As I'm reading my daily Bible readings in my One Year Bible, I've been marking verses that stick out. One that not only stuck out but gave me pause to examine was a passage from Judges the second chapter.
About verse number eight, the text says that Joshua died at the age of 110. He is characterized as a servant of the Lord.
But a mere verse later, the situation changes.
"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
In another verse later in the chapter it points out that the people turned from the ways of their ancestors who had been obedient to the Lord's commands.
What just a minute! What happened here? We would like to point a finger at this generation and tell them how awful it is that they brought in false gods and ignored the commands of God. But, we can't blame them solely.
Back in Deuteronomy God impressed upon the people that they must pass on this Godly heritage. They were specifically told to teach their children in every situation. They were even encouraged to set up memorials so when the children asked about these, they were to tell about God and what He had done for them. What happened? Seems there was a breakdown some place here.
Most people who know me, know that passing on a Godly legacy is a very important thing for me. I strive to be very intentional about handing down my Christian heritage.
Being intentional is the key. Obviously it takes more than just growing up in a family that followed the Lord. It must take more than just shuffling our kids off to church every once in a while. God went as far as to tell the people to talk about His commands as you walk along the road and in your homes.
This means that our Christian heritage is lived, modeled, and specifically taught. We can't expect our children to carry on a Godly legacy if we don't show the importance. They won't just "catch" it by attending church or Sunday school.
Our children and those we have influence over must see us live out our Christian faith and prove its priority and worth.
I fear we, just as the Israelites in the Judges passage, haven't taken this task seriously. We're not thinking what is at stake. We're not just playing with some traditions. We're playing with people's lives and eternities.
Oh, friend, don't let your Godly legacy die out. Make it an intentional priority to carry on. The next generation is counting on you to show them Christ and how God would have them to live and pass on this most important legacy to the next generation. Let's not allow another generation to grow up not knowing the Lord or what He has done.