May 29, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
For the next installment to answer the question: Who Am I? I have chosen Exodus 20:4-6:
You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of any
thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in
the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who
hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep
● I am a grandfather. Actually I am also a great grandfather with a three year old great grandson, Noah. At 69 I am too young to be a great grandfather, but life happens! The point is, what is our responsibility according to the Bible toward our future generations?
This is a good time to point something out: God’s Word speaks to every situation that life can present to us. It may be a direct command, an example – positive or negative, a parable, a comparison or just an inference. In most cases to best understand the situation, we should not just take one verse or section on the subject at hand, but we should pull all the scriptures together that are relevant to get the clearest picture possible. A good study Bible and a concordance are invaluable, as are other study aids.
○ Back to I am a grandfather. In our scripture from Exodus 20 God says He is “…a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me…” (verse 5). The same thinking about generations should be carried over into verse 6 also: “…but showing mercy to thousands [of generations], to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” The result of loving and obeying God has a more powerful effect on generations following than does idolatry and sin (verse 4)!
Consider idolatry – God is speaking about bowing down in worship to carved images and serving them in Exodus 20:4. But Saint Paul greatly widens our view of idolatry in Colossians 3:5 where he says, “…covetousness…is idolatry.” What does it mean to covet ? Webster gives this definition: “to desire ardently (especially, something that another person has).” The tenth of the Ten Commandments deals with this in Exodus 20:17: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor is manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” If we are to “…love the Lord…our God with all…our heart, with all…our soul, with all…our strength, and with all…our mind…” (Luke 10:27), then anything we put before God – whatever it is we are coveting – is idolatry! God is to be first in our lives! And His Word, the Bible, is to be first in our minds! And His will is to be first in our obedience!
…and that kind of living will radically affect untold future generations!
○ There is another scripture that comes to mind when I think of my grandchildren – Psalm 71:17 and 18:
O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your
wondrous works. Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, do not
forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation.
I imagine the Psalm writer watching his grandchildren at play as this prayer comes to his mind. So too, I do not want to pass from this earth until my grandchildren know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, and are living for Him! As a matter of fact, lately my prayer for my five local grandboys and my great grandson has been, “Lord, raise up six preachers of righteousness from these six little boys, whether they chose preaching for a vocation or they do it as their avocation!”
Share the gospel with your grandchildren, by word and deed – that Jesus died for them, to pay for their sins, and that He lives forever to rescue them from hell and a wasted life here and now, and give them heaven and fulness of life.
○ Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 5:17, “…pray without ceasing….” Pray for your progeny every day – even many times a day! For as it says in James 5:16, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
No, you are not done ‘parenting’ when your children are raised. There are grandchildren and great grandchildren – and a thousand generations to come after that – if the Lord waits concerning His second coming. Set the example by your life, tell them about Jesus, and pray for them often! May it be your greatest desire to have them forever with you in heaven someday!