Psalm 22:30-31 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. 31 They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it! (NIV)
You might be just as surprised as me. That’s the NIV up there. It uses the word “posterity,” which is strange for a modern translation. Perhaps it’s an indication that a better word really doesn’t exist. What does posterity mean? It’s one of those words that has no doubt fallen out of use in our culture. I can’t think of one time I’ve used it outside of a Biblical context. Look it up and you’ll find out it means a person’s descendants or future generations. When you think about the above verses with an understanding of posterity, it really shows the Lord’s amazing power. At the end of one of the most vivid portrayals of Christ’s death in the entire Bible, even prophesying His cry to the Father on the cross, we are told that one of God’s concerns is the future faith of those yet unborn – the posterity.
As I reflected upon another anniversary of the Roe v. Wade (Jan. 22, 1973) court decision in our country, legalizing abortion, I couldn’t help but consider the import of this verse on the sanctity of life discussion. Hundreds of years before God’s own Son was crucified for the sins of the world, He was thinking of the posterity – you, me, and countless other people. Through the mystery of the incarnation, Christ Himself was part of this very group as He would be born nearly 1,000 years after this Psalm was written. These verses are further proof, in a substantial list of evidences from Scriptures, of the great importance God places upon children, especially those “yet unborn.”
In many ways, children are forgotten just as much as the meaning of posterity. This verse also speaks to the investment that children are. Parents are given the responsibility by God (not personal choice) to care for children and raise them. This takes time, effort, work, heartache, blood, sweat, tears, patience, love, understanding, and a many more qualities. But, just as God lays this great and awesome burden upon mothers and fathers, He also promises the gifts to accomplish the task. No parent can complain that God hasn’t provided what is needed. No father can say he isn’t prepared. No mother can claim that she can’t do it. Being a parent is inconvenient even for those who have their child’s life planned in every way from conception. It’s the way investments work. It takes work and sacrifice – there is no easy path. And if it does become too much to carry alone, there are many others who would welcome the opportunity to help.
The idea of a “posterity” reminds us to think long-term, just as you would when measuring an investment. Unplanned pregnancies need this vision. My heart aches for the unwed mother who is abandoned by a cowardly boyfriend and tasked with completely changing her life to make room for a child (not the only context of abortion by any means but perhaps one of the most common). Those situations are devastating. They are tougher than anything I’ve ever faced. They are proof of the importance of God’s marital standards. But one thing that situation is not is cause for murder. Never. And no matter what is deemed legal or what excuse is pressed upon a young woman by doctors, politicians, friends, or family you will never feel better about taking an innocent life. That’s because the posterity matters. God has made it so. God has made you so that you feel it to be so.
If you have a investment I’m guessing you’re careful with it. If you want it to amount to anything of value, you have to be. A mature investor recognizes the need to be consistent, patient, focused for the long-term. For far too long our nation has been neglecting its greatest investment. If we care enough about retirements, mortgages, and financial portfolios to be responsible and plan for the future- why not with our children? May we always love, care for, and consider our “posterity” just as the Lord has been doing from the beginning of time!