Why 18?

Today is sorta a weird day for me, not weird, just new. Returned from an awesome, sober, joyful, fun-packed, bachelorette party in Vegas! No sarcasm, I legit had the time of my life all while being sober... not one drop. So it is possible to achieve happiness without external influence? Good to know at the ripe age of thirty-five. My first taste of alcohol was at fourteen and by seventeen I was screaming, “Shots!” Such good choices... Now that was sarcasm!


As I sit here today trying to reconnect with his Word having taken the weekend off from studying to be in the present, I find I can’t focus on anything. Not in Jeremiah, not in Genesis, not in Matthew, or Mark, or in Micah. Man, what’s wrong with me? Micah 6:5 brought me to the book of Numbers not knowing who King Balak of Moab was. Remember, this is my first real go of reading the Bible so everything is new to me... fresh.


The first chapter of Numbers is super interesting, that’s how far I got. Elated, I found my focus! Finally! Being that my God given name is ‘Everyone’, my attention was called really quick in verse 3:


3 You and Aaron are to register those who are twenty years old or more by their military divisions—everyone who can serve in Israel’s army.”


Have you personally read Numbers Chapter 1? Take a moment to read it, it’s not that long.


Did you notice anything super repetitive? Friends, I believe that our God is an intentional one and all the words of this book are on purpose. Why else would he inspire it? My name is mentioned 14 times, the age of my first taste. At fifteen, I started smoking marijuana. What is written 15 times in that chapter?


Boom, Egg.


“18 counting one by one the names of those twenty years old or more,”


Why is our legal voting age and the age at which you can serve in the military eighteen years old? Notice the verses say “who can serve”, it’s still a choice. See, he loves you and your free will. It’s very clearly drilled into the first chapter of Numbers His Will Be Done don’t you think? So here’s why we allowed the legal age to drop by three years in the last half century:


According to Jennifer Lai, ‘Old Enough to Vote, Old Enough to Smoke?’ published in 2013, “Suffrage has long been tied to adulthood and the age of majority in the United States. Before the passage of the 26th Amendment in 1971, 21 was the minimum voting age in most states—and thus served as the age of adulthood in most areas of law. Congress lowered the nationwide voting age to 18 as a response to unrest and passionate debate about the Vietnam War. Many felt that those who were old enough to be drafted into the armed forces should also be able to vote.”


Fair enough, if you can die for us, you can vote for us. However, since 1971 the United States population increased by 121 million people, women can now serve, along with the LBG community (not T yet and no offense, but Q has some hesitation on the front) so do we need more children dying for us in this day in age? The article is quite interesting given that it continues to discuss maturity. “Although one might assume that most 18-year-olds have reached maturity, researchers have shown that adolescence actually extends into the early 20s.”


With twelve year old's making their own choices for the vaccine, this next sentence I find almost alarming. “Prior to the 20th century, the age of majority didn’t carry much significance: Teenagers were routinely elected to British Parliament, 5-year-olds could sign binding legal contracts to work until the age of 24, and 8-year-olds could be executed for arson." Are we progressive? It looks like we’ve been regressing for years now and it should be quite obvious why we’re “wrestling” today. Who are we really wrestling?


"Who Are You?" Sounds like the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, eh?


“When the 26th Amendment lowered the age of majority, many states experimented in the 1970s with a drinking age below 21. They changed their minds quickly: Accident statistics in those states showed a substantial jump in the number of drunk driving accidents involving 18-to-20-year-olds. Groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving played a key role in lobbying for the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which was clearly an anti-drunk-driving measure. When Congress passed the act in 1984, every state was effectively forced to raise its drinking age back to 21.”


Here’s the HOPE. There are already lobbyists hoping to bring the voting age back to 21 and considering my personal experience as a too-young adult, maybe it's not a bad idea to keep children being children until they’ve reached maturity. I mean, it’s biblical apparently so let’s allow our teens to discover who they are before making extremely detrimental decisions for our Country of which many would argue they know not enough about given the current educational climate.


Here’s a quote from a more recent article in 2019 by Holly N.S. White, who commented on the science behind our mental development - “this trend of turning a blind eye to the reality of age laws continues today, even as science has proved that their foundation — that at 18 we can assume people are sufficiently developed to make reasoned decisions and offer informed consent — is wrong. The prefrontal cortex, the part of our brains that aids in decision-making, is not done developing until 25, which means we’re giving people the right to make decisions based on the expectation of full cognitive maturity seven years too early — and in some cases many more than that.”


So science is again proving the Bible’s validity by affirming the “twenty years old or more”, more being twenty-five years to reach full development. But you can vaccinate at twelve? “In 2017, Frontline released a report on child marriage, revealing that between 2000 and 2015, in the 41 states surveyed, more than 200,000 minors married in the United States, the youngest of whom was 12, and the majority of whom were female.”


Don’t freak out, that’s less than 1% of the population between those date ranges, but still who is protecting them and how much worse has it gotten in the last six years? So is the vaccinated at twelve because of the less than 1% who are marrying as low as twelve? Covid was all for one so should saving our youth be all for one as well? I mean if we're going to live a super safe and cautious lifestyle now then let's start by correcting one vote that gave up on the majority.


To my future children, you are home until you reach the age of twenty! Did I just avoid future empty nest syndrome? Lord’s house, Lord’s rules. God Bless!


Written on 9/20/21 - Interestingly enough!

Jennifer Lai

April 23, 2013

‘Old Enough to Vote, Old Enough to Smoke?’

Slate Group News & Politics

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2013/04/new-york-minimum-smoking-age-why-are-young-people-considered-adults-at-18.html


Holly N.S. White

May 29, 2019

‘Why We’re Letting Americans Vote, Marry, and Drink Far Too Young’

The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/05/29/why-were-letting-americans-vote-marry-drink-far-too-young/


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Writers Note 9/30/22:


Numbers 1 is about Israel's Census and the duties of the Levites, but I go off on a tangent based on the downloads I received during my devotion. Why18?My hope for people to see how interactive the Bible is because it's alive and I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn something new and the desire to even want to learn something political. I'm not into politics so this helped me get a godly perspective regarding our youth. I want better for our youth, period. Does that mean ignoring them or stewarding biblical principles to ensure their longevity?


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