Do you ever tell your children or grandchildren stories about “the good old days”? Do you have favorite family stories that you share over and over? Children love hearing about stories about their family history. Stories are how we learn about who we are, where we came from, and the heritage of our ancestors passed along from generation to generation.
In ancient times, before the written word, people transferred history and information through stories. This oral tradition passed on stories of heroes of faith, too, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This storytelling tradition preserved the history until it was written down in the time of Moses.
Many of the Psalms were written to be sung by the people of Israel so as to pass on the stories of God’s miraculous dealings with past generations. This musical tradition of storytelling made history easy to remember and pass on to future generations. It served an important function in helping people rejoice together about the greatness of God.
If you thought about it, you could probably recall a story that had an impact on you. Stories reach us at a different level than mere information. That’s why stories are so powerful. Stories remind us of real people, facing real problems, and experiencing real results. When those results reflect divine intervention, the stories become faith-building treasures that we remember for a long time. God’s word, the Bible, is a collection of these stories — that’s why it is such a living, powerful, life-changing book!
Stories aren’t just for children. We need to make a conscious effort to share our experiences to encourage one another through testimonies of what God has done in our lives. Hearing about trials, faith, and God’s provision, increases our faith. We need to hear–and tell–about the work of God in our lives and among our generation. It builds the faith of the current generation and passes that faith heritage on to future generations.