“I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments,” verses 5-6.
THE BREAKING OF THIS COMMANDMENT WILL NOT GO UNPUNISHED
The breaking of this law is something that men take lightly, but not so the Lord. I read Exodus 10 where we have the incident in which the two eldest sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu priests, took on themselves to offer to the Lord that which he had not required and they paid a big price, verses 1-2. They were highly privileged. They saw something of the glory of God. “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: and they saw the God of Israel,” Exodus 24:9-10. That did not shield them from punishment.
The Lord is a ‘jealous God’. The Hebrew word ‘jealous’ here is used only of God. Another word is used of man’s jealousy. God’s jealousy is a pure, holy zeal for all that pertains to Him. Defiance and disobedience of God is not something He treats as a light thing. The fate of Nadab and Abihu reminds us of the judgment day, Revelation 20:12-15.
Boys and girls, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,” Hebs 10:31. Such is the fate of all who ANGER the Lord by disobedience!
Fathers tend to pass on their sinful ways to the children. “ . . . visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” Verse 5. It is not that the Lord punishes children for what their fathers have done but rather children often walk in the sins of their fathers and so are punished. Notice the consequences of sin may last a long time. What a lesson for fathers and mothers and children!
On the other hand, mercy follows the obedient. Godly parents would lead their children into the ‘mercy’ of God. The word means ‘kindness, goodness, favour’. May you enjoy such girls and boys.
Notice that obedience to God’s law is born of a love for Him. This is what the Saviour taught. “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” John 14:15. There is total harmony between Old and New Testaments. The NT opens and expounds the OT.
How wrong it is to profess to love the Lord yet ignore and disobey the Word of God.