The Next Generation

Growing up in a rural area, there were a lot of folks around us who had gardens. My grandfather lived on one side of us and my uncle on the other side. They always planted a garden. But gardens seemed to have lost their importance with the ease of going to a grocery store to get your food.

I should have no problem growing a garden, but I would. That skill was not passed on to me. Generations lose out when valuable information is not passed on. The same is true in the spiritual realm.

God had commanded the Israelites to teach their children the commands given to them in the law.  They were to do this diligently and often –“when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deut. 6:7)  In this way future generations would know the Lord and follow Him. The result would be that God would continue to bless them and protect them. (Deut. 28:1-14)  And they would fulfill their God intended purpose of being a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation, while witnessing to the one true God. (Ex. 19:6; Is. 43:10, 12)

But after Joshua and his generation died, the next generation of Israelites began to back slide. They  “did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.” (Judges 2:11)  Why would they do this?  The previous verse gives some light. After the death of Joshua, the next generation “did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which he had done for Israel.” (v. 10)  How could they not know? 

There are certainly other issues involved in them not knowing the Lord, such as their own heart conditions and the failure of the previous generation to cast out all the inhabitants of the land.  Yet it is also apparent that the older generation failed to communicate the commandments and the faithfulness of the Lord to their sons and daughters. This failure resulted in significant consequences for the nation.

There are some today that question the effectiveness of the church. Could it be that we failed to share our faith with the next generation. Did we miss the opportunities at the dinner table or while riding in the car or after church on Sunday?  Discipleship begins in the home. If you have young children you can start now.  If you’re a grand parent, you can have a significant influence on the faith of your grandchildren.  We may have failed in the past, but we can change that today.

Some have the skills to teach a person how to grow a garden. But more importantly if you are a Christian, you can share with them the truth about our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. This will have an everlasting influence.

Psalm 78:5-7  For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments…

Find out that you can know that God loves you know no matter what you have done.

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