Ever wondered how your life is impacting others? Although I may not see it on a daily basis, the life I live does influence those around me. The good and the bad in my life, does have an affect. What kind of legacy am I leaving?
The book of 1 Kings is filled with countless examples of leaders whose actions had a lasting impact not only on the people of the day, but on future generations as well. Take a look at Omri, one of the kings of Israel. His life is summarized in nineteen painful words: "But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him" (1 Kings 16:25; KJV). Basically, he followed in the footsteps of one of Israel's previous kings, who led the nation into idolatry. "For he (Omri) walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities" (1 Kings 16:26). Omri chose to imitate the example that had been set before him in the life of Jeroboam. The idolatry he instituted in Israel was a stronghold that kept its grip on the nation, long after Jeroboam died.
Omri's son, Ahab, is a more familiar character in scripture. Unfortunately, he didn't chose to turn the tide of evil either. Instead, he continued in the footsteps of his father. "And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him...And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him" (1 Kings 16: 30, 33). Not a legacy I'd want to pass on!
Fortunately we also have examples of those who passed on a godly heritage. Consider the prophet, Elijah. He prophesied to King Ahab of a drought that would plague the land due to the wickedness of he and his ancestors. Elijah confronted the king, "...I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim" (1 Kings 18:18). Elijah was a servant of the Lord, who wasn't afraid to confront sin, and who desired to point others to the one true God. Look at his heart's cry as he prayed, "Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again" (1 Kings 18:37).
In spite of a poor legacy left by his father, when Asa became king of Judah, he chose to follow in the footsteps of one of his ancestors: King David. 1 Kings 15:11 records, "And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his father." A good reminder that our legacy continues to speak, long after we're gone.
No matter what your position is in life, each of us has an influence on others. What kind of legacy are you leaving? Are you influencing those around you for good? Consider your actions today, and leave a legacy that points others to the Lord Jesus Christ!