The children of Israel didn't keep the testimony, the witness, of all God had done for very long - and found themselves in bondage. But here we read that if only they would have kept the testimony - repeating the miraculous works of God on their behalf to their children and their children's children - they wouldn't have lost leadership. All throughout the Bible, God tells the children of Israel not to forget, to build memorials to His work on their behalf so that future generations will know what God has done for them.
When the stories of God's mighty works are told, it builds the faith of future generations; they begin to think that perhaps God will also do that for them. But when they are not told, when the divine works and ways of God are not recounted, doubt and unbelief are given fertile soil.It's funny how we so easily forget the miracles of God in our lives, the answered prayers, the near misses (Why do they call it near miss when it was a near hit but actually missed? Strange.), the obvious angelic intervention in our circumstances. We all have them in our history. They are part of our testimony.
Are we keeping the testimony? Do we repeat these stories or have we let them fade into the background of our life story?
I believe that part of Israel's problem was that they did not often tell of these stories, these miracles, these amazing interventions of God on their behalf. They didn't tell their children and their children didn't know what God was really like - a God who delivers us in times of trouble. Sadly, even they who had been delivered forgot these things and did not remember the loving, caring nature of God. They didn't want to serve a God that isn't loving and caring and doesn't help them when they are struggling. God tells us in Hebrews that He was angry with that generation because they didn't know His ways. His ways are so wonderful, yet they thought He was not.
Our own children are in danger of having misconceptions about God if we don't oft repeat the testimonies of His work in our lives. Those stories are the testimony which gives our children something to stand on, something to ground their beliefs and faith on, something tangible - their family history, their own personal knowledge of God's ways and stories they can hand down to their own children.
I encourage you to spend some time in prayer, asking God to remind you of all that amazing miracles - from the red light that saved you from arriving early and missing a special meeting with someone to the scripture you read or sermon you heard just when you needed it most. Have you experienced healing - emotional, spiritual or physical? Were prayers answered that seemed impossible?
Write these things down and share them with your children. Keep the testimony of what God has done in your life. It is part of your children's heritage. Don't let it fade into the past.
Not only does keeping the testimony give our children a heritage, it also gives them weapons against the enemy and keeps them free from spiritual bondage just as the Israelites were kept from physical bondage if they kept the testimony.
"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony" Rev 12:11