Summary: This is a sermon about the importance of passing on our faith in Jesus to the next generation - our children and grand-children.
Raising a Godly Generation
As the world grapples with the effects of a pandemic, we have been forced to face lockdowns, and quarantines, something the majority of the world is trying to come to grips with. These lockdowns have compelled us to stay home with our families like never before. In general each of us, as members of a family, have our own schedules. Most parents are at work, children are at school or college and we usually get to spend time together only in the evenings or on weekends. All these routines have turned topsy-turvy, and a majority of people have been forced to stay within the confines of their homes. Suddenly the family has become the only place of security. This is when I began to wonder as to why God has allowed this particular situation and realized that families are the core, as they form the fabric of our society and the world at large.
We all know that marriage and family are God’s idea. It’s His design, He instituted it and He gave the blueprint. So, if we want our families to function well and smoothly as God intended it to, it will be possible only if God is there with us to guide and counsel us.
Biblical narratives are mostly about families
If we study the Bible especially the Old Testament, much of the narratives are about families. God worked through families and God chose families to fulfil His purposes. These narratives also portray issues that families were challenged with. I believe that they are mentioned in detail to help us understand that families are not perfect. Every family have their own set of issues, difficulties, struggles, but the beauty of this is that in spite of these myriad challenges, most families are able to stay together and enjoy each other.
Take the very first family for instance, Adam and Eve, their children Cain and Abel. Cain hated his brother Abel simply because he was jealous of the fact that God accepted Abel’s offering and not his. This is an interesting detail to note, for we realize that right from the beginning, innate in each one of us is the desire to please God and to be accepted by Him.
The New Testament commences with the birth of Jesus to let us know that Jesus Himself was born into a family. Further the New Testament goes into great detail to explain how families should function by elaborating the different roles of each member of the family. The role of a husband, the role of a wife, the role of parents and children are all mentioned so together we can operate as God designed us to.
Lessons we learn from the people of Israel
I want us to look very briefly at the life of the Israelites to see if there is something that we can pick up from their experiences for our families today. The people of Israel were in bondage to the Egyptians for more than 400 years. This was really a gruesome sort of a bondage, and eventually God sent Moses to deliver them out of this slavery. God used Moses and Aaron to perform mighty signs and wonders to let the people of Israel (and the Egyptians as well) know that He was the Almighty God. There was the astounding parting of the Red Sea which brought the Israelites to safety and God used the same sea to destroy the Egyptians who pursued the Israelites.
God’s commandments for the family
Once they were rescued, the Lord led the people of Israel through the wilderness for forty years because He wanted them to learn to depend on Him completely. During their wanderings, God specially called Moses to Mount Sinai and He gave him the laws and the commandments which he conveyed to the people. Now, many of these laws and commandments detailed out the specifics for the functioning of a family.
I just want to highlight a few points that Moses instructed the people of Israel in.
1. Remember to pass on to your children all that God has done for you
Firstly, we read in Deuteronomy 4:9-10. “This is what Moses told them, “But watch out? Be careful never to forget what you yourselves have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live and be sure to pass them on to your children and your grand-children. “(NLT).
Now the Lord had performed so many wonders and mighty miracles and Moses had to remind the Israelites, ‘Do not forget all that God has done for you.’ All of us know that as human beings, our memories are limited. We tend to forget many things that God has done in our lives. Therefore, God is reminding us, to not forget the wonderful things that He has accomplished in our lives. So what are we supposed to do about them? You know, it’s good for us to talk about them to our children and our grand-children. I remember the many times, my Dad used to share amazing testimonies of God’s guidance, provision and protection in his life. I think that these are the things that really encourage us and help strengthen the faith in our children.