Psalm 103:17-18 But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him; and his righteousness with their children's children
Last night Scott and I were having a rather painful conversation with one of our children about the reasons behind some of the boundaries we've chosen to place in our home around relationships with the opposite sex. I'll admit some of our standards go against the grain of today's societal trends and are likely ridiculed not only by our children's peers but also our own. We were not surprised that she was struggling to accept our rules but rather how confused she was as to why we had put those standards in place. Boundaries placed in love were seen as choices made out of fear.
As we explained our reasoning, our daughter's heart softened but mine was left throbbing. I had been hurled back to the early years when I had interacted with boys. I was awkward. I felt ill-equipped physically or socially to attract a "top" candidate. As a result, I made poor choices in a futile attempt to attract and retain boyfriends. All I could think to myself was how much I don't want my girls to grow up to be like me...at least in that department.
This morning I am reading Hebrews 7. This chapter references a fairly obscure Old Testament figure named Melchizedek. I'll just refer to him as Moe. You can read in detail about Moe in Genesis 14 but the short is this. Abraham's nephew, Lot, is taken as a prisoner when several kings band together and successfully raid a neighboring land. Abraham, clearly aided by God, successfully wages battle against these kings and brings home Lot, his family and everything previously belonging to Lot. As the victory party passes through the area that will later become Jerusalem they happen upon Moe.
Moe is described as a priest of God Most High (Verse 1). We are never told in Scripture who Moe's parents are. This is significant because every other person given the title "priest" in the Bible is a descendant of one of Abraham's great-grandsons named Levi. Here Jesus is referred to as a priest in the order of Melchizedek. (Verse 17) When Jesus died for each of us, He became our priest permanently. Generation upon generation, every other priest who served in the Jewish temple offered sacrifices for sin on behalf of God's people but also for himself. Jesus sacrificed Himself on our behalf alone.
Jesus' perfect sacrifice was intended to abolish the "old ways" but we try to carry our old ways into this new covenant. One of the most damaging is generational sin. These are the things about ourselves that we ascribe to our parents or where we come from or how we were raised and thereby assume will never change. It could be habitual such as growing up in around alcoholics. It could be sexual like growing up viewing pornography. It could even be something "harmless" such as treating our spouse in the same disrespectful way we saw our own parent treated, having a problem with unbridled anger or an uncontrolled tongue.
Jesus, You desire so much more for my life than children that turn out like me. You want my kids to turn out like You. I want to leave a legacy of faith, not sinful behavior. With You I know it is possible. Your love can visit my children's children. Now that's something worth writing in the will.