Did you know that back before the printed word, history was passed down, primarily, through word of mouth? It makes sense, but it definitely isn't something I pause to consider very often. In fact, in Old Testament times, "oral tradition was the principal means of preserving national history" (Expositor's Commentary, emphasis added).
5 For He established a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should teach them to their children
6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
7 That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,
8And not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
It is a beautiful passage of Scripture isn't it? Our faith, the law, commands, and works of our God are to be passed down from generation to generation. Why? So that we would not be like our fathers (or ancestors) and be stubborn, rebellious. lacking a faithful spirit and a good heart.
Think about that for a second. If we did this right. If we taught our children the laws and commands, told them of the wondrous works of our Lord, and lived like we believed them all (with true faith) then the effects would be multiplying!!
|Our children would learn from us and their children from them and so on and so forth....|
Each and everyone of them would be instilled with faithful spirit and righteous heart! I pray every single day that I am able to instill these things in my daughter. That when she grows older and has to make a choice between the world's way and God's way, that she won't even have to think twice.
As I read this passage, a lot of things came to mind....but the question that really got me thinking, the one that brought tears to my eyes was this: Am I capable of teaching my daughter the way she should go? For Proverbs 22:6 states: Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Can I do that? Only by God's strength and wisdom. But how do I rely on that strength and wisdom, where do I find it? His Word and Prayer. They have to be a daily part of our lives. Without them, we are lost. And if we are lost, how do we show others the way?
We should know the Lords laws & commands, as well as His wondrous miracles, so well that if we had to pass on this history orally we could do so without distorting or forgetting the truth. Our ancestors had no other choice. They learned and memorized. They didn't write the Word on a piece of paper, but on their hearts!
In order to train my daughter in the way she should go, I must write His Word on my heart. I need to spend time in His word and in prayer daily. Kids learn by what they see, not what they hear. Setting the right example is key to teaching generations after me the way they should go.
It starts with me.