly and die as a sacrificial lamb. But, He will return as a roaring lion and He will restore order and peace.
A Child Shall Lead Them Promises
This passage of scripture is beautiful because it holds some amazing promises for us as believers. It’s a promise for the future of all of God’s creation and those who are saved to new life in Jesus Christ.
1. Creation will be Restored
The idea that these carnivorous predators (the wolf, leopard, and lion) can live with their defenseless prey (the lamb, goat, and calf) and not attack but be at rest, is contrary to the current world. But, when God restores and makes right, there is peace, harmony, and knowledge of God.
In the new earth to come, God will set all His creation free from the curse. Even the animals will behave in new ways—no more devouring one another or being dangerous.
Revelation 21:5 NIV says: And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
God’s Word is true and never fails us, we can count on it. Jesus has promised that He will return and make all things new—there will be no more suffering, sin, or death.
2. Perfect Love Casts Out Fear
In the presence of Christ, there is nothing but love. The idea that a child can lead a harmful predator says that there is no presence of fear or danger. 1 John 4:18 NIV says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
We are told over and over again in scripture “do not fear.” Here and now, it is a battle for us to trust that the presence of God is with us and we have nothing to fear from this world. But, when we are in His glorious presence and He has made all things new, we truly will have nothing to fear.
In Matthew 18:3 (NIV), Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” The heart of a child is trusting and pure and the idea is that of humility and simplicity.
The promise of a “little child” leading says that we will be have been perfected in our child-like faith. We will be the child of God that we were meant to be. We will enjoy His creation, in His presence, and with no fear.
Encouragement for Today
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33 NIV
This world is full of trouble. There is no shortage of struggles, woes, and horror. But, with Jesus, there is peace. His promise is that He has overcome this world. He has conquered death and gained victory. And, because we accept His offer of salvation and are covered by His blood, we can overcome this world as well.
We can look forward to eternity with a God of peace, love, unity, and light. But, until then, we can keep seeking out God with a child-like faith through prayer and obedience to His word, and we can pass along this glorious promise to others by sharing the gospel message.
God, thank you for salvation in Jesus and the promise that some day, you will make all things new. I look forward to the day when I will forever be in your glorious presence and experience peace with the absence of fear. Forgive me if I’ve been focused too much on this world and help me to keep keep my mind on heavenly things. Teach me how to follow as a one of your faithful children until that day comes. I trust you and believe that you will do everything you say in your word. Amen.