Leaving a Godly Heritage – The Consequence of Ideas

What does leaving a Godly heritage look like? What does it mean ‘to leave a Godly heritage?’

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from Him
Psalm 127: 3 (

Heritage can relate to many things, but for our purpose we will use the Oxford Dictionary definition which in part states; Heritage is: “Valued qualities and cultural traditions that have been passed down from previous generations”.

This would be complimentary to many Scriptures but we will suffice with God’s instructions in the 73rd Psalm. A paraphrase; ‘He established a law in Israel and commanded our forefathers to teach them to their children, even the children to be born, and they in turn will tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and not forget His deeds.’

The big question is; How do we treat, teach, protect and nurture our heritage and our rewards from God?

The family home is the most crucial and important learning environment for our children. It is here, in their early formative years, where the child will be most influenced – for better or for worse. They will learn (or not) to bond with those around them. Children learn language, positive and negative behaviour and how to interact with others in the home.

Modern research confirms that the first five years of a child’s life is the most crucial and vital time to instill good attitudes and create healthy habits, especially their spiritual growth and understanding.

To further explore what it means to leave a Godly heritage we will consider the instructions given to Moses before the Israelites went into the Promised Land. Let us also consider how these instructions relate to us today. My conviction is that these Scriptures set out God’s plan for families and how to impart their faith to their children. The home is the place where children should be introduced to the Lord of Creation and the Saviour of the World.

Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, is known as the Shema (pronounced “Shem- ar”) and is worthy of our examination. These instructions for the family was given to Moses to be passed on. It is considered by devout Jews as the most critical and significant portion of the book of Deuteronomy. Jewish children are taught this as a prayer. Devout Jews recite it three times a day. Each Friday evening, as the Sabbath begins, in Jewish homes around the world, the father, and sometimes the mother, lay hands on the children’s heads and pray for them.
Deuteronomy 6: 4 – 9 NIV

A reminder of the first commandment.

Verse. 4

“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one”

There shall be no other gods before Me. The land into which the Jews were going was a land with a multitude of gods. Sadly this is the same as the society our children find themselves in today and we have the answers to help them make right decisions.

A reminder to the parents.

Verse 5

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

 An expert in the law tested Jesus with a question. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus quoted this Scripture in Matthew 22:37.   “Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind (might).” Jesus then went on to say in verses 38-40 “this is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Our children are in desperate need of godly role models. This is a great opportunity for parents, teachers, uncles and aunties to be those role models who demonstrate that they love the Lord with all their heart, all their soul and all their mind.

THOUGHT:      If I expect my children to pray, then they need to see me praying.

If I expect my children to love the Word of God they need to see that in me.

If I expect my children to love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their mind, guess where they will be looking?

A reminder that this is a commandment.

Verse. 6

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.

It would not be hard to believe that this verse is referring to the commandment above (verse 5) and the “Ten Commandments” given earlier in chapter five. The Lord says, these words I command today shall be in your heart. These are not just for head knowledge but are to be an outward demonstration and expression of our inner beliefs and convictions.

A reminder to be diligent

Verse 7

Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

The word used to “impress” means to engrave. We do this by imparting our faith (as we live it out in front of our children) as opposed to imposing our faith on our children. If as parents we use the “do what I say and not what I do” line it will not work in the long term.

Who to impress                       Our children

What to impress                      The Word of God

Where to impress                    Walking, lying down, getting up, and sitting down.

When to impress                     All the time.

This is a “lifestyle” that should be evident in our everyday life.

A reminder to have reminders.

Verse 8

Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

It is always a joy when you see young people wearing the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets or something similar, and Tee shirts that have a Christian message. Not only are these reminders important for our children but we also need to be reminded of the word of God. Hopefully as they wear these obviously Christian items, they will also become comfortable in articulating their beliefs.

Verse 9

Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

It is possible to have posters with Scriptures around the house and other Christian symbols, such as the Nativity scene during the Christmas season. We should endeavour to give our children books, games and items that will strengthen their faith and not cause them to stumble.

Challenge: To take God’s commandments seriously.

What are the consequences of ignoring God’s instruction for our families?

Let us look at what happened to the Jewish nation which ignored God’s instructions.

Judges 2: 10 -11

Verse 8

Joshua son of Nun died, the servant of the Lord died at the age of one hundred and ten.

 The influence of the godly men and women has now passed away.

Verse 9

And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

 Verse 10

After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel.

 After all the wonderful blessings of God a WHOLE generation grew up who not only did not know the Lord, but did not know the awesome things God had done for Israel!

Is that not how it is around the world today?  Many of this generation do not know the Lord nor the incredible things He has done in the development of civilization.

Verse 11

Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals.

With no understanding of the Lord nor His plan for their lives, young people now, as they did then, throw away their lives on destructive living – with dire consequences.

THOUGHT:        How seriously do we take the instruction to teach our children?

Suggested reading

“Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions”           George Barna

“The Culture-Wise Family”                                                      Ted Baehr and Pat Boone

“One Generation from Extinction”                                         Mark Griffiths

“Let the Children”                                                                       Elizabeth Kotlowski

 Graham McDonald –  The DIDUNO Network – [email protected]