A little over a century ago the state of New York did
some studies on various people and their descendants. One subject of their study was Jonathan Edwards, a mighty revival preacher of the 18th century who, true to his own “~Christian background, raised his offspring on Godly principles. They counted five generations of his descendants, numbering 729 males. Of these 729, a couple hundred become ministers, sixty-five were Bible College teachers, thirteen University presidents, sixty doctors, sixty authors, more than 100 were lawyers and judges, a few were senators and governors, and one became vice—president. The NY study also included Max Juke and his brother who married sisters. The Jukes rejected Christian faith and practice and lived their own way. Their descendants numbered 1,026, both male and female. Of those 1,026, three hundred died early deaths from hard living, 140 spent an average of 13 years in prison, 190 became public prostitutes, and over 100 were alcoholics. It was figured in ‘1900 that they had cost the state of NY $1.2 million dollars. Pause and consider I Sam. 2:30, “for them that honor me I will honor, and those that despise me will be disdained”. Jonathan Edwards was a man that honored God deeply and sincerely and passed the depth of his convictions on to his children. God, in turn, honored him by giving him a heritage that any one of us would be envious having. And what of Max Juke and his brother? Surely not every one of their descendants came to a bad end; some possibly may have wrestled free, broke the mold, and made something of themselves. Let us not forget Ex. 20:5, “ I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me”. God is pointing out that the things we do, like loving or hating him, can effect our great- grandchildren even after we are long gone. The power to place a blessing or a curse upon our future generations has been given to us. Stop and reflect upon what you now have as a vision for your future, for one day, you may wake up and realize your only visions are the ones reminding you of what you should have done.