Another Generation Grew Up
November 6, 2023
After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel. Judges 2:10 NLT
This afternoon I officiated a funeral for a woman whom I met forty years ago as she was a beautiful middle-aged woman raising three young teen children with her husband. Today at her service I was stunned to see those children now sporting gray hair themselves, introducing me to their own children and grandchildren. The children and grandchildren presented emotional eulogies, and I felt I witnessed the changing of the generational guard in this family.
There are many things we can’t predict for the future, but there is one thing of which we can be sure. Until Jesus comes back again and time as we know it ceases to exist, it is certain that one generation will fade away and another one will grow up. We can’t control or change that. What we can do is influence the kind of generation it will be.
The Old Testament book of Joshua talks about Joshua’s declaration that he and his family would serve the Lord. He did lead his family in that way, and his influence was so strong that others joined him. The result was that the people of Israel served God and enjoyed His blessing along with Joshua and even after his death. “The people of Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him—those who had personally experienced all that the Lord had done for Israel.” (Joshua 24:31 NLT).
But somewhere, somehow, the passing on of the faith broke down. One of the saddest verses in Scripture is in the very next book: “After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10 NLT). What happened? Parents neglected to tell their children the mighty works of God. Perhaps they took for granted that their children would just “get it.” Perhaps they intended to do something but they never got around to it. Perhaps they didn’t build a relationship with their children that made authentic sharing possible. I don’t know why—I just know they dropped the ball, and the entire community failed to honor God. The children all suffered, and everything changed.
We can never just assume the next generation will pick up truth by osmosis. They have fear, anxiety, opportunities, struggles, adventures—everything every other generation has had with every single need for the power of God we have. But every single generation must be exposed to the faithfulness and power of God by credible, invested witnesses. Every generation must be helped to honor and remember the Lord. This generation has great needs, and our great God is able and faithful. It’s our privilege to pray and pass on the faith for their personal experience.
- Pray for wisdom, consistency, and the right spirit to be a credible witness to the next generation.