Links in the Chain of Faith

Genesis 12:2 – And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

Throughout the last 25+ years as a senior pastor working in full-time ministry, preaching through books of the Bible, I’ve found that a helpful visual of a generational lineage is that of a chain and there are four types of links: first links, strong links, weak links, and broken links.

First links in the chain are much like Abraham – they have bad family habits to undo, potentially demonic opposition and oppression to combat, family pressure to deal with, and a new course to set for generations. Strong links, on the other hand, are extremely blessed to be patriarchs who come from a line and legacy of faith as an example to draw from.

Weak links are like the Prodigal Son; their dad or granddad was a strong link, but they’re not doing so well, and they decide they may or may not continue the strong chain. While I believe community is important for every Christian, especially every Christian man, husband, and father, these people may be in more dire need of support. Finally, broken links are those who come from a strong lineage of faith and end up rejecting the faith, becoming apostate, and dishonoring their father and faith.

Looking back through what we’ve learned so far in Genesis, Adam, Noah, and Abraham are the first links in the chain. Two of Adam’s sons are strong links (Abel & Seth) while Cain kills his brother, Abel, and becomes a broken link.

Similarly, two of Noah’s sons are strong links (Shem, through whom Jesus comes, and Japheth) while Ham is a broken link (his son Canaan is cursed by his father, Noah).

For Abraham, Isaac, his son through his wife Sarah, is a strong link and becomes the father of the Jews while his son Ishmael, father of the Arabs, is a broken link, coming from an affair by Noah with Hagar.

These examples of Adam, Noah, and Abraham, and all throughout Genesis, show that, while coming from a strong line is helpful and important, continuing that legacy of faith is of utmost importance.

What link are you in the chain of faith? How can you continue or start a new legacy of faith for your family?

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