As we noticed in Chapter 8 of Ezra, Those who came back under Ezra tended to be from those families that had come back in 538B.C (Ezra 2).
The message here seems to be that covenant faithfulness tends to run in families.
“Even over the generations, it was particular families that were to the fore in making the journey back to the land. Reading between the lines, we may discern here an example of that faith-in-action … transmitted from generation to generation by those families which took seriously their religious and educative duties.” (McConville, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, Daily Study Bible, 53).
The Covenant of Grace consistently has the family in view and is accompanied by blessings and conditions.
Though evident from Adam to Christ, the most common statement of the Covenant is found in Abraham (Gen 17:7-9). Did any of this change with the arrival of the New Covenant – the new way of demonstrating faith? No. The arrival of the New Covenant did not move from “you and your children” to, “every man for himself.”
Parents who put their hope in God for their own salvation have ample warrant from scripture to put their hope in God for the salvation of their chidlren – since – it is not their faith which saves either one, but the promise.Their faith is not in faith, “if I believe it will happen, it will happen”. Their faith is in a promise.
The goal of parenting is to raise your children in the fear and knowledge of the Lord. Children of believing parents are to be welcomed into full fellowship among God’s people until they show, by their rejection of the gospel, that they are un-renewed and still dead in sins.
The connection between faithful nurture and Covenantal faithfulness is one of the grand themes of Proverbs. The Covenantal name ‘Yahweh’ used throughout demonstrates the books immersion in Covenantal life. (Proverbs 2:1-21; 14:26; 19:18, 22:6, 15; 23:13-14).
This wonderful teaching of God is given as an encouragement to believing parents. The overwhelming majority of Christians in the church today come form believing parents, compared to the number of those who have become Christians without believing parents. Therefore, faith in God’s gracious promises for yourselves and your children – and the obedience that follows from that faith – is not in vein.
Lessons For little Saints…
- Who did God include in His promise to Abraham?
- Are children of believing parents Christians?
- What responsibilities do parents have?
- What responsibilities do children have?