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A Lasting Inheritance

Scripture: Woe to those who join house to house; They add field to field, Till there is no place Where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land! 9 In my hearing the LORD of hosts said, “Truly, many houses shall be desolate, Great and beautiful ones, without inhabitant. Isaiah 5:8-9 (NKJV)

Observation: Woe. Six “woes” (vv. 8, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22) are introduced by the Hebrew particle translated as “woe” or “alas.” They function as warning devices. They clearly intensify the force of the condemnation to exile. The charges against God’s people are as follows: they do not pay attention to the Lord; they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel; they call evil good and good evil; and they are engaged in sin. The evils God judges in this setting are greed (first woe); self indulgence (second woe); moral perversion (third woe); delusions of grandeur (fourth woe); self indulgence and the resulting social abuses (fifth and sixth woes).

Application: One of the most interesting stories that Jesus taught sprang from a question put to him: “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Luke 12:13 (NKJV) How many families have fallen apart because one took more than their share and another felt they didn’t get enough. Arguments, fights, lawsuits, and even murder have resulted from wanting a larger piece of the inheritance.
But Jesus’ response put the desire for more into a proper perspective: Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. 17 He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ 18 Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, 19 and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’ 20 “Just then God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?’ 21 “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God.” Luke 12:16-21 (MSG)
I just saw this interesting story today which helps us to put Jesus’ words into a different perspective: A man gave orders to do three things upon his death:
(1) That his coffin be carried by the best doctors of the time. (2) That the treasures he had would be scattered along the way to his grave. (3) That his hands would be left outside the coffin in the sight of all.
Amazed someone ask him the reason for his requests. He explained:
1) I want the most eminent doctors carrying my coffin to show that they don’t have the power to heal. (2) I want the road to be covered with my treasures so everyone can see that whatever material goods you accumulate on earth stay on earth. (3) I want my hands out of the coffin so that people can see that we were born empty-handed and we die empty-handed. . . when you die, you cannot take anything material with you.
We can leave our families money and material things; those could help them establish their own future. But more important than those physical things which will pass away one day, we can give them our time with them, the memories we build together, a good character, and most importantly, we can give them our faith in God. . . those things are not perishable. . . they are eternal.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, help us to remember that our life is in Your hands and that if we want to leave our loved ones any inheritance when we die it is our faith in You.

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