“The memory of the righteous will be for a blessing…”—Proverbs 10:7
What comes to mind when we hear the word, Legacy? It certainly can mean ‘Inheritance,’ but the word ‘Legacy’ means so much more.
The dictionary describes the meaning of this word as “an amount of money or property left to someone in a will… a bequest, inheritance, heritage, endowment, gift, patrimony, settlement, birthright, or benefaction.”
In our fast-paced 21st century age, we find ourselves extremely busy… so much so that just making a living to get from day-to-day fills our days to overflowing. Many of us are barely able to save up for that well-earned vacation… not to mention putting money aside for our children’s college education. We hardly have time to plan for the future, much less think about leaving a financial inheritance for our children or grandchildren. We want to be great stewards, but it’s just not that simple.
LEAVING A LEGACY THAT MATTERS…
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…”—Proverbs 13:22
Oftentimes, the best we can do is to think of leaving our earthy goods to our loved ones. What many leave behind is of great fiscal value, while others may leave behind mere trinkets that may really only hold meaning for the giver.
Leaving family heirlooms from one generation to the next can have its consequences. All too often, we see the next generation squandering what was left to them—not appreciating what their fathers and mothers gave to them. The efforts of one generation who worked so hard to build something worthwhile may be torn down and come to nothing when abused by the following generation.
Jesus makes a statement in Luke 12:20-21 that it is foolish to build up earthly goods for oneself only when we are not rich toward God.
“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”—Luke 12:20-21
LOOKING BACK THROUGH THE AGES….
Looking back in biblical times, the inheritance from one generation to the next was highly regarded. Usually passed down to the sons, in one situation we see five daughters—the only children of a man from the tribe of Manasseh—coming to Moses to petition for their father’s inheritance (Num. 27:1-6). They were asking for the right to keep their father’s name alive within the land of Israel by receiving the inheritance as a son would. God confirmed to Moses that indeed, they did have the right of inheritance. They were granted the right to receive a possession among their father’s brothers. In this instance, Inheritance was important. Legacy was treasured.
In 2 Kings 8, we see the Shunammite woman come to petition the king for her land and her possessions to be returned to her. The seven-year famine was over, she was returning to the land, and she had hoped that what had been rightfully hers would be restored—this was her inheritance, her legacy.
The Shunammite relied on the king’s support, without it she would not survive. She petitioned the king for her house and her land. The king granted her petition because he had heard of the miraculous work done in her life—Elisha had raised her son from the dead! She had been famously known for the work of the Almighty God in her life. Not only was her house and land returned, but also “all the proceeds of the field from the day that she left the land until now” was restored to her. Her inheritance was given back with increase! She was then able to leave a legacy, an inheritance, to her son, not only in earthly goods, but also with a testimony of the goodness of the Almighty God. This is an example of a ‘Biblical Legacy.’
LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FUTURE…
What are we leaving to our loved ones? Are we leaving a legacy of earthly goods? Are we leaving money, land, possessions? Are we leaving a legacy of things we have built up? We leave fortune, sometimes fame, with the hopes that our children will build upon it and use it for good. Sometimes that happens. Many times, sadly, it does not. Inheritances are used up, not invested in… and then lost. Nothing remains for the next generation. There is no testimony of the goodness of God from the prior generation to the next.
What kind of tangible thing can I leave behind when my time is finished on this earth? Many in the Jewish faith and others will plant a tree to commemorate a birth, or a death—leaving a living reminder of a precious one. This tree can be touched—this living, breathing, remarkable seedling in the earth. The loved one’s name is in this tree.
We at My Olive Tree are in awe of these seeds that can then grow into a home… a shelter… a provider. What a breathtaking thought! This tree, living on for years after those who have planted it—still standing tall, still breathing, still growing, still giving life, food and shelter for centuries to come.
When you partner with My Olive Tree by planting a tree in Israel, you are not only giving back to the planet, but you are leaving a legacy in and through God’s chosen land and people. This gift, a legacy to those we will leave behind, is unmeasurable richness that truly blesses the heart of God.
Just one tree becomes a part of a large-scale planting project that over time creates jobs, fruit and health for the living, and life to the world. The desert is blooming like a rose and life is returning to the dry places!
A Legacy gives back to the land of Israel, provides prosperity for the mothers and fathers, and a future for the children.
When you plant a tree with us, the name of your choosing is designated to that tree, and that tree alone. Whether it be your own name, or that of a loved one, we believe this tree waves that name proudly. Is it the name of a child? A loved one no longer here on this earth? Perhaps it is the name of a Holocaust victim—a life which was stolen, now commemorated. Whatever the case, your tree bears their name. Their lives are remembered in the planting of this tree, 500 plus years on!
To us, this is a lasting blessing… this is Biblical Legacy.
“On that day, Adonai’s plant will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and splendor of Israel’s survivors. Those left in Tzion and remaining in Yerushalayim will be called holy, and everyone in Yerushalayim written down for life… for the Glory will be over everything like a hupah. A sukkah will give shade by day from the heat; it will also provide refuge and cover from storm and rain.”—Isaiah 4:2-6 (CJB)