Can you see into the future of your family? It seems like an impossible task. I am here to tell you that it is not as difficult as you might think. What does the future hold for your children and the future generations of your family?
Last month, I looked at the role of music in a believer’s life. The hymn example I gave was “O For A Thousand Tongues.” It started me thinking. How can I have a thousand tongues in order to sing praises to my Lord? The fact is that God has given each of us one tongue. However, I found my answer in the first seven verses of Psalm 78. The secret is with fathers, who are faithful to teach God’s word throughout the generations.
1 Give ear, O my people, to my law:
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable:
I will utter dark sayings of old:
3 Which we have heard and known,
and our fathers have told us.
4 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.
5 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:
6 That the generation to come might know them,
even the children which should be born;
who should arise and declare them to their children:
7 That they might set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments:
Psalm 78:1-7 (KJV)
Verses five and six are the keys to the generations. Notice in verse five, “our fathers” is generation number one. “Their children” is generation number two. In verse six, “the generation to come” is generation number three. Next, “even the children” is generation number four. Finally, generation number five is “their children” once again. Verse seven tells us the future of our families. This future is there for our families, if the fathers are faithful to teach their children the secrets and wisdom of God. We must show our children the “praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.”
I did some math on the possibilities of five generations. In generation number one, there are two people, you and your spouse. Suppose that you have five children and they get married. That gives you 12 people through the second generation. If each family (husband and wife) in the second generation have five children, the result is 62 people by the third generation. Five more children each, in the fourth generation, and there are now 312 people total. Take this scenario through one more generation and the total is 1,562. You reach 1,000 sometime in the fifth generation! It is possible to have 1,000 tongues to sing praises to our Lord and King.
Psalm 127 is one of my favorite psalms. Verse three reads: “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” (KJV) I like verse five, too. “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” (KJV) I could spend a whole newsletter article delving into this psalm. It is worth meditating on. (So is Psalm 128!)
I may go too far with what I am about to say, but I must testify to what God is teaching me. I limited the size of my family. There were no good reasons for this. Simply put, God has convicted me that this is my sin. I do not bring this up to imply that anyone reading this has sinned like I have. This is my confession, put forth for your consideration. This confession is not about the number of children I have, but the fact that I limited the number. I said no to the blessings God wanted to give me. If God gives you one child, bless God! If He gives you ten children, bless God!
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of his grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of thy name.
Glory to God and praise and love
Be ever, ever given
By saints below and saints above,
The Church in earth and heaven.
Charles Wesley 1707-1788
Take the children that God has rewarded you with and do your very best to raise them up in the knowledge and discipline of the Lord. Look forward to the generations to come. You can see your families’ future, because God has said it, and so it will be. Fathers, show your children God, and they will set their hope on Him.
God bless, Mike