“We should consider in all our deliberations, the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” Iroquois saying.
The message of “seventh generation” living is to think seventh generations ahead and act in ways that benefit, not sacrifice, the future generations, specifically the seventh generation after us.
We should apply the Seventh Generation Principle to relationships – so that every decision we make results in sustainable relationships that last at least seven generations into the future.
Seventh generation. My dad can remember his great grandparents, his grandparents, his parents, his generation, his kids, my kids and my kids kids. 7 generations!! In that way we can remember our history, our oral tradition and teach it to that 7th generation. I remember my grandpa Greenfield telling us stories. Sometimes over and over again.
I have four generations of my family alive now and I remember my grandpas Greenfield and Copeland well. I can understand wanting to care for the people the land the relationships for those around me and those who come after me. To make sure that my kids hear stories of my grandpas and Elaine’s mom who started the books of the Bible song. It’s their heritage!
Hebrews 11, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us push on towards the goal.
I’m only looking a few generations past who I can see currently. How do I want the world to be better for them? What don’t I want them to forgot? The fundamentals of course!! For me those include:
- The Bible as the word of God
- There is one God, eternally existent in 3 persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- The Virgin birth
- Jesus’ death and resurrection
- Salvation by faith in Christ alone
As one commentator has observed, “Seven generations is about the longest period of time that we can grasp subjectively. Some of us had great grandparents when we were born. We have known our grandparents, our parents, and ourselves. We may also know our children, our grandchildren, and possibly our great grandchildren. These seven generations are a yard stick of human experience.”
Nehemiah 9:16-18, 26-31, 37 as part of a sermon series by Darrell Baker, Faith Baptist Church, Muskoka, ON
First, this prayer was a reminder for the Israelite that they are the product of those who had come before them.
- It wasn’t their generation who had turned their back on God; in fact it was probably their great, great, great grandparents.
- They were paying for someone else’s mistakes and sin.
- I think they were wise enough to know that if they had been alive at that time they would have joined the party.
- We like to think that we would have done things differently but we are only fooling ourselves when we think that way. It may have been their forefathers’ mistakes/sin but they knew they were no different.
Secondly, by reminding themselves of what had preceded them they were also admitting that they would shape the lives of those who would follow them.
- The decisions and plans we make today will have a direct bearing on those who follow.
- The church fifty years from now will be built, to some degree on what we do today.
- Therefore we should be working, not simply for ourselves but for our children and grandchildren.
One final aspect of this prayer that I want you to notice is that they knew that our God is the God of the second chance.