Updated: Oct 23, 2018
I imagine the years of the Exodus as one long journey of incredible highs and devastating lows. Where else in scripture do we see God intervene so powerfully and so clearly over the course of many years (except Jesus, of course)? The plagues of Egypt alone would sear God's handiwork in my heart for a lifetime. But then there was the parting of the Red Sea, day after day of daily bread, deliverance from enemies, the conquering of Jericho, and at last settling into the promised land.
Here is where Judges 2:7-13 finds us:
The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.
Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten. And they buried him in the land of his inheritance...
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. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt.
Did you catch it? In one generation all that God had done in the lives of the Israelites was completely squandered. All the faith building, patience building, deliverance, miracles, all the waiting was entirely worthless in one generation! ONE generation!
How could this older generation have seen God's power and protection, His miracles and fulfilled promises, and NOT passed it on to their children?
Imagine the sea parted and you walked across on dry land. You ate bread from heaven and the meat of quails every single day for over 40 years. You watched water rush from a rock. Army after army, kingdom after kingdom fell at your hands. Trumpets blew and the walls came tumbling down. Miracle after miracle- and you failed to recount it to your children?
Your Story Matters
I wonder, as you have walked with the Lord, what you have seen in your day. It may not have been as miraculous as the parting of the Red Sea, but were there seasons where God was incredibly faithful through your struggle? Did He hold you close during a loss? Have you seen the lost find life in Christ? Did He free you from a sin or addiction? What prayers has He answered?
I have received forgiveness and freedom from significant sexual sin and temptation. I have walked with a friend who habitually cut herself to escape the pain of depression. Her skepticism of God turned to trust in His love, and she asked Jesus to save her. I have been given the gift of an amazing husband and life companion after years of prayer and waiting for God to write me a beautiful love story. I have watched God use eight years of barrenness, prayer, and waiting to give birth to my son Samuel. I have seen God's faithfulness through severe physical suffering. I have watched Him answer the prayers of my 2 year old Benjamin to send a thunderstorm. God has drawn me closer than any friend ever could and strengthened me in the most brokenhearted of times. He is faithful! I praise you, Jesus!
Please hear me parents, grandparents, and people without children who love children. Spiritual highs, intimacy with Christ, watching the lost get found, weekly receiving the very body and blood of Christ may be beautiful realities for us Christians today, but if we never pass them on to our children, what are we? In one generation our little ones will be walking in darkness because we did not take the time to show them our risen Lord and all He has meant to us. They will learn to worship our football and baseball teams but not our Savior. In one generation our babies will scramble for meaning in empty myths or cultural ideologies because we failed to give them what will give them greater meaning and greater satisfaction then they could have ever dreamed. One generation.
What does your life show that you love? What do your priorities say about what's most important? Where do you most invest your time? Our children will likely worship the same things that we do. Football teams. Smartphones. Coffee. TV shows. Political ideologies. How about Jesus-crucified, died, and risen for the salvation of the world?
Pass it on.