Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Importance of Testimony

Most of you know I love history.  In a conversation I had on Sunday, I was not only reminded that those who forget their history are bound to repeat it.  But that the lesson of history is that we forget our history!!
But it is vital we look back and understand the importance God places on history and the retelling of it accurately.  I got off on a wondrous rabbit trail while studying this morning.  I went back through the genealogies of Genesis 5.  If you crunch the numbers, you find some fascinating truths that point to what I am talking about.
   Lamech (Noah's father) and Noah are the only two generations prior to the flood who could not have spoken directly with Adam.  Lamech certainly could have spoken with Seth, Adam's son.  So almost everyone up to the time of the flood could hear from the first created being about creation, the Garden of Eden, the Fall of Man, and the shame of sin.  And God's grace to them despite their sin.  Seth could tell of starting to "call on the name of the Lord." He could speak of his brother Abel's death at the hands of his other older brother, Cain.  And they could plead with each generation not to go the way of Cain and his descendants.
   You will find that Noah was alive at the time of Abram's birth.  In fact, some legends hold that Abram was trained in the home of Noah and Shem.  This is only legend.  But we do know it was possible.  In fact, Shem (Noah's son) outlived Abram by 35 years.  Think of it.  An eye witness to the total destruction of the earth by flooding told the story over and over again down through to the generation of Jacob and Esau.  Jacob, the one who would later be the father of all the tribes of Israel; the one through whose line the Messiah would come, could have heard first hand about God's provision of an ark during the terrible execution of His judgment against sin.  He could have sat and listened about how the animals came two by two.  About the curse on Ham after the flood.  About the tower of Babel and the splitting of the nations.  But also how God has faithfully kept His promises and His remnant safe through the generations.  So it is not a reach to understand how Moses may have had some insight as to how the beginning happened.  The Holy Spirit inspired writer also would have heard the stories passed down from someone who heard them from someone who lived at the time of the flood.  Amazing.

So tell YOUR story of Jesus, His works, your family's obedience to Him and the consequences you have faced when you haven't.  It is an encouragement and a warning to the next generations.  At this point in history, we may only live long enough to affect two or at the most three generations, but them we must tell.  It is our God-given responsibility.  Psalm 78

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