Lost In One Generation
Some of the scariest words in the Bible are written in the aftermath of Joshua’s death, and we read them in 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.”
This is the Joshua who led the children of Israel after Moses. They crossed the Jordan in flood on dry ground. They marched until the walls of Jericho fell. He survived the death of his entire generation in the wilderness for their unbelief when he and Caleb had brought back a good report about the Promised Land. Joshua led the Israelites in battle after battle as they conquered the land. He called on the Lord and the sun stood still for an hour so they could overcome their enemy. Joshua was a hero and a man of God.
And yet just one generation later, the children of these warriors didn’t know the Lord! In fact the bible records that they didn’t even know what he had done for them.
That’s terrifying to me as a pastor, as a father, as a man who is believing for the next generation to stand on our shoulders.
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
We can’t control the choices the next generation will make. But we can take responsibility (and we must) for directing, training and equipping them in “the way” of following Jesus. As a father I do want to leave the next generation wealth. As a pastor I also hope to leave them strong churches. But the greatest legacy we can leave is that the next generation has their own relationship with our Savior.
I love this image, taken in a moment of worship recently. The daughter of a friend of mine with her hands raised in worship, looking up to the adults around her for example.
Whether we realize it or not, an entire generation is doing exactly that. Right now. To us.
So let’s not be so busy out there leading and fighting for the cause, slaying giants and taking cities, that we forget to very sure that the next generation understands why these deeds matter, or that it’s our Heavenly Father who did them all, through us.