Judges 2:10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.
One generation died, and the next did not follow God. Judges. 2:10-3:7 is a brief preview of the cycle of sin, judgment, and repentance that Israel experienced again and again. Each generation failed to teach the next generation to love and follow God. Yet this was at the very center of God's law (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
It is tempting to leave the job of teaching the Christian faith to the church or Christian school. Yet God says that the responsibility for this task belongs primarily to the family. Because children learn so much by our example, the home offers the most effective place to pass on the faith to the next generation.
When Joshua's generation died out, the next generation lacked that personal knowledge of God which is the heart of biblical faith and quickly forgot all that He had done for their nation. This is a "generation gap" of the most profound and challenging kind, and, as usual, both sides were to blame. There is always a parental responsibility to pass on a living testimony of the reality of God's grace and power to our children. They have the right not only to be taught the truth but to see it embodied in godly leadership and example, both within the family and the church.
Please read again what God told His people in the following verses:
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (5) Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (6) These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. (7) Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (8) Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. (9) Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
God was letting His people know the importance of teaching their children about WHO God is, and WHAT He had done for them. Somehow, some way, the children of Israel failed in this miserably.
Our verse for today is one of the most challenging in the Bible for me. Another generation GREW UP not knowing God, nor His works. What have my kids grown up seeing? Do they see the importance of Jesus in my life? For you see, what one generation neglects, the next one quite possibly will reject. So the challenge for me today is, in my relationship with God, what am I neglecting, that may cause my kids and grandkids to reject?
If attending church is only a possibility for me, I shouldn't be surprised when it isn't a priority for my children when they are grown. When I sometimes serve the Lord, I shouldn't be shocked when my kids have nothing to do with Him in later years. Again, what one generation neglects, the next one very likely rejects.
On the other hand, if I neglect allowing this world to conform me, then I believe my kids will reject that pull as well. The bottom line is, I am a major influence in my kids and grandkids life, how am I using that influence to prepare them for life? It is something to meditate on.
"Lord, what a troubling verse today. A generation grew up, and didn't know who You were, nor what You had done in the lives of Your children. It is hard to imagine that parents didn't pass down Your faithfulness to their kids. Before I give the Israelites too hard of a time, I need to look at my own life. I want to make sure I am daily talking about WHO You are and WHAT You have done in my life. It is my parental obligation and joy to do so. I want to be salt and light to my children so they will not have a tough time remembering who You are and what you can do when they face difficult times when I am no longer around. In Jesus' name, amen!"