We have a responsibility to pass on the exalted truths of God from generation to generation. And that includes not only proclaiming His hand of mercy, but His hand of judgment. The combination of these divine attributes provides us with a full-orbed picture of God’s eternal plan of redemption, offering important life lessons for Christian believers
.Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten. (Joel 1:2-4)
The Word of God instructs us to be students of God’s story. And the only way we can be students of His story is to read it, meditate on it, and come to know it. God inspired the prophet Joel to urge parents to take the time to know God’s story and to pass it along to their children.
The locusts Joel referred to were agents of God’s divine judgment on His people for their rebellion and disobedience. And when the destroying swarms of locusts were understood to be an instrument of redemption in the hands of God, His people would respond in repentance and return to their God. This is the pattern throughout the Old Testament history of God and His people: things would go well for a while; the people would grow complacent and turn away from God; God would send judgment; and the people would repent and return to God.
So . . . how well are you at telling God’s story to those around you? Are you spending adequate time in the Word each day to know it well enough to tell it? Sadly, many in the church today neglect the rich history of God’s story in the Old Testament. Yet the New Testament doesn’t make sense without the Old! It has been well said that “The Old Testament is revealed in the New, and the New Testament is concealed in the Old.” Both the Old and New Testaments make up one single story of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The key is to see the Bible as a metanarrative—one single, overarching story—from beginning to end. Scripture is not comprised of 66 disconnected books offering stories with moralistic messages to keep us in line; it is the incomparable saga of God’s redemption and His pursuing love for rebels on the run. And God wants us to know it so well that we can share it with our children . . . so that they will share it with their children. With all the “stuff” we can pass along to our kids, there is nothing more important to give them than the story of our Savior.
Finally, in telling God’s story to our children, we are also to share how our story intersects with it. We can share the lessons we have learned in life from both our victories and our defeats. And we should explain how, through it all, God has loved us with an everlasting love that would lift us out of the ashes of defeat, dust us off, and send us back into the game of life. Now that is a story worth telling, over and over and over again!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!