March 21, 2008




SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 5:10     “but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (NIV)

REFLECTION: An interview with Lieutenant Mary Powell of the Pennsylvania State Police alerted me to this scripture. She used it in reference to genealogical research.

Lt. Powell feels really blessed. Her faith is strong, reinforced by a faith healing as a child. But she doesn’t stop there.

“I would like to know who (my ancestral) Christians were that the Bible says about, ‘I will bless you for a thousand years. The generations of blessings interests me. Am I sitting here blessed because of my ancestor’s prayers?”

This brings new awareness to me concerning this scripture verse. Were there any persons in my ancestry who were praying blessings for me? Are the blessings of my life a result of someone else’s prayers? If so, is the conclusion that I should be praying not only for those preceding me and those who exist in my world but for the future generations to come?

Some Native Americans believe they should live for the seventh generation to come after them. But if we are praying for a thousand generations, how much greater our responsibility to the future is. If we are praying for them, we must also be living for them, which means the greed of the industrial nations of this age is wrong.

I had always felt responsible to future generations, but to think of seven generations as the Native Americans do is awesome. To think ahead to a thousand generations is even more overwhelming.

But if I am reaping the blessings of those in the thousand generations preceding myself, then I cannot break the chain of blessings by refusing to think forward.

In interviewing for news stories I learn a lot as I meet unique people of faith. Lt. Powell is a wise state trooper who is commander of her police barracks. And I learned from her.

Do you believe you reap the blessings of those who sent their love forward a thousand generations?

PRAYER: Lord, I pause to pray now not only for my children and grandchildren, but for their children far into the future. Let me live my life as a prayer of concern for those persons who will follow me in this life. Amen.

To read more devotions click on the DEVOTIONS category on the right side of this page.

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