God instructed the Israelites to tell the story of Passover to their children because stories and words have power.
My first T-ball coaching experience convinced me of this. Before every game, we would huddle on the pitcher’s mound with the other team to “take a knee.” Then the coaches would ask the kids to take their hats off and we’d invite someone to give the opening prayer. They’d usually say, “Ok. What am I doing again?” But once they had the plan, the prayers they prayed spoke volumes. It was amazing what you heard in these little guys’ prayers: “Lord, I pray You will bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies.” (Did we promise them snacks before the game? And what kid uses the word “nourishment”?) But what they were doing was repeating prayers they’d heard at home. They were praying what they’d heard their parents pray! It was amazing to realize the influence of the words they’d heard over and over. What our children hear us say will likely become part of their own vocabulary; and what they see us do will likely become second nature to them. (Scary, I know.)
When God instructed the Israelites, “Teach this to your kids,” it was because He understood the power of repeated words, and because He knew a day would come when another generation would need to be “ready to roll.” Let me ask you, what words do you repeat? What story are you telling with your life? Are you a complainer? Will that be your legacy? Will your children say, “Oh, old Grandpa—he was never satisfied, he was always upset about something.” Or will they say, “Yeah, we remember Granddad. He was always ready to go when God said move.”
Some of your ancestors may have been the first in your clan to follow God—or maybe you will be the first God-follower in your family line. If so, you can be the one that helps a long line of others come to know the living God. How great to be remembered as the man or woman who started a chain reaction of belief so that others might know the Lord! Your readiness to roll, your willingness to move out for God, might just be a turning point for future generations. Yours could be the story they tell again and again to inspire and encourage one another.