Genesis 1:28a – God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it." (NIV)
"If these blueberries could talk, what would they say?" asked my 13-year-old granddaughter as we busily picked. With insightful imagination, she answered her own question: "They'd say, 'Pick me!' wouldn't they?"
Her answer provided an ideal springboard for a profound truth about life and about God — truth we'd all do well to review. I share with you the essence of my response to my granddaughter:
"Sure! You know what's inside those berries: seeds. That's why the berries would want to be picked. They'd want those seeds to be planted. They'd want their species to continue next year, and year after year. If these berries could talk, they'd shout to the birds and the animals, "Pick me! Eat me!" The seeds would be expelled through their body and drop in new areas where they can grow into new plants. It's about survival as a species, through new life. That's how God programmed living things — and humans, too. It's how we continue to exist generation after generation. It's why after the flood God commanded Noah, "Be fruitful and multiply." (Genesis 9:7 NKJV)
I noticed that my granddaughter was grasping my comments with interest, so I pressed on — something like this:
"God is life. He programmed life and the continuation of life right into His creation. New generations matter to God — and to people, too. They've realized that offspring are essential for the survival of the family name, race, tribe, or nation. Without enough offspring, any group risks extinction — through attrition, disease, invasion, or otherwise. Today, we feel less concerned about that because there are plenty of people. We see ourselves more as individuals concerned for personal preservation. That's not how these blueberries would think. They'd know that their life is short. What matters is new life. In Bible times, offspring were important for ancient Israel. God gave them a code of law that ensured the existence of future generations. Certain lifestyles were unacceptable because they couldn't produce new life for future generations."
For my granddaughter, who is being shaped by culture, this was a new idea, but it made sense to her. Perhaps you're thinking about various ways which weaken or threaten the life of future generations, like drug addiction. There's much to say about that. But for now, we turn our thoughts towards another kind of life provided by God: His eternal life birthed within through the Spirit. This is about a spiritual race which will never become extinct. Through the Spirit of Christ, this "nation" will continue to be fruitful and multiply. It's why throughout the generations, Christians have not been afraid to die. They know that they belong to something far greater than themselves which will never die: a kingdom which endures throughout eternity.
Prayer: Creator of all, by the power of Your love, free us from our dependency on whatever makes us spiritually non-reproductive. Empower us to value much more than our own earthly existence and to long for the continual expansion of Your heavenly kingdom, pleading, "Thy kingdom come." Amen.
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