I've just begun reading the book of Judges. As I began today, there was something waiting for me to think on.
In chapter 2 we read again of the death of Joshua, which is also recorded at the end of the book of Joshua. The land has been divided, but not all of it is conquered fully. There's still work to be done! And in chapter 1 we read that the Israelites are settling down. Some of the tribes are choosing to make the inhabitants slaves, but others are settling down with the people they should be driving out. in.
Judges 2:10-23 is what really caught my eye. Verse 10 says, "After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel." Now my thinking mind wants to spend some time digging. A generation? What does that mean? You mean to say that in ONE generation, they forgot? They didn't feel the impact of what God had done to deliver them and give them victory at such places as Jericho and Ai? (I'll be digging and let you know what I find.) But then I thought more. Hmmmm...think about the lessons my grandparents learned during the experiences of the Great Depression and World War II? They were life changing. But, did my parents, the next generation, have the same mindset? No. They were affected by what the previous generation experienced, but it didn't burn deep in their hearts the same way. So, it is possible to have the distance of one generation already cool the flames of devotion.
It's verses 11-12 that make me sad though. "The Israelites did evil in the Lord's sight and served the images of Baal. They abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshipping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord." Already, they turned away. They worshipped others.
I thought for a bit about why they worshipped other gods. The answer is found in the passage. They worshipped the gods of the people around them. Because one generation hadn't fully obeyed God, the next generation found a stumbling block. God had told the first generation to completely wipe out the inhabitants. He didn't let Joshua, his faithful servant, do all the work, but rather gave the people the choice to follow on their own. In vs 22 it says that God did this as a test. He wanted to see if they would follow Him in complete obedience. And because they didn't, because they chose their own ways, sin crept in, and a generation abandoned God.
Speaks to us, doesn't it? Little things are important. Am I seeking to obey FULLY? Am I following in complete obedience? Knowing that future generations are affected by those little things certainly helps me want to obey. How are you in the in the area of obedience?
I also find myself thinking a lot about Little Man and his generation. How do I ingrain faith in our life to help him make it his own in his generation? I'm praying for him. I'm trying to weave godly habits into his day so that it's easier for him. I'm developing a real and vibrant relationship with God that I know will shine in our household. I'm seeking to live in obedience to God. What are you doing to testify to future generations so that they remember the God who has delivered you? (I'd love to have people comment and share the answer to that question.)
God bless you as you follow him in obedience and then raise up the next generation! (AND we all are raising up the next generation whether we have children of our own or not!)
For further looking: