The week before last, I briefly mentioned Numbers 14:22- 24 which says, “…not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice. They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors. None of those who have treated me with contempt will ever see it. But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to and his descendants will inherit it.”
I want to add to that Exodus 20:4-6 which says, “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
These two passages of scripture paint a picture for us. There are consequences for rebellion and obedience. Exodus 20 show us that the consequences not only affect our lives but they also affect our children and grandchildren and so on. The consequences for rebellion affect up to the fourth generation and the consequences for obedience up to a thousand generations. How amazing is that. It shows that God’s heart towards us is to bless us and lavish unfailing love on us. If one person loves God, a thousand generations of their descendants will benefit from that one person’s faithfulness.
God works generationally. We can sometimes be limited in our thinking to “doing me” or “doing what’s best for me” but God is always thinking not only about you but about those who will follow after you. So, God may ask you to do something small, it may even seem insignificant to you but down the line, it could be a matter of life or death, blessing or curse for someone else.
For example, if you occasionally have a glass of wine here and there and have a few drinks at parties and events and so on, God may ask you to stop drinking alcohol altogether. To you it may seem insignificant because it doesn’t really affect you, but maybe God is asking for your grandchild who is going to end up being an alcoholic. Because if one thing is true, there seems to be a multiplication that happens over generations. What starts as a small and insignificant thing in one generation, can multiply and have significant results in the next generations.
So, obedience is not limited to what makes sense to us or what seems right in our eyes. I can’t see my grandchildren from where I stand today but God can. He is not confined by time like we are. So one small adjustment for me could make all the difference in generations to come. We are not called to a life of selfishness. Jesus is our example, He laid down His life for us. We too must be willing to lay down some things for the benefit of those who will follow after us.
The height of the promises you receive in your life will become the foundation of the promises and blessings your children will enter into and so on. There is a multiplication in blessings over generations. The giants you slay today, the cycles you break today, the bondages you are freed from today, set the foundation for where your children’s lives will start and they will go much further than you do, become freer than you are and their lives will set the foundation for your grandchildren who will go further than them and so on.
God builds generationally. You may not inherit all the promises of God, but guess what, you may have set up your children and grandchildren to receive them. Abraham was shown the promised land, but it was his great great grandchildren many generations down the line, who, through Joshua, got to inherit the land and occupy it. But Abraham’s faith was the foundation for the Israelites to get to the promise land. Did you know that the Israelites were still conquering and occupying the promised land even in the time of King David? That’s many generations away from Abraham and the promise of God was still unfolding. So, we may not be able to see clearly all the results of our obedience to God today, but the thousand generations that follow after us will keep inheriting the benefits of our obedience long after we are gone. Now, that’s a blessing!
Love and blessings,