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Returning to the Lost Vision of Generations

In every age, there are stories that transcend time and culture

Such is the story of Abraham. We find him in Genesis 12. His family is first mentioned in Genesis 11. Genesis 1-5 provide the story of Adam and the succeeding generations. The Adam generations are marked by the general mandate: be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.

But with little other compass settings by the time of Noah, the chief goal of man appears to be his own self-satisfaction. Stated differently, he lives for himself. And with this self-centeredness, God sets about a grisly plan: the destruction of mankind through flood. Genesis 6-11 are all about this plan, and the new start.

 In turning the page to Genesis 12, we find an entirely new focus: a single person—Abraham. As if to illustrate that idea, God tells Abraham to leave his family, his kindred and his country behind. It’s a new start. It as if God’s focus is directed entirely towards one man, and placing in that one man a new vision.

It’s a vision for generations. Indeed, God tells Abraham “to your offspring I will give this land.” He repeats the vision in Genesis 13: “to your offspring I will give this land forever.” By Genesis 15, God sharpens the vision in one dramatic star-filled night when he tells Abraham that his descendants will be like the innumerable stars of the night sky. By Genesis 22, God tests Abraham to see if he is willing to sacrifice even his treasured son and heir.

 The vision is repeated with each succeeding generation. And by the time of Moses, the vision is sharpened further still with the Law, a means of communicating a code of conduct for God’s chosen people. The Law would ultimately give way to a Messiah, a redemptive Savior.

 The vision of generations is marked by these big ideas. The story of God in our lives. A promise of a future place—a promised land. The story of sacrifice—of being willing to let go, to trust and to let God do his work. When these big ideas take root, we are willing to live not just for ourselves but for those yet to come.

 How do you consider the vision of generations working out in your own life?

About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously: www.givingitallawaybook.com. » Learn More

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