Bible Bites

Bible Bites

Lessons From Four Generations

In 1 Kings 15-22 and 2 Kings 8 we are able to trace the genealogy of four generations of Judah’s kings. Upon investigating the history of these men, it is interesting to witness the remarkable spiritual changes that took place in each generation. 

Rehoboam begat Abijam — a wicked son who “walked in the sins of his father.” Abijam begat Asa — to a wicked father was born a son who “did what was right in the sight of the Lord.” Asa begat Jehoshaphat — a righteous father had a son who “walked in the ways of Asa his father… doing right in the sight of the Lord.” And finally, Jehoshaphat begat Jehoram — to a godly father a son was born who “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” 

To simplify: 

Wicked Father — Wicked Son
Wicked Father — Godly Son
Godly Father — Godly Son
Godly Father — Wicked Son

That parents should have a strong influence over their children, there can be no doubt. Every parent should feel the weight of the admonition to bring children up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6.4). But a study of biblical examples such as those above, reminds us that our children grow up to be adults who are personally accountable before God. This means I will not inherit my father’s relationship with God and my children will not inherit mine (Ezekiel 18.20). 

Let such a fact serve as a warning to the members of each generation: You must ultimately stand on your own two feet. If you do wrong, then you must accept responsibility and not seek to justify your failures because of what father and mother did. Abijam followed his father’s wicked example. Jehoram chose a path of ungodliness in spite of his father’s worthwhile example. Both Abijam and Jehoram were held accountable, not for what their fathers did, but for what they did. On a more positive note, it should be observed that our children can be better than we are. With a wicked example of a father, Asa still sought righteousness. Children do not have to share in their parent’s failures, but can rise above them.