Fill the earth
When my maternal grandmother celebrated her hundredth birthday, there were five generations in the same room. Multiple mothers, fathers, children, cousins, nephews, aunts and uncles. And then there were grandparents, great grandparents and she was a great great grandparent. Because Luke and Sarah, our oldest two grandchildren, were present at the celebration. Very joyous.
Why do I even mention this? Because it really is a reflection on what God intended when he gave the commands to Adam right after creation. Procreate, fill the earth, subdue it, and rule over it. Filling the earth is very simply marrying, having children, grandchildren and beyond. And as a Christian, you would also add that it was not just to produce physical beings, it was for them to worship God and enjoy him forever. Once this design becomes abandoned, you begin to witness moral and spiritual decay. Would anyone deny that we are seeing a whole lot of that in the world today?
To me it goes even beyond this. God had a purpose for generations. One teaches the other, one learns from the other, and then they pass on what they have heard and witnessed. It is virtually impossible to give away something you haven’t received. So, generational succession has a profound purpose in God’s scheme of his creation. All throughout the Old Testament, God was having his people set up pillars, stones of remembrance, wells, different things that the older generation would tell the younger generation about. But it also requires obedience on the part of each generation to not drop the ball. Psalm 78.4-7 says it all.
“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.”
The photo above of a portion of our family includes four generations with the addition of our three month old great grandson, James. We, our daughter, James’ mother and father, have each embraced the claims of Christ, and for this very reason, I know that James will one day walk with the Lord as he will be wonderfully discipled by his parents. What will be the result? That he will rise up and disciple his children and grandchildren. Generations count. Once a spiritual generation has been broken and that generation turns from the Lord, it creates a spiritual vacuum for the following generations. The latter part of the Psalm goes like this.
“and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.” (vs. 8) God is counting on you, and so is the next generation.