Same Foundation, New Generation
We are in the second week of this New Year. I hope and pray you are still doing well in what you pledged to achieve in 2017. My hope and prayer is that in addition to the many things you’d like to do or accomplish, that you don’t neglect to work on your relationship with the LORD. Don’t get too busy in life that you end up neglecting the most important, God. Joshua challenged the nation of Israel; in the last chapter of the book of Joshua we read how God fulfilled his promise to his people-to give them an inheritance. (A fertile land). Joshua challenged the nation to be faithful to God as they went to enjoy their inheritance. The book ends with the nation committing herself to serve and worship God. They pledged themselves to never forget the LORD.
Then two chapters in the book of Judges we have a rude awakening. There is generation of Jews who didn’t know the LORD.
The Scripture tells us that the nation of Israel served and worshiped God throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the elders who outlived him and seen all the LORD had done for Israel (v.7) This generation experienced God’s deliverance firsthand, they witnesses God’s wonder on their behalf. They knew what God had done, and more importantly, they experienced it.
After this generation died (was gathered to their fathers), another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. Then Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. (vv.10-11)
Why do we have a lost generation, a generation that didn’t know God?
One of the first things I noticed which could have contributed to a generation not knowing the LORD. The new generation didn’t get to experience God the same way Joshua’s generation did. This new generation didn’t see the parting of the red Sea or the providence of God leading the nation by night and day. They didn’t know the LORD or what he did in Israel. Even though they did not get to witness the miracles firsthand, they should have known who the LORD if the leaders had continued to review their history and to keep them accountable to obeying the LORD.
Lack leadership in Israel (After Joshua and the elders were gone no one challenged the nation to remain true to the LORD.)
Israel served the LORD during the lifetime of Joshua and the elders of that generation. When they were all dead, no one picked up the baton to hold Israel accountable to being faithful to the LORD. Israel’s attitude during this time was: “whatever is right for you, whatever makes you happy”. They forsook the commands and laws the LORD had established with them. They had abandoned their foundation and there was no leader to bring Israel back to the LORD; to challenge the nation the same way Joshua did.
The nation grew complacent
Complacency would make you forget God. Think about this. They had everything they could possible want. God had warned the nation about forgetting the LORD. Det.8:7-14
They had land, property, peaceful life, no enemies’ threat, and nice homes. And they didn’t have to work for all this; no wonder they grew self-centered and conceited, and forgot The LORD. They had no time to review laws and decrees when they were living large.
(vv.11-15) The Israelites did evil in the eyes: they forgot the LORD and went after idols, man-made gods.
Their actions made God angry and he delivered them to robbers who came and ransacked them. Israel could not resist their enemies because now the hand of God was against them due to their sin.
Israel’s complacency is due in part to their lack of leadership during this time in their history, but also due to:
The parents stopped instructing their children regarding the LORD.
The parents neglected to give their kids the same foundation they were given. God’s laws and decrees. God’s instructions were to be passed on from one generation to another. Same foundation for all the generations. But we read about a generation that didn’t know the LORD. You can read about what lead to this. When parents don’t take on themselves to educate their kids, when they neglect to give them a solid foundation; the children will use someone else’s foundation or ideology to build up their lives.
A parent was once asked why kids leave the church after they go to college. His response showed his experience. He said, “I introduced my kids to church, but I failed to introduce them to Jesus.” This happens a lot in our nation, kids are just being introduced to church, church activities, some of which have little to do with knowing Jesus.
The nation of Israel failed to introduce their children to the LORD and as a result they grew up not knowing God.
If we don’t want to lose this generation and the next, we must commit to introduce them to the LORD. We must not neglect the greatest foundation for their lives. We as parents have to continue to know God personally. If God is not that evident in our lives, what makes us think he will be evident in the lives of our kids?
Jesus is called the firm foundation. He is the greatest inheritance you can give your children. The same foundation for the next generation so that they may grow up knowing the LORD.