In light of recent terror attacks in Pakistan (over Easter), Belgium, Mali, Paris, the downed Russian Jetliner, and countless reports of atrocities by terrorist groups worldwide, we may hear our children asking questions like, “Are they coming here? Will they come for us?”
These are natural questions for our kids to ask and if we are honest, we too are wondering the same. Most adults understand that there are gaps in our security and people both abroad and even within our borders who wish to do us harm.
We remember 9/11. We remember Fort Hood…Boston…San Fernadino. Of course there have been others and sadly, we can expect there to be more.
But who wants to get into all of that with our kids? You want to reassure them right? You do not want to feed their fears. You want to give them (and others) peace of mind and hope that although there may be battles to fight, and we may take a few hits, that ultimately we have a greater weapon and will prevail.
But what is this weapon we can possess? When images of destruction and chaos fill the news, we may often wonder how we can defeat such a powerful enemy?
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon shared the story of a small city under attack by a very powerful king. He had surrounded the city and built huge siege works against it, preparing to destroy it. But a poor man, possessing great wisdom actually saved the city from this powerful king. (Eccl 9:13-16). The small city was outnumbered and overpowered, yet one man’s wisdom prevailed against their enemies.
Here are 3 aspects from this story you can use to address your children’s fears about terrorists and unrest in the world today…
Fearing Terrorists: Scripture teaches us that the fear of man is a snare (Prov 29:25), something that will entrap and render us powerless. Our enemy wants us to fear men, to fear them— keeping us from living our lives and enjoying them to the fullest. Yet Jesus reminded his followers that they should not fear those that can kill the body and after that do no more— but rather to fear the One who determines their eternal destination (Luke 12:4-5). He is the One we are to fear, not men.
Fearing their Weapons: Due to Solomon’s account of the poor wise man, he observed that “Wisdom is better than weapons of war…” and urged readers to heed the quiet words of the wise more than the shouts of a ruler of fools. (v 17-18a). Our greatest weapon need not be military might or a nuclear arsenal- it may be the words calmly spoken by one who acts in wisdom!
Fearing their Power: Solomon also deduced that “Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city” (Eccl 7:19). To him, numbers did not equate strength or guarantee a victory, as he witnessed one wise man thwarting the king and his powerful army.
One wise man can be more powerful than ten warriors!
Isn’t that profound? Possessing wisdom makes you, your community, or your nation more powerful than many “strong” men.
And Solomon concluded that “Wisdom is better than strength” (Eccl 9:16).
Wisdom is better than powerful men, weapons of war, or even human strength.
This is still true today! And this is true whether our children face the class bully, peer pressure, an antagonistic professor, a devious co-worker, or when we face those who terrorize cities and the global community.
But how can you access this weapon? How can we all possess this wisdom that puts to shame human philosophy, strength, or powers of evil?
As true wisdom is from the Lord, it is given by the Lord.
We must pray. We must ask for it and hold on to it.
“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Pro 2:6).
We need not fear evil men.
We need not fear their weapons.
We need not fear their strength.
When you possess wisdom, you possess the greatest weapon of them all!
Tell me what you think? Have your kids asked you difficult questions about violence in the world recently? Do you sometimes struggle with how to provide a hopeful and faith-filled perspective on what we witness in current events? Let us know and share what else you have found helpful in reassuring others!
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