Monday, June 15, 2009

Imparting Vision with Inheritance

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. (Proverbs 13:22)
The good man is the one who walks in the instruction of the Lord, the promises of God and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. He has an inheritance to leave to his children’s children. It is not limited to the spiritual realm, because the prosperity of God offers abundance for every area of life, as John demonstrated in his prayer for Gaius, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2).

The thing about inheritance is that it passes from father to son, from a dad to his kids. In other words, it is about relationship. It is significant in Proverbs 13:22 that is it not just the children of the good man, but his children’s children — his grandchildren — who receive his inheritance. They receive it because their parents have received it and passed it on to them. Their parents “get it.” That it, they understand what they have received from their father. They not only walk in the benefits of the inheritance but they also live in the vision of it. They know what it is about and where it is headed. Because they see what it is for, they are able to maintain it and even add to it and enlarge it for their own children. It has purpose, direction, focus.

Whatever else the inheritance of the good man may be, it comes wrapped in goodness and wisdom so that it is truly a blessing and not a curse to the next generation. Many an inheritance has been squandered because it was not imparted with wisdom, understanding and vision. That is why the second half of Proverbs 13:22 gives us this contrast: “But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.”

The good man sees that there is a future for those who do what is right, that it is full of peace, shalom — wholeness and prosperity, nothing missing and nothing broken (Psalm 37:37). He knows that those who delight in the Lord and His ways will prosper in whatever he does (Psalm 1:1-3). He understands that the ways and wealth of the wicked will not endure but be driven away like chaff blown in the wind (Psalm 1:4-6).

Those who disregard God and His ways are in a slippery place that leads to destruction (Psalm 73:18). Though they may increase in riches, it is only for a time. Whatever they have gained will quickly evaporate. Their wealth will not cease to be, but it will slip from their own hands and no longer be theirs. It will eventually find its way into the hands of the upright, those who know God and live by His instruction.

The good man imparts godly vision along with the inheritance. Indeed, it is the most important part of the inheritance. When the father is faithful to pass that on to his children, his children will pass it along to their children. He will know how successful his inheritance has been in his own children when he sees his grandchildren walking in the wisdom and wealth of it.