Just a few days ago I was speaking with a man who longs for children. He and his wife have been trying to get pregnant for many years with no success. Having spent considerable amounts of money in an attempt to determine the cause, there still is no clear diagnosis.
Describing his angst John told me, “It is like there is this chain with links stretching back for generations, so many of them that I can’t even recall that far back. It just feels wrong to not continue that chain.”
This is more than some biological imperative to spread one’s seed. This mythic, spiritual, sacred. It comes from God himself in his very first instruction to mankind.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it…” – Genesis 1:28a
This directive from God was so profound that Jewish law required a divorce if after ten years of marriage children were not produced.
To have someone carry on your family name, to be remembered long after your passing was a form of immortality. It was a high honor.
In reading through through Job there is an ultimate curse described.
They are torn from the security of their tent, and they are brought down to the king of terrors. The home of the wicked will disappear beneath a fiery barrage of burning sulfur. Their roots will dry up, and their branches will wither. All memory of their existence will perish from the earth. No one will remember them. They will be thrust from light into darkness, driven from the world. They will have neither children nor grandchildren, nor any survivor in their home country. – Job 18:14-19
This curse or judgment removes; the person, any trace of their dwelling or physical accomplishments, ability to procreate, all memory of them – their name, and no progeny. Their chain will be broken and forgotten.
However, John and his wife are Christ followers. His chain will never be broken because he is procreating into the eternal realm by investing his time, treasure and talent to ensure that others come to know Christ as Lord and Savior too. And doing such he has a glorious promise and blessing, rather than a curse, upon his eternity.
For I say this to the eunuchs (unable to have children) who keep my Sabbath days holy, who choose to do what pleases me and commit their lives to me: I will give them—in my house, within my walls—a memorial and a name far greater than the honor they would have received by having sons and daughters. For the name I give them is an everlasting one. It will never disappear! – Isaiah 56:4-5
Not only is John’s chain unbroken, new links are being solidly welded into place daily.
Lord, thank you for welding links into my chain. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Linked to eternity. Jan