It is not because you are so good or have such integrity that you are about to occupy their land. The Lord your God will drive these nations out ahead of you… to fulfill the oath he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Deuteronomy 9:5)
Relate: Aaron Burr is probably the most famous vice president ever to live. What many don’t realize is that he came closer than any other VP, with the possible exception of Al Gore, to becoming president. Frank Doubleday was a publishing magnate who founded a company that carries his name right to the present day. William Porter is more famous under his pen name, O Henry. I am not a fan but there is no arguing that he was the Stephen King, or JK Rowling of his time. (Then again, I am not a fan of those two either) Edith Roosevelt was the first lady married to the bellicose president Teddy who is so poorly portrayed in those kids movies: Night At The Museum. These four prosperous and influential, yet widely different people all do have one thing in common. The join another 100+ lawyers, 30 judges, 100+ ministers, 100+ professors, 62 doctors, 80 elected officials, 60 authors or editors, and thirteen college presidents who are direct descendants of Jonathan Edwards. Actually these numbers are all low because the study that lists them is over a hundred years old. How many more amazing individuals can now be added to his legacy?
When the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, God gave them a reality check. He told them, “I’m not sending you in because you are so good but rather because the current inhabitants were that bad and they need to go. Oh yah, I am also sending you in to keep a promise I made over four hundred years ago.” Think about that. God made a promise to Abraham, which He then reiterated to his kid and grandkid. Now, four hundred years later, He is finally bringing that promise to fruition.
React: I am part of a legacy that goes back for generations. No, we aren’t quite the Edwards family but I do have dozens of uncles and cousins and siblings (and one dad) who were all in full time ministry. There are dozens more who have served God by becoming teachers. I have a cousin who writes here on Fridays who will soon be a published author. She and her husband had their launch service for their new church this past Easter. We are part of a heritage that might not be as big as Abraham’s or Jonathan Edwards’s but give it a few hundred years… who knows?
What am I doing to contribute to that legacy? How will the words I speak and write echo down through the ages? What relationships and mentorships am I investing in that will continue to bear fruit decades… centuries down the line? Is my walk with God and my prayer life such that at some distant point in the future God will tell an entire nation and culture, “I am blessing you now not because you have earned it. No, there was this guy named BJ back in the day who…”
First of all I just want to say thank You. Thank You for Your faithfulness. You have said that Your mercy extends for a thousand generations and I have no idea how many of the blessings in my life are the product of the great spiritual legacies who went before me. Even though I will likely never truly understand until heaven, even now on this side I am grateful. Help me to live following You in such a way that my legacy ripples down through the ages blessing countless millions I would never have imagined. Help me to live my life so that nations centuries down the line will be blessed by Your promises kept.