Children of The Promise
By Diane Lockman
Inheritance is a major theme in the Old Testament. The patriarch
Abraham is given a promise that his descendants will number more
than the stars of the heavens and the sand of the shores.
According to the Promise, Abraham would have so many generations
of sons and daughters that he could not even count them!
Why did Yahweh make such an incredible promise to one man? Because Yahweh wanted a people for Himself...a people who would love, worship, obey, and enjoy intimate relationship with Him as their Sovereign King and Father. Abraham’s son Isaac was party to the Promise as was Jacob (renamed Israel by Yahweh) and his sons thereafter. Over the centuries, there were more rebellious children in Abraham’s bloodline than obedient children; however, there was always a remnant of faithful followers of Yahweh. In fact, by the time Yahweh’s son Yeshua (Jesus is the Greek translation) was incarnated, the nation of Israel was led by men who said they knew the LORD but did not show it in their actions. Jesus reveals a new understanding of what it means to be Children of the Promise several times in the Gospels. True children of Abraham would follow Jesus.
Post resurrection Christians began to understand the Promise in a fuller way when Peter had his famous vision about the sheet of unclean animals (Acts 10). The elders of the Church interpreted this dream and the resulting baptism of the Holy Spirit on the Gentile Cornelius’ entire household to mean that Yahweh’s people were not exclusively born of the blood of Abraham; rather, they could be Jew or Gentile as long as they loved, worshipped, obeyed, and enjoyed the LORD in all of their words and deeds. Modern Christians agree with the early Church Fathers, and a reading of the Old Testament reveals that there were always non-Israelites who followed Yahweh.
Which brings us to your children today. If you are a follower of Yahweh, then you are a child of the Promise. Your children were given to you so that you might raise children of the Promise who will likewise teach their children who will teach their children….and on and on until this Age closes and Jesus comes again. Doesn’t that vision take your breath away? Generations of faithful followers who will raise faithful followers! With the gift of children comes responsibility as detailed in Deuteronomy 6:4-7:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.” (NRSV)
Parents of the Promise are commanded to teach their children about Yahweh and His world all day long, every day! Training in righteousness, justice, love, compassion, and truth will ensure that Yahweh’s Kingdom comes in and through His people. In Acts 1:8, Jesus said His people would bless as they lead in their families, their neighborhoods, their states, their nations, and their world:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NRSV)
Jesus says our lives will speak for Him. We’ve been blessed so that we can be a blessing to the people of the nations. We need to raise children who will lead through their words and deeds, not follow the world’s wicked and twisted ways.