What you do, how you live affects not only you, but your children, grandchildren, and further descendants. In Judah, the kingship passed from father to son. David had been the second King of Israel and had followed the Lord. He was called a man after God’s own heart. (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). But when his grandson Rehoboam did not follow The Lord most of Israel was ripped out of his hands and he became the king of Judah, with Benjamin also choosing to give their loyalty to the king. After Rehoboam died Abijam became king of Judah. He was king for only three years. Like his father, he did not follow the Lord. Verses 3-5 read,
“And he walked in all the sins that his father did before him, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father. 4 Nevertheless, for David's sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem, 5 because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”
David’s relationship with the Lord wasn’t perfect, because David was not perfect. But he did love God, and he had sought God’s will and loved Him. The Lord blessed David. God had given David a great promise. Abijam did evil but The Lord still allowed him to be king and protected his line because of David. 2 Samuel 7:9-16 reads,
“And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”
That promise was kept, even though Abijam was just as evil as Rehoboam, The Lord upheld the throne for David’s name sake. That promise was for David’s son Solomon and for all the kings who would be born after him. That promise is for also for us, the sons of God and coheirs with King Jesus. (Romans 8:17). Part of God’s wonderful promise to David was that the Messiah would be his descendant. (Isaiah 9:6-7).
God promised David’ son, inheritors, and us that He would be our Father and we would be His sons, that He would discipline us, that his steadfast love would never leave us, and that David’s royal kingdom would always be certain before the LORD. He didn’t bless Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijam or us, because of anything we did. It is because of what He did. He promised, He established David, He came to us, lived, died, and rose from the dead. He blessed David with that awesome legacy because David was a man after His own heart.
But David’s legacy had other effects and benefits too. His great great grandson followed in his footsteps. After Abijam died, Asa became king. He followed David’s way and sought the Lord. He had passion for Judah’s purity. Verses 9-15 read,
“In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah, 10 and he reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 11 And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as David his father had done. 12 He put away the male cult prostitutes out of the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13 He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. And Asa cut down her image and burned it at the brook Kidron. 14 But the high places were not taken away. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true to the Lord all his days. 15 And he brought into the house of the Lord the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels.”
Even his mother was not permitted to worship idols. He got rid of the idolatry and he added to the Temple. He cared about God’s Kingdom. His relationship with the Lord affected his family and his nation.
God promises us that our deeds will go on to affect the generations that come after us. Exodus 34:6-7 describes it like this,
“The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
What we do, affects our children, their children, and their children’s children. The consequences of the alcoholic’s drinking don’t just destroy him, they hurt his children. The consequences of sin affect his grandchildren and even great grandchildren. Of course those costs will keep moving down the line unless something changes. But there is good news! Those curses can be broken! God’s love is more powerful and longer reaching than the effects of sin. God’s awesome love is what does that. Deuteronomy 7:8-9 reads,
“but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,”
The Oath God made was to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. That promise was the promise of faith. We are asked to have faith, but it is really a trust in God’s faithfulness. He is perfectly and steadfastly faithful. It is His faith which calls us. (1 Corinthians 1:9). It is His faith which completes us. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). It is His faith which gives us faith. (Romans 10:17).
In order to receive the blessings of the Abrahamic and Davidic promises, we need like Abraham and David, to be in a relationship with The Lord. A relationship with God is not based on Mosaic Law but on faith. Jesus forgives our sins when we put our faith in Him. Luke 7:47-50 reads,
“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Once we’re saved, we just do not want to sin anymore. We want the will of God, we want to please Him. We’re new! We’re dead to sin, why would we keep on sinning the way our fathers did? Romans 6:1-4 says,
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
So we can choose to live for Christ and pass the blessings on for a thousand generations, or we can choose to live in sin and perpetuate the curses of our sin from generation to generation.