Estes Echo

Ninety Generations

The dating of the book of Isaiah is placed during the seventh and eighth centuries before the time of Christ, which makes it approximately 2700 years ago. It is hard for me to comprehend 2700 years. I am not sure any of us can completely understand the time that has passed and all that has happened. A bit of reflection on generations might be helpful.

It is not uncommon (in fact, it is extremely common) for us to know our parents. Most of us spend over half of lives knowing our parents and having a significant relationship with them. Still not uncommon, but a little less common, is to know our grandparents. I was blessed to know all four of my grandparents and had a significant relationship with all of them. Two of my grandparents still live and I get to spend time with them. Perhaps, you have been blessed to know your great-grandparents. I remember three of my great-grandmothers. Two of the three passed away around the time I became a teenager. The third lived until I was in my 20s. She was a godly lady who passed with hope. We called her ‘Gramsie.’ She often told of our family’s association with the church.

While spending time with Gramsie, I remember her telling about times she grew up in Hewins, Kansas, and would walk or even ride a horse and carriage to worship on Sunday. She would tell how she would walk into the auditorium on Sundays and see both of her grandfathers (my great-great-great-grandfathers) on each side of the auditorium. They were both elders in the church.

Several years ago, my father conducted genealogical studies of the family and was able to trace the family back over ten generations. Yet, after we searched back two (maybe three or four) generations, the people just become a name and a date. Time marches on. In Genesis 5, there is a record of family generations beyond Adam and Eve. Yet, so many of them are just names and length of years they lived. As I have written about my family here, I went back five generations, even as far back as the 1800s. Yet, to get to the time of Isaiah, if the average generation is 30 years, we would have go back 90 generations.

Ninety generations ago, Isaiah told of the coming of Christ. 2700 years ago, Isaiah told how Jesus would be born into the world and he would bring hope to a world filled with hopelessness. He told how He would be born into the world like everyone else, be rejected, and ultimately killed. And all of it was in the plan of God. Isaiah more than any other prophet provided predictions of the coming King (i.e. Isaiah 52:13-53:12) – Ninety generations ago.

–Jeremy Northrop