“Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.”
The only thing that will perpetuate the old paths to future generations is the ability and willingness of the present generation to influence the next generation. Likewise, the only thing that will perpetuate the old paths is the present generation’s willingness to allow the older generation to influence them. Each generation has a responsibility in the perpetuating of the old paths.
In the verses above, you see four generations are mentioned. The four generations are the old men, their children, their children’s children, and their children’s grandchildren. One would never think that one person could influence so many people, but they do. If future generations are going to be influenced for right and to walk in the old paths, several key things must be done to make this happen.
First, there must be a realization that your actions influence four generations. The influence of one generation is powerful. You must realize that you are not only affecting your life with your actions, but you are affecting the lives of four generations. This is why it is important that you are careful with how you live your life, and with whom you allow to influence you. Remember that how you live and whom you allow to influence you affects the four generations that you influence.
Second, the younger generation is to live in the world of the older generation. One of the big mistakes we have made in our present generation is that we have tried to live our lives in our children’s world instead of making the children live in their parent’s world. You will never influence the future generations for right if you are trying to live in their world. Invite the next generations into your world and let them see the great works and truths of God.
Third, the older generation is to pass down the works of the previous generation. You will never influence the next generation for right if you are not aggressively teaching and showing them what you have been taught. You will notice in verse 3 it says, “Tell ye your children…” This is simply passing down from one generation to the next the works that you have learned from the previous generation and the works you have seen God do in your lifetime.
Fourth, the younger generation must be willing to allow the older generation to influence them. It is impossible for the older generation to teach the younger generation to do right if the younger generation won’t listen and learn. The younger generation must be careful not to think they know everything and instead allow the older generation to teach them. Too many young people think they know more than what the previous generations have taught them only to miss the life-changing principles and lessons that can help them achieve the same great works of God in their lifetime.
Fifth, God’s power is the key to influencing generations for good and right. According to Joel 2:28, the great works of the old paths were only achieved through the power of the Holy Ghost, and they will only continue if you are filled with God’s power. You are influencing future generations, but you will only influence them for right if you are filled with God’s power.