Our theme for this month: “Take care of each other”
Our Bible verse for today: “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.” Judges 2:10-11 (NIV)
Our thought for the day: “Teach the younger generation”
What a sad passage of Scripture Judges 2:10-11 is! During the lifetime of Joshua, the nation of Israel had been relatively faithful to God. They obeyed Him, took possession of the Promised Land, developed it, defeated the enemies of God and drove them off, and as a result, they lived in peace and prosperity.
But then Joshua died, as did the generation after him, and then, as we read in the passage above, an entire generation grew up that didn’t know the Lord and who were unaware of the awesome things God had done for their nation in the past. How did that happen? How did an entire generation grow up who knew nothing of God and who were ignorant of the important history of their people?
The answer is that “somebody didn’t do their job.” Those in the previous generation evidently took care of themselves and enjoyed their comfortable lifestyles, but they didn’t bother to pass along their faith or their history to the next generation. And so, if you read the book of Judges, you discover that it was a very sad period in the history of the nation of Israel. The people were constantly seeking after the false gods of the surrounding cultures, and they suffered terribly because of it – including social ills, crashing economies, and military defeats.
As was noted in yesterday’s devotional, one of the most important and impactful things you can do for others, especially those in the younger generation who are close to you, is to set a good example for them. Consistently and enthusiastically live your faith before them, modeling it for them and teaching it to them. If you do, your good example will pay dividends in their lives for generations to come. But if you don’t, how will they learn?
You may remember one of the last statements we heard from the great leader Joshua before he died (Joshua 24:15). There he declared that he and his family were going to honor the Lord regardless of whether anyone else did or not. Joshua had the courage of his convictions and he was going to set a good example no matter what. Caleb said and did the same thing.
How about you? Do you have the courage of your convictions? Will you stand for what’s right; honor the Lord by the way that you live; teach, preach, practice, and model the faith for the younger generation whether others do or not?
One of the greatest acts of service you can perform for others, one of the most meaningful ways in which you can help the younger generation, is to honor the Lord in your own life and then pass the faith along to them.