The far-reaching power of a Godly heritage; do we fully appreciate the potential impact of our daily testimony on future generations?
Psalm 78:5-6, expands brilliantly,
For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children…”
Essentially, a godly marriage of two ordinary individuals who want to obey God in the matter of child-discipleship will have an effect even to the fourth generation! Humbling, isn’t it. The future depends on our obedience. Makes marrying the right one take on a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?
But let’s explore this a bit more, using history as our teacher. You could look at the descendants of Abraham and Lot, and how the nature of both men’s choices impacted their offspring. However, the state of New York did a *study years ago on the five generations descending from both Jonathan Edwards (the evangelist who had such great impact during the Great Awakening) and Max Juke (moral degenerate).
Here’s just a few stats concerning the legacy Jonathan and Sarah Edwards left:
12 college presidents, 65 college professors, 100 clergymen, 75 army officers, 60 prominent authors, 30 judges, 80 public officers, 3 congressmen, 2 senators and 1 vice president. A few of the more famous of their descendents include: Mrs. Eli Whitney, Winston Churchill, VP Aaron Burr, Robert Treat Paine (one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence), Grover Cleveland, Ulysses S. Grant, and Edith Carow (widow to Theodore Roosevelt and mother to his 5 sons).
By contrast, the five generations of Max Juke included:
300 died in infancy, 310 were professional paupers, 440 wrecked by disease, 50 were prostitutes, 60 were thieves, 7 were murderers, 53 were criminals of some other kind. Many were alcoholics.
So teach it to your children. Who knows, the next revival may hinge upon it.
*the first site I linked recommends sterilization of individuals such as Max Jukes, a sentiment I do not agree with. However, I thought the stats were worth the link.