Summary: How do we bridge the gap between generations? This message outlines how the old and new generation can meet and move forward to our destiny!
“When Daddy Doesn’t Go”
Text: Hebrews 11:8-10
It is an account that we learned in children’s church. Abraham heard the call of God and responds in obedience by leaving his home, friends, and comfort zone to follow. It is a familiar story. It is a story full of truth about faith, trust, and destiny. However, this evening I would like to talk to you about what must happen when daddy doesn’t go.
II. The Uneasy Tension
As long as I can remember there has been an uneasy tension between the older generation and the younger generation of our church. This is true regardless of location. You can travel from East Coast to West Coast and this is true everywhere. New conference or the oldest conference it doesn’t make any difference. This tension often leads to conversations that I often hear as I travel. I hear the younger constituents make indictments against the out of date customs, traditions, structure, and out of touch worship styles of the older generation. I have heard the young generation cry out that I am tired of this and ready for change. Then I would hear the older generation discuss their discomfort with the younger generation’s worship style, volume, fashion sense, and their lack of respect or regard for time tested traditions and systems.
At times it seems that we are at an impasse. An explosive division and conclusion seems unavoidable. A rift seems to simply be a fact of life. The gap seems to be widening and the tension is almost unbearable at times. Anger, anxiousness, offense, defense, accusations, misunderstanding, and miscommunication are the norm. So in most cases we simply try to pacify the old and placate the young. We just try to make everybody a little happy and we end up making everyone a lot miserable. Whether we like it or not or whether we are bold enough to admit it or not there is a gap, a chasm, a canyon of difference. This tension brings me back to the Abraham account that I made reference to earlier.
III. Genesis 11:31
It seems that when we begin dealing with Abraham’s story we always focus and jump directly to Abraham’s response to the call to go to Canaan. However, In Genesis 11:31 we overlook a key player in this faith filled journey. Genesis 11 gives us the account of Abraham’s father Terah. Perhaps Terah received the first call to leave Ur and make his way to Canaan. Perhaps it was the father who received the call before the son. We just don’t know for sure. But what we do know is that Terah gathers his family Abram, Sarai, and Lot and leaves everything behind to begin a journey, according to Genesis 11, to Canaan. The father was on the way to the Promised Land. However, the Word tells us that when Terah reached Haran he pitched his tent and stayed there until he died. When Terah left Ur he set out on a journey to Canaan which was 1000 miles away. But 500 miles into the trip he stops and establishes a home for himself. It is an easy conclusion to make that Abraham knew that when they began the journey they were headed for Canaan. When they reached Haran Abraham would have known that they had not yet reached their final destination. He would have known that 500 miles was short of the 1000 they were supposed to travel. It is from this information that I believe I have a word for you. In order for us to bridge the gap, in order for us to reach the Promised Land and fulfill our destiny as a people and as a church we must learn from what takes place in Genesis 11. In order for us to bring healing to the rift, and to allow generations to walk in harmony we must learn the lessons from this account.
A. Son stayed with the father and celebrated him
The first thing I notice is that when Terah arrived in Haran and decided to stay there Abraham stayed with him. Abraham didn’t pack his bags; throw a fit, and voice accusations about settling for less. He didn’t belittle the journey his father had taken. He didn’t rebel against his father’s land. No he made his father’s land his land. He stayed with his father and became fruitful and expanded the kingdom. We can come to that conclusion because when it was time to leave Abraham, according to Gen. 12, left with all the possessions and people they had accumulated while in Haran.
It is time for some sons to understand that our fathers have brought us 500 miles. That is 500 miles further than we would have gotten without their help, perseverance, and vision. We are further now than we would have been if we had not had fathers who were willing to leave the comfortable place and start on this journey. They heard from God and got up and did something. We don’t give them the credit they deserve.