I tutored my daughter’s 2nd-grade class in our homeschool co-op. That year we were memorizing the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20, complete with hand motions and anything else we could possibly think of to get 7-year-olds to remember words scribed by the finger of God onto stone tablets thousands of years ago. Is this the way they did it during Moses’ day? Is this how they taught them to their children when they rose up and when they laid down or walked by the way? I think probably so. Those 7-year-olds probably held up their little fingers to count and recite in their sing-songy voices just like we did.
I knew-ish the 10 Commandments already, but what I didn’t know were some of the “extra” bits squeezed in between the directives. There’s the part about God’s jealousy in verse 4. We could spend some time studying what that’s all about. I love the OT because it teaches me so much about God’s character.
The part that BLEW. ME. AWAY. is in verses 4-6.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.“
He says the consequences for sin will carry throughout the 3rd and 4th generations of those who hate Him. But before we go thinking that’s a harsh punishment, don’t forget this particular sin being discussed is denouncing God and creating your own.
But He goes on to say that He shows His love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments. A Thousand! The punishment is oh-so-much smaller than the blessing. I remember that really sinking in for the first time as I was teaching to those children and pondering the mercy of our God.
There’s a lot packed in there, and it’s so worth digging in, but for now I just want to leave you with the thought of that blessing – to a thousand generations of those who love the Lord and keep His commandments.
If you haven’t heard this song by Kari Jobe and Elevation Worship, it is time. The lyrics are simple reminders of some blessings the scriptures remind us of.
Numbers 6:24 – 26 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Psalm 67:1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us–
Psalm 90:1 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us– yes, establish the work of our hands.
No matter what the crisis, He is with us. May The Blessing be a blessing to you today.
Hollie Gilman is a freelance writer who has spent the last 21 years momming, homeschooling her 3 almost-grown-and-flown children, and working with her husband of 24 years. She is a lifelong passionate learner in all things Faith, Health, and Leadership. Right now she is loving her new life in the country (being a pretend farmer) just outside her hometown of Richmond, VA. Her blog is where she spills her guts on the things of the heart we all share: faith, life, love, family, and anything else that tumbles through her mind.