It is a very familiar story.
The daughter brings her boyfriend home for the first time. The family tries hard to be civilized about it, but the atmosphere is quite stiff.
As soon as the taillights of his car vanish, mom clears her throat and asks, “Honey, what exactly do you see in HIM?” while she tries to suppress the shudder associated with the word “HIM.”
Honey adopts the stance which kids use when they believe their parents have an IQ right around 35 and begins to point out all the finer qualities of her beloved, which her parents had totally missed.
Seeing someone through another person’s eyes is usually highly enlightening. What is especially informative is seeing someone through God’s eyes.
We have such a situation in Genesis 18. God and a couple of angels had donned temporary bodies and they came to visit with Abraham and to nuke Sodom and Gomorrah. After lunch, as they were leaving, God was musing with the angels over whether to let Abraham in on the impending disaster or not.
What criteria would you use to make that decision?
God’s criteria is quite interesting to me, but it sums up Abraham’s connection to God — his on ramp to heaven. God announced to the nuclear angels that He was going to share with Abraham because Abraham had a generational world view.
This is in fact the core of Abraham’s story. Money, fame and political power came to Abraham and he used them all but was unimpressed by them. But the issue of his legacy through his family line was primary. It was the sweet spot at the core of his being.
There are at least seven times where God engaged personally with Abraham. In three of them, God initiates promises of land and a generational legacy. In the last four, it is primarily about the legacy.
It is fascinating that Abraham never raised the issue of land. He neither thanked God for the promises of land or asked for details or complained about the terms of the deal (a 400 year escrow!).
But in Genesis 15 he complained about the meaninglessness of the faithfulness of God to him when he had no legacy.
In other words, this was his on ramp to intimacy with God: a generational legacy. Everything else in his life was merely a context. With all that and no son, life meant nothing.
There are still people today who have that passion for a family line that is defined by spiritual greatness. They can do war and can do hospitality and can do commerce and can do land, but they only really come alive when the prospect of building spiritual greatness into their generations is on the table.
Father, we humbly ask You to send us some people like Abraham who have a passion for their seed. Remove from the existing community some who are self-absorbed and cannot see beyond their own comfort. In their place bring some men and women who are single minded on the issue of their legacy.
We crave the men and women who cannot be bought off with the baubles of success or fame or power. Send us those whose passion for the generations is laser sharp, year after year, pursuing for a century if necessary the promise from You.
As we focus on forming a community that knows You in a wide variety of ways, we ask that You would anchor this community with a generational vision, not a contemporary self-serving vision.
There is so much in Scripture that will only be understood by those who are passionate about the generations. We ask You Father, to send us those men and women who can open the Word and reveal to us the treasures of that on ramp to heaven which You found so precious in Abraham, Your friend.
Copyright September 2011 by Arthur Burk
Sapphire Leadership Group, Inc.