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Can babies hear God?
Thank you for contacting us with your interesting question. I am not sure whether you mean unborn babies or ones that are already in the world, so I will try to answer comprehensively.
This question reminds me of when I used to babysit my three very young grandchildren. I learnt a very good way to quiet them when they cried; I would pray over them, mentioning their Mummy and Daddy and grandparents on both sides and praying for the baby, too. They would invariably stop crying and listen, fascinated by the prayers, becoming calm and peaceful again. It stopped me from getting stressed by tying to quiet them, too! Their response was different than it would have been if I had just talked to them or nursed them and I really felt that they had a sense of something spiritual happening - communion with God Himself.
People do tell lots of fanciful stories about babies seeing angels and dead relatives. These stories may bring comfort but are, of course, unprovable and quite often not very biblical. You are asking, though, whether babies can hear God Himself. Let me tell you some things we know about babies.
1. They were planned by God and existed before their creation in His mind and heart. They are fully human when still in the womb. God loves them deeply and wants to have fellowship with them.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16)
2. Babies are beautifully innocent of having yet done anything wrong, but (like the rest of humanity) they have an inborn tendency that means that when they start to make choices, they will spoil their actions with selfishness and sin. Theologians call this 'original sin'. It is the result of being born part of the fallen human race, which has rebelled against God.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
We all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Ephesians 2:3)
Tragically, we are by nature sinners and rebels.
When we see little babies in their trust and innocence, we are moved and reminded of the purity and innocence of Heaven. If only things could stay like that! But babies do grow up and, as a parent myself, I can say that their weaknesses often cause their parents grief.
3. They, like the rest of us, need a Saviour.
To the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. (Jude 25)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
4. There is a special grace for babies, who are too young to understand these things with their minds.
See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:10)
God has appointed angels to watch over little children and to represent them in Heaven. As to whether they ever see or hear these angels, many anecdotes are told and it would be wonderful to believe that they sometimes do. Certainly there are times when people see angels, so there is no reason to think that it is impossible that babies can too. The Bible has many accounts of God communicating with adults in that way; it happened to Abraham, Jacob, Mary and others.
Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2)
Infants cannot understand everything they are told, but they can still praise God. This does imply a special grace, where God communicates with them in a way that goes beyond words. The prophet Jeremiah wrote that God told him,
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
The Lord Jesus certainly felt a special concern for little children.
But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” (Matthew 21:15-16)
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. "If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." (Matthew 18:2-6)
Little children have a simple trust and dependency and their hearts are open. These are qualities highly valued by God, as Jesus showed.
In summary, the straightforward answer to your question is that we do not know, but there certainly are reasons to think that such things are far from impossible.
I do hope that my answer to your question helps you, especially if you have yet to find personal peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey: www.lookingforgod.com/churchfinder
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world. www.lookingforgod.com/your-questions
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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