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When God moves in a powerful and mighty way in your midst, that moment can feel like it will never go away. Perhaps you witness a loved one healed or watch the Lord miraculously take care of a financial need.
But the Scriptures warn us that even the greatest miracles and the most marvelous answers to prayer can be forgotten all-too-quickly.
For miracles and powerful moves of God, you canít do much better than the time of Israel leaving Egypt and entering into the Promised Land [review some of the miracles]. Yet it was only a generation or two later that those stories of Godís miracles and Israelís deliverance had been forgotten.
We see in our passage in the book of Joshua that within a few years (probably less than 30) after
Joshua dies that the Lord is no longer being followed by Israel.
Letís look together at another important passage to gain some perspective: Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 20-23. [Read it to the congregation.]
God told them here in Deuteronomy, ďLook, you canít just presume that these instructions Iíve given you and all the stories of the amazing miracles I did for you are going to make it from one generation to another. You as parents must be very deliberate. Tell your children the stories of how I moved among you. Talk with them about the instructions and commands I gave you and why I gave them to you. This is not a one-time event or a Ďwhenever-you-get-around-to-ití thing. No - this is to be a regular daily part of your job as a parent.Ē
These were not idle instructions. God knew the great danger and how quickly they could go astray.
Israel did go astray. How did it happen? Our passage outlines basically two steps:
Step 1 is in Judges 2:10.
Key question: Whose fault was it that this generation didnít know about the works of the Lord?
The answer: It was the parentsí fault.
Notice that last phrase in v. 10: that generation didnít know the stories of what God had done for
Israel. It doesnít say the kidsí knew the stories and chose to reject them; it says they didnít know
Whose fault is that? Remember Deut. 6? The responsibility fell on the parents.
Today, the responsibility still falls on the parents. It is our responsibility as parents to teach our
children the stories of what God did in Jesus, the instructions Jesus left of how we are to live our
lives, the truth of the Bible that has transformed our lives.
Thatís going to require at least three things of us as parents:
a. We are going to have to spend some time with our kids.
A 1985 Harvard University study reported that fathers in the U.S. spend less time with their children than fathers in any other nation in the world, except England.
b. We need to work on our communication with our kids.
Josh McDowell has a principle: ďRules without relationships lead to rebellion.Ē
c. We need to use our influence.
A 1998 Barna survey of teens who were asked who has ďa lotĒ of influence on their thinking and behavior brought these results: 27% said their pastor; 48% said their Christian faith; 51% said their friends; but 78% said their parents. The potential is there to make a difference.
Step 2 is in v. 12.
Step 1 was that the parents didnít tell their kids the stories of what the Lord had done.
Step 2 is that that generation was swallowed up
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