The Generation Game
All that I have and all that I am, Lord, comes from You. I praise You for all You’ve given me!
Read Micah 7:1-20
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!” (Charles Wesley, 1707-88).
History bears testimony to an inevitable sequence of events when the rot sets in. Spiritual decline, moral anarchy, social collapse, financial ruin all lead to the ultimate disintegration of trusting bonds, even within the closest and most intimate relationships. The sequence may vary in different situations. Sometimes it may be difficult to discern which is the chicken and which the egg, but the time comes when there is an inevitability about the outcome once the slide begins. This can be equally true of personal as well as wider social and national situations. We may find the stark words of the second commandment difficult to square with our understanding of a just and loving God. Yet history and experience show that a nation’s decline in faith leads to increasing moral anarchy over several generations, and this can only be reversed by a true spiritual revival. This is how God has created society. The Hebrew “pahcad” means “to visit,” as in some translations, as well as “to punish.” That is what the saying about sour grapes–Jeremiah 31:29 (last Tuesday’s reading) was all about. Hebrew thinking had such a high view of God’s power and sovereignty that God was seen as the immediate instigator of events which we might describe as the natural result of cause and effect (Isa. 45:7).
The sins of our fathers (or the pressure of our circumstances) can have a negative effect on us, but we must never use that as an excuse for our own sinful actions. They may explain, but never excuse. We are responsible for our own actions, and the power of the Holy Spirit can transform our weaknesses into his strength.
If there are areas of your life that have been affected by the sins of others, seek prayer and counsel from a trusted pastor, friend, or a professional helper, if necessary.
Father, what a comfort it is to know that You are for me and not against me (7). I am so glad that forgiveness for my sins comes from You (18).
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.