Spiritual Generations; August 5, 2017

2 Kings 23:3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.

As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Josiah proceeded to follow through like no other king recorded in the Bible. The shocking thing to me is the listing of all the things he had to dispose of in order to return to the Mosaic covenant. All the things listed, even from within Jerusalem and even the temple itself, boggle the mind. Verse 13 points out the huge influence Solomon’s idolatry had, because that gave the green light to the rest of the nation to do likewise. This verse says that “All the people pledged themselves to the covenant,” but it had to have been just the leaders, because the whole population of Judah couldn’t have been there physically. Given all of this, it’s all the more tragic that Josiah’s descendants after this did not follow his example of dedication to the Lord. Parenting was one of the weakest points of kings in those days. That’s probably one reason the mothers of the kings are mentioned so frequently, because they evidently had far more influence than the fathers did. Running a kingdom is important, but as Paul points out, how can a man who can’t run his own household properly run anything else well? (1 Timothy 3:5) At least today some people are waking up to the importance of this, and some men are standing up as the husbands and fathers God intends them to be.

As a husband, father, and pastor (spiritual father), this certainly applies to me. I have the incredible blessing of being the product of generations, on both sides of my family, who loved God and served Him faithfully. Very few people have the sort of spiritual head start I was given, so the question of accountability is all the more intense for me. What have I done with my spiritual heritage? How well have I passed it on to my physical and spiritual descendants? God is the judge of that, but I must stay aware that those are questions asked of me. I am to be faithful, not just for my own sake but for the sake of all who are influenced by me, and that is a huge number. In school teaching alone I have literally thousands of former students. Because I have taught at private schools exclusively, I have been free to pray for my students at the beginning of each class period, but even so I haven’t had even a single student commit to Christ and be baptized in this church. I am not to give up, but trust God with the seed He has allowed me to plant. It will be very interesting to discover in heaven what God has done with all of that.

Father, You know better than I do how I have been tempted to give up many times over the years. Thank You for Your faithfulness that has enabled me to be faithful. I do pray for my descendants, physical and spiritual, that they would recognize their dependence on You and rejoice in Your love, walking in obedience not out of obligation but out of gratitude, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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