I can trace my family lineage a few centuries at best. Six of my great-grandparents died before I was even born—they are just pictures and stories now. And me…in this moment. Such a short inhale, exhale. In the time it takes the sun to set, I will be the picture, story, and memento. Will I even exist in the features and the dreams and the convictions of my great-great-great grandchildren?
David. The shepherd boy. The anointed king. I envy him. He had a solid wall to lean on of three thousand years of family lineage through the honorable tribe of Judah and ancestors such as Caleb and Boaz. He was appointed by God to purposefully lead his nation into prosperity and peace. And he had a magnificent prospect to look forward to in perpetuating his lineage and his principles:
“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you....I will be his Father, and he shall be My son….And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever (II Samuel 7:12a, 14a, and 16).”
In fact, David’s great-great-great-great-great (et cetera) grandson who would be born approximately 1085 years later would be the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. David was indeed a man to be envied. He knew where he was from, what he was doing (and why he was doing it), and where he was going.
Living in the moment is a tremendous exercise, but living in the centuries is even better. I never learned world history by opening up the book at random and reading a few pages at a time. I only walk up to a conversation and interject my thoughts without listening to the topic if I feel like making a fool of myself. So I shouldn’t live my life with blinders and ignore the pages before and after me.
I may not be able to trace my ancestors back to Noah. I haven’t the faintest idea where God will have me in fifty years, and I sure don’t know what my descendants will be doing in a century. I may not have a knowing, but I can have a consciousness. I can complete each day in the context of yesterday and tomorrow and last millenium and next century. God has given me here and now to fulfill the plans of yesteryear and to begin the purposes of the future.
Just like David, I come from a long line of fallen men and women, some of whom served God with all their hearts, and some of whom fell and never got back up. Just like David, I have an incredible responsibility to the future of my family, my nation, and the world. Just like David, I have sinned and will continue to transgress God’s standards. I may not be compiling the resources to build an august temple, or raising future kings, or looking forward to the birth of the Savior of the world as my descendant. But the way I live my life today will change the way the world lives their lives tomorrow.
I want my posterity to have my Father’s eyes, and my Father’s smile—my Father’s passions, and my Father’s love. Pray God that it be so. That every single one of my thousands of descendants will look like me, only better—will look like my Father. That would be a pretty awesome family tree if I do say so myself.
“This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD. ….But You are the same, And Your years will have no end. The children of Your servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before You (Psalm 102:18, and 27-28).”