For Christmas last year, my niece gave her parents a gift of discovering their ancestry through DNA testing. My brother and I laughed when he told me this, as our father was a first-generation American, his father coming from Germany and his mother from a German village in Switzerland. Our mother was second-generation American, all her grandparents having emigrated from Germany. Big surprise: the test showed my brother is 99+ percent German.
This got me to thinking of my spiritual heritage. Psalm 61:5 states of God, “you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.” That’s quite the lineage! I am blessed that my parents were Christians, as were their parents, and who-knows-who before them. Psalm 78: 2-4 says, “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old—what we have heard and know, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.” This Psalm refers to the children of Israel, who had a heritage of being chosen and led by God; who experienced His praiseworthy deeds. Praise God for parents who tell their children and the “next generation” of the love of God for us. As the Psalm goes on to say in verses 5-6, “He [God]decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.”
I am so grateful I have a heritage that taught me about God’s statutes and laws and also about His great love for us—a love so great that he sent Jesus to die for our sins, so we could be reconciled to God. If my parents had not told me, I may not have learned of Jesus. And what if their parents had not told them? Of course, we can learn of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ by other means, such as friends, reading the Bible, maybe even hearing the Gospel on TV or at a gathering of Christians. But how blessed are those who have access to all those things AND had parents who told them of Jesus.
Thank you, Lord for the heritage of those who fear your name!