Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 3, 2016

“I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.”

Today’s devotion comes from Nehemiah chapter 7.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah+7&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“5 Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogies.  Then I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up first in which I found the following record:

6 These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his city, 7 who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah.

The number of men of the people of Israel:  8 the sons of Parosh, 2,172;  9 the sons of Shephatiah, 372;  10 the sons of Arah, 652;”  Nehemiah Chapter 7:  Verses 5-10.

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Most of today’s chapter is very similar in format to verses 8-10 naming certain men of Israel and the number of their sons who returned to Jerusalem from captivity.  It is appropriate to meditate on why so much of Scripture would be devoted to such detail as we see in verses 8-10 above with a prayer that God will also put it in our heart to understand the importance of today’s Scripture as God put it into the heart of Nehemiah to assemble the nobles, the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogies.

Simply put, sons (and daughters) are important to God.

Other doctrine is individual-orientated.  Other doctrine isolates individuals out of the family.

But, Reformed Doctrine is family-orientated and recognizes the promises to families through Scripture.  Reformed Doctrine embraces families.  

Reformed Doctrine emphasizes covenant theology wherein God establishes His covenant of grace with only His elect “in the line of continued generations”.  In my words, God does not only and randomly elect certain individuals for salvation, but God also elects some of their sons and daughters for salvation.  Here is is a quote from “Lesson 18:  Covenant of Grace” in ESSENTIALS OF REFORMED DOCTRINE – A Guide in Catechetical Instruction by Rev. H. Hoeksema (revised by Prof. H. Hanko):

6.  How does God establish His covenant?
God establishes His covenant by His own work of grace whereby He takes His people into His own covenant fellowship.  Ephesians 2:8 .

7.  Does God establish His covenant with all men?
No, He establishes His covenant only with His elect people in the line of continued generations.  Galatians 3:16, 29 .  (Emphasis added by Bill).

“I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.”  Genesis 17:7.

“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”  Acts 2:39.  But, also note the qualifier “as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself”.  Not necessarily all children will be saved;  only as many children as the Lord will elect.

“3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.”  Psalm 127:3-5.

“All your sons will be taught of the Lord;
And the well-being of your sons will be great.”  Isaiah 54:13.

“… Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  Acts 16:31. 

“4 “Since you are precious in My sight,
Since you are honored and I love you,
I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.
5 “Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
And gather you from the west.
6 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring My sons from afar
And My daughters from the ends of the earth,
7 Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”  Isaiah 43:4-7.

Why does this aspect of Reformed Doctrine cause us to do?

We believe and act upon the truth that God saves our children.  We follow Noah’s example for the salvation of our household.

“By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”  Hebrews 11:7.

We baptize our infants.  We put them in Christian schools at great sacrifice.  We bring them to church.  We pray for them continually.  We send them daily devotions.  We do other things for our children, trusting God that He saves households.

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