L’Dor v’Dor: Serving the Lord from Generation to Generation
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Mighty men of valor! Is that us? Is that our children? As parents, we have surely heard the popular Scriptures on raising our children to know the Lord. From, we are told to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. In , we are told to continuously teach God’s Word to our children—sitting at home, walking along the road, lying down and getting up. And of course, the real attention-getter—he who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly ( ). The Bible is clear that as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and members of a family, both physical and spiritual, teaching the next generation a biblical worldview is an act of obedience. We take our children to Bible class, church, and VBS. We give them rules and tell them about Jesus at home. Is there more that we need to do?
L’dor v’dor translated from Hebrew means “from generation to generation.” This is an important biblical concept that encompasses passing down family traditions, stories, and values to the next generation. As with all of God’s commands, our obedience to His command to pass down His ways to the next generation comes with His promises of blessings, even when the world around us grows more turbulent.
Throughout the Old Testament as the Israelites struggled to remain faithful, there was always a remnant that remained obedient and passed down God’s way from generation to generation. In, we are told that Judah was carried away to Babylonian captivity because of their unfaithfulness. Then verse 9:2 skips the 70 years of captivity and focuses on the return to the Promised Land.
And the first inhabitants who dwelt in their possessions in their cities were Israelites, priests, Levites, and the Nethinim ().
Notice which people are called out. The passage specifically mentions the priests and Levites. When the nation of Israel returns and rebuilds, we see the priests and Levites resume their duties. How did they know what they were supposed to do? Starting with the establishment of the priesthood with Aaron at Mt. Sinai and continuing through Babylonian captivity, each generation taught the next generation their role in the service of the Lord. Further down, we see how faithful the priests were in teaching the next generation:
... and their brethren, heads of their fathers’ houses—one thousand seven hundred and sixty. They were very able men for the work of the service of the house of God (3).
The phrase “very able men” can be translated as “mighty men of valor.” This phrase is used in the Old Testament to describe mighty warriors like King David that fought for the Lord (). This generation of priests were leaders and warriors for the Lord, and there were a lot of them. The praise is not limited to the priests. In 0, the Levite Gatekeepers’ work is reminiscent of Phinehas’ zeal for God ( ).
There will be a next generation of mighty warriors for the Lord, and they will be zealous for the Lord in their work. As a physical and spiritual family, we need to, by faith, train up our children in the service of the Lord. Being a servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ needs to be who are as family.
Father, we pray that You give us the wisdom to teach our children to be not only believers but servants. We want our values, traditions and stories to be those of service so that Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven from generation to generation. L’dor v’dor!
Scripture is quoted from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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