This has been hanging around in the back of my mind for a couple months now, but has been very challenging to articulate. Twice, I was praying by myself in my truck, and God stirred something in my spirit about generations. I can best describe it using the following example. Let’s say you lived a rough life far from God, and then got saved and lived the rest of your life faithful to Him, so that you raised your children up into Godliness. If you are successful in that effort, your children will progress farther than you spiritually. That is true even if your life history hadn’t necessitated a dramatic turnaround. Therefore, I thought about it like this:
The first generation decides, and the following generations embody.
If I do my part, the generations that come after me will simply be what I have had to fight to believe. They will literally not know the struggle that I have had. There will be grace. They will simply live it. The knowledge of good and evil that wrecked Adam will have less of a hook in their souls. They will have less un-belief because they will have less capacity for it. The old generation might struggle to think and believe certain truths, but a new generation is coming that will simply live them. Perhaps that’s what it means when it says the law will be written on their hearts and minds. Paraphrasing Jesus in Matthew 5: “I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it… and just in case you thought you were fulfilling it… you have heard that it was said, ‘Don’t commit adultery, but I tell you, whoever looks at a woman with lust commits adultery with her in his heart.” (It’s my opinion that Jesus was not calling for maintenance of the law, but for the progression of it. He was pruning it for his audience so that it would bear the fruit that God had intended, for they had let it become overgrown with their own traditions.) It wasn’t meant to stop at the letter, just as it would be a sin for my children to stop at my level.
There were times when God called Israel to record and remember, and to regularly tell the stories of what God has said and done. I know I feel that call in my own life with things that God has been teaching me. There are many good reasons to keep record of His revelations, and as it relates to this word about generations, I had this thought: we are called to record and remember because His mind is so huge that it spans generations… we are called to record and remember not so that we keep things the same, but so that the iterations of all previous generations might be available to propel us farther than we could have naturally gone in our own generation. We have not been called to record and remember for the sake of preservation (because sometimes, you kill something in the process of preserving it), but for the sake of exponential and miraculous growth.