Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
My daughter once told my wife that she couldn’t talk about her issues with me because I always brought up religion. I am not sure just how to take it. I mean I didn’t realize it nor have I ever been able to latch on to a certain denomination or “religion,” but evidently I believe that Jesus is the answer to everything
But what if it means that I’m not really listening, what if I hear her problems but I’m just throwing out an easy “trust the Lord,” or “Wwjd.”
I have had so many things come up with my family that have blindsided me. Things I should have seen or noticed, and that just floors me.
What I wanted was for my family to love each other and know the Lord. What I wanted for my family was for us to set down together, eat together, and worship the Lord together.
I wanted us to come together every week like families used to. I was lucky, I had one family gathering on Saturday and then another on Sunday. We would fellowship and eat very well and this went on for most of my life but I didn’t appreciate it.
Then that one family member dies, the one who was evidently holding the whole things together and just like that it stops.
Now we see our families at some birthdays and major holidays and that’s pretty much it because we don’t seem to be able to have the time for gathering anymore and I don’t know why.
In the last part of this section we learn how God feels about His people worshipping other gods.
He doesn’t like it.
He tells us that He is a jealous God. This verse was the ammunition formulated by the Gnostics to prove that this Old Testament jealous tribal god couldn’t be the real one. Why would God be Jealous anyway?
What they didn’t understand or overlooked was that He wasn’t jealous against other gods but that He was jealous for His people.
Why would God be jealous of something that wasn’t real. No it was the fact that these false gods, these invisible demons were taking man’s minds away from the truth and man was choosing them over the Lord and thereby hating God.
We also get a glimpse of how the family was structured back then.
They didn’t have the nuclear family model like most of us know: Father, wife, children, and sometimes grandparent.
Their family consisted of:
Great grandparents, grandparents, father, wife, and children.
This explains what the Lord means by visiting the iniquity of those (great grandfather) who hate Him (bow down to false gods) to the third (father/great grandson) and fourth (great grandchildren) generation.
This was no generational curse but the children being effected by and naturally following what the leader or the eldest of the family was doing.
Yet it also tells us that His mercy is forever and He shows it to thousands of generations who love Him.
I pray that my family will be in the thousands who are blessed and I pray this for you as well.
Yet the problem that remains is:
How do I get there?
For me I’m going to start with trying to get my family back to the same thing I miss.
Coming together once a week for fellowship to really connect and be present with each other. We can eat together at home or go out somewhere.
I think that would be a start and even though I’m not going to ever stop talking about Jesus I will make sure that I am truly listening to my family.
All I ask from you is that you pray for us.
Maybe you’d like to do the same or let me know if you have a better idea.