The Legacy

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.

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