Katie Dorband, director of SummitKidz, shares today’s devotion:
A Generation That Did Not Know the Lord
The book of Judges in the Bible in chapter 2, verse 8 tells us that Joshua died when he was 110 years old. He had brought the people of Israel into the promised land of Canaan, had led them through many victories, and had set them a good example of faith in God. After his death, others of his generation lived on for a while, but then they too died out. While they lived, the people of Israel served God faithfully, because the memory of his greatness was preserved. Verse 7 says, “The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work which the Lord had done for Israel.” While the memory of God’s greatness and the work he did for Israel was alive, the people maintained their devotion to God.
Then comes verse 10, which breaks my heart. “After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10
And the result of this ignorance is given in verse 11, “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, worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord.”
In summary, there was a sequence like this:
- First, the people revered and served the true God because Joshua and his generation kept the memory of God’s mighty acts alive among the people
- Second, a new generation arose who did not know God or his work for Israel.
- Third, this new generation turned away from true worship and turned to other gods.
- Finally, God brought the judgment of his wrath upon them.
One of the most important texts from the Old Testament is Deuteronomy 6:4-9. The most important commandment in all of Jewish Scripture is: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”
Jesus said that was the first and great commandment. And every Jew knew what comes next in this great text. “And these words which I command you shall be upon your heart, and you shall teach them diligently to your children.” The first assignment a parent has after loving God is to store God’s Word in their heart and teach it to their children.
These same two priorities (to your own heart and to your children) are also commanded in Deuteronomy 4:9 “But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.”
By the power of God, Joshua’s generation crossed a river on dry ground, brought the walls of Jericho down with some power walking and music and even saw the sun stand still. If THIS generation could fail their mission of reaching the next generation, then we are at risk of doing the same. We must be vigilant to pass on all that we have seen, heard and experienced so that generations yet to be born will love the Lord with all of their hearts, souls and might.
*portions adapted from message by John Piper