Generation To Generation With The Word
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void. But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 NKJV
In 1757, a religious family that had emigrated from Switzerland for reasons of religious freedom was living on the western frontier of Pennsylvania. They were pacifist farmers but The French and Indian War brought violence to their doorstep. Marauding Delaware Indians attacked the family homestead. Since the family did not believe in taking human life they holed up in their modest cabin and were eventually burned out by the hostile natives. The mother and daughter were both massacred on the spot. The father and his two boys were taken into captivity.
Marched for three days to the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, Jacob (the father) knew that the three would soon be separated into different Indian tribes. After enduring abuses by their captors, with the memory of the violent death of their mother and sister still fresh in their minds, the boys were given final instructions from their God-fearing father. “Never forget the Word of God that you have been instructed in”. With that came the final painful insult for the decimated family; they were separated, each to be adopted into different tribal families.
The youngest son, Christian, was only 11 years old when ripped away from his family and life as he knew it. He spent the next 8 years as a part of the Delaware Indians, not as a captive but as one that was adopted and raised as a Delaware Indian. Forced to forget his past, he was taught the ways of tribal life.
God makes this promise to us in Isaiah 55:11, that His word will never fail to bear fruit. No matter how much time has passed, the Word of God planted in the soil of our heart will always produce life and always contain power. It will accomplish what He has sent it to do.
Jacob had escaped captivity within eight months and relentlessly lobbied his government to win the release of his two sons. The eldest was returned after five years, but there was never a word on Christian. Eight years passed until one day an Indian showed up at Jacob’s farmhouse and waited outside. Jacob invited the native in for a meal. Then, through broken English, Jacob recognized the voice of his youngest son.
The Word that had been invested in Christian did not return void. It overcame the teachings of his adoptive family and the life into which he had been indoctrinated. It led him back to his true family and his faith. As the years passed, after his return to his father, Christian became a Pastor of his own church and continued the sharing of God’s Word. As promised in Isaiah, His Word brought life to that family while providing fruit for future generations. I know this because I am heir to Jacob’s faith teaching of the Word. Jacob and Christian were my forefathers and today I serve the Lord because His Word never returns void.
J Todd Hostetler