Have you thought about your descendants and their relationship to our LORD Jesus Christ? I know I do. It seems the older I get, the more pressing the issue is for me. I am increasingly aware of the decreasing time I have to influence them. Much of Carol and my prayers focus on this concern.
Many translations include something the ESV leaves out. It is inferred in the ESV but stated explicitly in the NIV, NLT, and NRSV. These translations say something like "Showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." They have added the word "generations" which the ESV and some other versions leave out.
Years ago when I read verses 9-10 in the NIV, I wrote this note to myself; "So, Roy, if you desire for your family to be loved by God, for His blessing to be upon them, the surest way is for you to love Him and keep His commandments."
Another passage of Scripture always comes to mind when praying for my family. In John 17:24 Jesus prays, "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world." As I read that verse, I made it my prayer. Just as the Father gave Jesus whom He desires, so, too, He did for me. I used to say that I chose Carol, but God gave me all the other members of my family. I have come to realize He, also, gave me Carol as the greatest gift of my life, after the salvation of my soul.
I reworded Jesus' prayer this way; "Father, I desire, just like Jesus, that those you gave me would be where I am. I believe and know I am in Christ because of Your promise. My prayer for them is that they would be where I am. I want them with me to see His glory, which You gave Him before the foundation of the world because of Your great love. Please, Father would you love my family the way You loved me and chose me before the foundation of the world. I pray this for Your glory and my family's eternal good.”
Isn't this the greatest prayer! "O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble."
We are often told in Scripture to "wait on the LORD." Isaiah 40:28-31 is probably the most well known. "He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."
But this verse is more profound to me. What do you do with your arms? What do you do that does not require your arms? Today, I challenge you each time you use your arms to think of God as Your arm. By praying "be my arms every morning," I am asking God to do in and through me what He alone can do.
LORD, You are gracious to me! I want my confidence in You to be so sure there would be no question for whom I am waiting. Please be my arm today. Forgive me for taking those things on myself that are Yours. Teach me to know my responsibility and to faithfully carry it out, knowing it is You who carries me.
In Deuteronomy 5:4-5, 22-26, the people of Israel knew they had stood before the all consuming fire and heard Him, and they did not want to do that again. The Israelites in Deuteronomy said "For this great fire will consume us. If we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, we shall die." Now generations later, the same lesson is learned.