“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” (Malachi 4:6)
Many scholars believe Malachi prophesied regarding both the first and second coming of Christ. In Malachi’s day, therefore, all the events were yet future. In our day, however, one event has passed and the second is still yet to come.
Regardless, we see the huge hopes God has for His people – unity, and faith. In saying that the hearts of parents would be turned to their children and vice versa, God’s hope is not JUST for peace within families. Certainly the dissolution of discord is among the hoped outcomes for families which follow Christ. However, there is more here than just family harmony.
Underlying fractured Jewish families was the deeper issue of a new generation which refused to accept the faith of their “fathers.” As a generation of new adults failed to build their lives upon the same Spiritual foundation, the families began to disintegrate. The results for the new generation were catastrophic – lands that were totally destroyed. In large part because the faith within the hearts of the fathers had not been taken up into the hearts of the children.
Friends, our highest goal as parents isn’t simply to “keep the peace” with our children, it’s to pass on our faith. When two generations believe fundamentally different things about God and the world, there really isn’t much more than superficial peace possible. Lord, we want peace within our homes, and peace between our generations. But we need your help. Please turn the hearts of each successive generation to You. –Dave
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