What do parents in America want for their children? I think I can safely say that most of us want lots of friends, good grades, and health for our grade school children. When children hit high school parents want them to have the right kind of friends, a drug and alcohol-free life, athletic ability, good grades, and polite manners. When children get out of their teens, parents want them to have a good college education, a promising and prosperous career, a wonderful marriage partner. These are all nice things to want for our children, but should any of these things come close to being our first priority for their lives?
It is to parents that God entrusts the primary responsibility for giving children spiritual foundations, celebrating their spiritual birth, and leading them through spiritual discoveries and personal ownership. It is not a process that happens by default. Parents must model loving God, knowing God, and serving God. Worship is caught and taught.
Watch the process of how generational worship or the neglect of worship effects the generations after us. Let’s consider the biblical story in 2 Chronicles 26 where we meet a godly king whose name was Uzziah. Though Uzziah was a great man verse 16 tells us that he was filled with pride and decided he would worship God in his own way rather than the way God had prescribed. “But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense” 2 Chronicles 26:16.
The following verses tell us that it was neither Uzziah’s right nor his privilege to burn incense in the temple of God. What he did was false worship. No matter what his motive was, Uzziah attempted to worship God in the wrong way. He may have been sincere, but he was sincerely wrong. The priests confronted Uzziah, but he became very angry. At the instant Uzziah became angry with God, God struck him with leprosy.
At the end of verse 21 we find that “King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death, and being a leper lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the LORD. And Jotham his son was over the king’s household, governing the people of the land” 2 Chronicles 26:21. A father worshipped God in the wrong way, and now his son was going to take his place on the throne.
What was Jotham like? 2 Chronicles 27:2 “And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD according to all that his father Uzziah had done, except he did not enter the temple of the LORD. But the people still followed corrupt practices.” A pattern was beginning to take shape. Uzziah did not worship God in a proper way, and was cut off from the house of the Lord. Then his son Jotham says, “Well, Dad had trouble down at that church, and he quit going. I don’t see why I ought to go to church.” So Jotham says, “Children, let’s go down to the lake today and have a picnic. Bring your Bible along because we’re going to have Sunday school down at the lake. We don’t have to go to church to worship God. My father loved God. He was a good man.” Jotham deliberately choose not to go to the house of God.
So far we have a father with false worship and a son with neglected worship. Now a grandson comes along in 2 Chronicles 27:9 named Ahaz. What was Ahaz like? 2 Chronicles 28:1-2 “Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD, … He even made metal images for the Baals,” (The Baalim were idols of Baal, the sex god.) 2 Chronicles 28:24 “And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and he shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem.”
Can you believe that? This is the grandson of godly King Uzziah! Uzziah loved God, but he misused the house of God. His son Jotham loved God, but he had no use for the house of God. But Jotham’s son Ahaz worshiped idols. He destroyed the vessels of the temple and nailed the doors shut.
Think about your house of worship. I wonder if your grandchildren are going to close that place down and nail the doors shut. But this isn’t over yet. It gets worse. 2 Chronicles 28:3 “and he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel.” Uzziah’s grandson burned Uzziah’s great-grandchildren to death as offerings to a horrible pagan god! Molech was a heathen idol with outstretch arms and a hollowed-out belly in which was a great furnace of fire. His worshipers would heat Molech until he glowed and then sacrifice their babies to him by burning them in the fire. You say, “No generation would destroy its children.” Oh really? Consider all the abuse, abandonment, and abortion in our own land. Our hands drip with blood.
- Uzziah loved God, but worshipped in a wrong way.
- Jotham loved God, but he had no use for the house of God.
- Ahaz hated the house of God and nailed the doors shut, then sacrificed his sons to demon gods.
Children were created to worship God! You don’t want to miss May 8 and 15 at Mobberly. If you cannot attend, consider listening live at 9:50am and 11:20am (CST) at www.mobberly.org . God cares about children and so do we!