To the Third and Fourth Generation
To the third and fourth generation is a repeated mantra in the old testament
‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’
Last night my teenage son and I were talking. We noted that our decisions to love are deeply important and have results far beyond what we see in any given day. So let’s talk about the ramifications of our bad and good behavior.
We never imagine that the smile we give a young child can stay with them a lifetime. How much more are the hurts we put on the young and old with our bad behavior.
Imagine the Importance of Your Work to the Third and Fourth Generation
God hates sin for a reason. Our bad behavior ripples down to the third and fourth generation whether we want it to or not. It also ripples out far beyond our lives. Our daughter is dating a guy in college in America and leading the freshman Bible study. Her good and her bad behavior can all be found in her parents. This is impacting people who never saw love or mistreatment like this before. May she overcome the bad behavior of her parents and hold to the good.
God loves us, and he declares us justified, but if we sow bad behavior, we will reap a harvest that goes to the third and fourth generation. Let’s get our house in order. We need to sow love and admiration to a hurting world. We need to hate sin and rid it out if out lives. In 1911, my great grandfather gave up on God and fighting with sin. In 1976, I became a Christian. Only gradually did God help me out of the darkness. How much different my life would have been if my great grandfather had responded to the untimely death of his wife with faith, hope, and love.
That is a big thing, but little things also ripple. God help us hate sin and faithfully sow loving actions and attitudes around us. It matters so much more than we think. I am not even touching how Heaven celebrates when we face down our bad habit thus saving even the third and fourth generation.
Desiring God which is my favorite blog after my own also wrote on this topic.