Thursday, October 29, 2009

Judges 2:10

Judges 2:10b “…and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.”
 
I find this to be one of the saddest passages of Scripture.
 
How is it possible that a whole generation grew up in Israel who didn’t know the Lord?
 
Weren’t they the children and grandchildren of the people who had seen the ten plagues come upon Egypt, who had walked across the Red Sea on dry land, who had eaten manna in the desert, saw water come out of rocks, marched around the city of Jericho and saw the walls collapse, participated in the military campaigns of Moses and Joshua, and who themselves had gone into the land promised to them by God and conquered the remaining cities?
 
So how is it then that they did not know the Lord or the work which He had done for Israel?
 
Unfortunately, the answer is even sadder than the passage itself.
 
The parents failed to share.
 
The parents did not tell their children about the works God had done in their lives and for their people.
 
The parents had not reminded them constantly about God’s mighty acts and awesome power.
 
The parents did not mention on a day-to-day basis the Hand of God being present in their lives.
 
I think part of reason that my faith in the Lord is so strong is because my parents shared with Faye and me on a daily basis about the Lord (daily devotions with Mom and also on our own) and the works which He had done for them.
 
How many times had my mom shared with us about the time that as newlyweds they only had enough money left to buy meat for themselves for the week. An event at church was coming up and they were asked to bring milk and coffee. Knowing that by using their allotted money would eliminate their meat for the week, they purchased the milk and coffee for the church event, never mentioning to anyone the sacrifice being made. Because of a rainout, the event was cancelled, and my parents were sent home with the milk and coffee they had brought along with a good portion of the meat that had been purchased for the event.
 
I also remember the time God protected my mother, father, and aunt Alice from a mugger on Mugger’s Lane in NYC. The man put a knife to my father’s throat and ordered my mom and aunt not to scream. They pointed their Bibles at him and began shouting, “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus!” and “Jesus help us! Jesus help us!” The man grabbed a $5 bill from my dad’s pocket and ran. When Dad shouted for him to stop, the man stopped dead in his tracks long enough for Dad to tell him that Jesus loved him before jumping a fence into the adjoining park.
 
These are only two of the many examples of accounts retold to us by my parents of God’s hand at work in their lives.
 
As I have gotten older and we have begun our own family, I have seen God’s hand at work in our own lives. From refunds coming in the mail to people giving us items for Addie, God has shown Himself to be very real to us. But if we do not share the things that God has done for us to Addie and any other children that may come (Ian), we will end up raising a generation who does not know the Lord or the works which He has done for us.
 
It is important for us to read God’s Word to our children on a daily basis. Have you ever noticed that the things that we immerse ourselves in (sports, crafts, fishing, etc.) become the things that our children take interest in? If we show our love for God and His Word to our children, they will develop a love for Him and His Word as well. What they see as priorities in our lives will become priorities in their lives too.
 
And, yes, I know that eventually our children will make their own personal choice about serving the Lord, but we have to make sure that as parents we do our part in teaching them about Him and His love for them. God does not expect us to leave that up to the church. He specifically tells parents to take on this responsibility in Deut. 6:6-9.
 
The generation mentioned in this passage of Scripture had not been taught, because they didn’t know God or what He had done.
 
Someone failed to share.
 
Maybe it was because the parents found themselves to be too busy (I’m sure conquering land takes up a lot of time and energy), too tired, or they just wanted to do other things. Whatever the case, the result was a generation who did not serve the Lord because they did not know the Lord.
 
The sad results of a generation that grows up not knowing the Lord or the work that He has done is found in Judges 2:11-12. “Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals, and they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to the; thus they provoked the Lord to anger.”
 
May it never be said that we did not teach our children about the Lord.
 
May it never be said that the next generation did not know the Lord or the work which He had done.

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