If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you should have picked up on the fact that I am a Christian. I was raised in church, which is a huge credit given to my parents. Since Sunday is Father’s Day, then I look at the legacy from my dad. Both my dad and his dad were born again Christians. My grandfather has since gone on to be with the Lord, but my dad is still serving God right here on earth. I’m thankful for the legacy that they have set forth for me making it easier for me to live as a Christian, today. I say it has been easier, because ever since I can remember, my parents had me in church, learning about Jesus. Then, at home, we would read the Bible and pray as a family. That has stayed with me my whole life.
When I talk about legacy, it reminds me of several people in the Bible:
– We start with the first children, Cain and Abel. Cain was jealous that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, and not his, so he killed Abel. God’s punishment for him was to make him a “restless wanderer” in the world. God put a mark on him so that anyone who killed Cain would experience God’s vengeance times seven!
– Cain got married and had kids (where he met a wife is the subject of a different debate!). Those kids had kids, and so on. Finally, we get to a guy named Lamech. He married 2 women. He came home one day and bragged to them that he had killed a man who had done him wrong. He said that he Cain would be avenged (presumably for being retaliated against) 7 fold, then he would be avenged 77 fold! Thant’s a pretty bold promise to make on behalf of God when God didn’t come any where near saying that. You see, God promised that to Cain to ensure that he lived a long life with his punishment. Lamech took it as a license to commit murder and get away with it.
– Adam and Eve had to replace Abel when he was murdered, so Seth was born. Seth got married and had kids, who had kids, and so forth. Finally, Enoch was born. The Bible does not tell us too much about Enoch, just that he pleased God (Hebrews 11:5). Hebrews 11:5 and Genesis 5:24 both tell us that God took Enoch from this earth, and that he did not die.
– Seth was a replacement for Abel, and Abel was the righteous child who offered an acceptable sacrifice to God. Enoch was the seventh in line in the genealogy of Adam through Seth. Enoch caught hold of the legacy that Seth left behind.
– Lamech was the seventh in the genealogy of Adam through Cain. Lamach caught hold of the legacy that Cain left behind.
Now, when I say that Enoch and Lamech caught hold of their ancestors’ legacy, this does not mean that they definitely going to follow in Seth and Cain’s footsteps. In Ezekiel 18:20, the Bible says, “The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son” (ESV). However, there are several passages that tell us that the sins of the fathers would be visited on the children (see Exodus 20:5, Exodus 34:7, Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 5:9). This does not mean that children will be punished for the sins their parents commit. Notice how the word “visited” is used. What this means is that children are not being punished for the actions of their fathers (or either parent), but are being affected by those actions.
Parents, please remember that everything you say, everything you do has some kind of an impact on your children.
What kind of legacy are you leaving for your kids?