Can you imagine if you achieved something great in your lifetime yet your lineage knew nothing about it? What about if you found the greatest thing in life and even attained wealth, but your descendants lived like paupers yet it was all there for them to partake of? Wouldn’t it be sad if the significance of your name, title, wealth and accomplishments would mean nothing to those who are ‘ideally genetically predisposed’ to learn from you, by virtue of being in your family?
Reading the book of Judges this week both saddened and challenged me. I was so taken aback by the fact that a whole generation came to be and did not know what the Living God had done for Israel. These were the grandchildren of the Israelites that God saved, yet they had no idea. In fact, if anything, all they did was worship idols. They did not know that their ancestors saw the Red Sea dried up to make way for them to pass. One would think this would be the main story that is repeated (and exaggerated-if at all that is possible) by the family fire at night.
Judges 2:10-11 (NIV)
After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals.
My children and their generation, need to know what God did for my generation and I. So, I have vowed to write it down and have something that I can physically pass over to the next generation. I don’t want the stories of the might of God to be lost in translation like in a game of broken telephone . No, the message is way too important to be watered down.
I have learned that people do not have to see to believe. Just hearing of what God has done can change the destiny of a family and a nation.
Case in point:-
Rahab the prostitute
What led her to give the spies a place to sleep is that she had HEARD what the Lord had done for the Israelites and from hearing she feared God.
Joshua 2:8-11 (NIV)
8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
The testimony helped her live in obedience to God’s will. You realize that she did not have to stop being a prostitute to hear or to believe…but the power of God worked through the testimony. Her hearing and believing saved her family and worked in the favor of the Israelites.
There are many people who do not know God. They have not seen Him or experienced His saving power, but you have and there is power in your testimony. You never know, it could impart the fear of God in them and cause them to believe.
Personally, I have heard and I have ALSO seen.
Job 42:5 (NIV)
My ears had heard of you
But now my eyes have seen you.
May generations be changed from our testimonies of His love, grace and might.