Five "Generations" Display God's FaithfulnessMonday, May 5, 2014
L-R: Ray, Bill, Jolene, Edmund, Bill, Ann
On Sunday morning at the TWR President’s Forum I preached on "To Every Generation: God’s Faithfulness to Your Great-Grandchildren” from Psalm 100:5. The last part of that verse says that ”his faithfulness continues through all generations." Whenever I preach on that phrase, I point out that the Hebrew repeats the word "generation” twice so that it means something like "from generation to generation.” It’s not just that God’s faithfulness continues forever, though that is true. The psalmist has something more specific in mind.
The generations come and go.
We show up, we’re here for a while, then we die.
We come, we go, but God remains forever.
I did a little skit with some volunteers from the audience to illustrate this truth. In this case Bill, Jolene, Edmund, Bill and Ann represented five generations of an imaginary family. When I wrote Why Did This Happen to Me?, I described it this way:
Suppose we line up a grandfather, a father, a son, a grandson, and a great-grandson next to each other. Psalm 100 tells us that what God was to the grandfather, he will be to the father. What he is to the father, he will be to the son. What he is to the son, he will be to the grandson. What he is to the grandson, he will be to the great-grandson. And so it goes across the centuries. Generations come and go, one after the other. Only God remains forever.
In this case we had a grandfather (Bill), a mother (Jolene), a son (Edmund), a grandson (Bill), and a great-granddaughter (Ann). Ann laid on the floor because I told her she represented a six-month-old baby. She played the part perfectly.
Bill said to Jolene, "God is faithful.”
Jolene said to Edmund, "God is faithful.”
Edmund said to Bill, "God is faithful.”
Bill said to Ann, "God is faithful.”
Ann let out some baby sounds.
As you can see, we had a good time with this. The skit reminds us that though we come and go, God remains the same. For parents who worry about their kids and grandkids, it also teaches us that we don’t have to stay alive in order to make sure they are okay.
God will take care of that.
I told them to remember two things: 1) A Christian is immortal until his work is done, and 2) We need not be afraid.
We can face death with confidence knowing that God will take care of our loved ones after we are gone. That’s what we mean when we say, "His faithfulness continues from one generation to another.”
I’d like to thank Patty Cheng for sending me the picture, and I’d like to thank the folks who volunteered to help me out.