Read Psalm 145
Focus on verse 4
Great civilizations are built when each generation successfully passes on the wisdom and progress of the generation that preceded it to the generation that follows. In other words it would seem that any civilization could conceivably crumble within the span of three generations unless each generation is faithful to pass on what it has learned from the previous generation.
In today’s reading David writes, “One generation shall commend your words to another, and shall declare your mighty acts” (v. 4). As King of Israel, David was faithful to pass on what he had learned in his life to his people, unfortunately it seems he may not have been quite as successful in passing this on to his own children… but that is a subject for another post. In this psalm he is passing on what he learned of the greatness and wonder of God. He concludes with the mandate “let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever” (v. 21).
As the history of Israel is recounted in the pages of the Bible, it becomes evident that as Israel’s leaders began to depart from that mandate, the kingdom began to unravel. David’s son Solomon begins well, and the kingdom thrives under his wise leadership, but by the end of his reign he has already begun to drift…led into the worship of foreign false gods introduced to Israel by his many foreign wives. When Solomon’s son Rehoboam ascends to the throne, the kingdom is divided by his lack of wisdom in dealing with the people. It only took three generations for the people of God to lose their way due to the failure of each generation to faithfully model and pass on the faith to their children.
How many more times have we seen this pattern repeated in the recorded history of humanity? What does it mean for the future of our children and grand children? Since I cannot speak for anyone other than myself, I choose to echo the words of Joshua when he challenged the people of Israel as they entered the Promised Land many years prior to David’s kingdom.
“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me an my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)