I used to come down so hard on the Israelites for their fair-weather faith. Here they are, God's chosen people, witnessing all these miracles and experiencing God's deliverance, and yet they still constantly disobeyed. I don't mean a little screw up now and then, I mean worshipping other god's kind of rebellion! Then, as I got older I started to realize that we all do the same thing. I know I have gone through many times of putting other things above God. Things like my family, my insecurities and fears, sometimes even church as strange as that sounds.
So, that's all well and good but what I never caught before was a little verse in Judges 2 that kind of pinpoints the downfall of the new generation. Now, this is after Egypt, after the miracles God did to get them out of Egypt and on toward the promised land, after wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, after entering the promised land, after fighting all the cities there and defeating most of them, and after Joshua and all of that generation had died. So, we are in a brand new generation of people who weren't there to see the 10 plagues, or the parting of the Sea, or water come from a rock, or to witness the conquest of taking over the promised land. The first thing I noticed is Judges 2:10. It says,
"When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel."
Did you catch that like I did? My first question when I read that was "Why on earth didn't they know?" I mean, I know what happened and it was thousands of years ago and I'm not Jewish, so how on earth did one generation completely miss it!? So that led me to a few verses that I have memorized and instantly came to mind and I found a few others that I want to share as well. First is Deuteronomy 6:5-9 which says,
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Deuteronomy 4:9 says "Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren."
and again Deuteronomy 11:19-20 it says "You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Are you starting to get the picture? I am convinced that this next generation of Israel didn't know, because the previous generation quit telling them! How else would they have not known about God and all He did for them? Here's a few more passages for you to look up.... Proverbs 3:3, Proverbs 6:20-23, Proverbs 7:1-3, and 2 Corinthians 3:3.
Going back to the Judges 2 passage the very next verse (vs 11) says "Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals." This is hitting me pretty hard here as I hope it is with you. It is so very important for us to pass our faith on to our children. I know we can't pass our salvation to them, they have to accept that on their own accord, but if my children grow up to be a generation who does evil in the sight of God I do not want it to be because I didn't keep God's word in front of them. These verses say to keep it in our hearts (memorize!), and in our souls, and to write it on our doorposts, teach it to our children when we sit, walk, lay down, and rise up! That's all the time! What that says to me is that God needs to be the first priority in my life so that my life reflects what I'm teaching my children. One of my biggest fears is that I will mess up in rearing my children and that they'll walk away from God because of it. I am taking this message to heart and am going to just step it up a notch in keeping God in front of my kids all the time. I don't want them to just know about God.... I want them to KNOW God. I want them to see the miracles He does in our lives every day and how He works. I want them to develop a close, personal walk with Him now so that it can never be said of them: "who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for the (Goepfrich family.)"