Reflecting on Jonathan Edwards on the Obligation of Every Generation to See What God Is Doing and Do It Together with Him!
It is indeed the obligation of every generation to understand what God is doing and then do it together with Him. Every time I read the Old Testament to the New Testament, God intended His words not to be just for that generation but He wanted it even to the next and the next generation. But how can every generation see what God is doing and do it together with Him? The Bible says that the children must be taught the very Word of God. As the New Year approaches, I hope this message will help Christians will remind them that as a new year approaches, the work of the Lord must be done because every new year means the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ gets closer.
In Deuteronomy 11:18-22, God gave this command to the Israelites as their instruction to remember God's words:
Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto Him;
Joshua 24:15 has Joshua saying this for his household:
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
In Psalm 78:4-8 says:
We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.
The problem however of every generation is when they choose to rebel against God. Right after reading Joshua's victory, one can read of the failures of the Israelites to keep the covenant in the Book of Judges. In Judges 2, one can read the after Joshua died of old age, a new generation of unsaved Israelites surfaced where they served the idols. I would dare assume that failure to teach their children the Law of God has caused this new generation to stand up and hence we had the sin cycles where we had Othniel, Ehud, Barak, Gideon, Jephthah and Samson as the deliverers. One of the righteous judges sired an ungodly son namely Gideon sired Abimelech who became the king of Shechem and oppressed the Israelites, killing whatever righteous siblings or half-siblings.
Going back to Genesis, we had the birth of Seth from whom came Jesus and even you and me. Seth started the godly line in place of his late brother Abel. Genesis 4:26 says that during that time, men began to call upon the name of the LORD. In Genesis 6:2 gives the warning that when the Sethites married into the ungodly line of Cain, the next generation became so wicked that God only showed favor on our ancestor Noah and his family. But then, one of Noah's sons was going to ruin it all namely Ham from whom came four ungodly sons and the ungodly Nimrod. Nimrod was recorded by some historians to have been a very wicked monarch and his name means, "Let us rebel." This shows how disastrous choices can eventually destroy the family. Before that, you should know what while Adam was called the son of God, his firstborn son Cain was a child of the devil.
Let us take a look at the Line of David where we know David sired ungodly sons in Amnon (who tried to rape Tamar) and Absalom. Solomon though he repented, the kingdom was divided into two. After Solomon, we had Rehoboam who did later repent and Abijah but they were not very ready. After Abijah, we had Asa who was succeeded by Jehoshaphat. But Jehoshaphat had one horrible mistake which was when he allied himself with Ahab, something that nearly spelled the end of his line. Instead of finding a godly wife for Jehoram, he approved of having the wicked Athaliah the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel as a daughter-in-law. After Jehoram's eight rotten years, we had Ahaziah's one rotten year and later, Athaliah killed her own family (but failed to get rid of Joash) and tyrannized the land for six years. Joash would later try to undo the damages but later, he became easy prey to the "sons of Athaliah" which made him kill Zechariah at his command. Amaziah would later avenge his father's death but he would also later worship the idols he failed to throw away. Uzziah was a mighty king but ended up becoming a leper due to his rebellion. Jotham was godly but was succeeded by ungodly Ahaz. Ahaz was succeeded by godly Hezekiah but sadly, Manasseh would for a good amount of his reign undo his father's reforms and Amon would be worse. Josoiah may have had revived the country but his sons spelled it to ruin until the Babylonian Captivity.
All the examples above show the failure of some parents to teach their children in godly ways. I hope that this is a lesson to all of us to make sure our children follow the right path than the wrong one or we would be separated for all eternity. It's best to make sure to keep this line, "The family that goes to worship God together stays together."