Summary: Every generation must learn to know God for themselves. It is the knowledge of God and how he operates in the lives of believers and on the universal sphere of life that helps us to appreciate all that he does for us. Knowing God gives the world sanity
“And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10
Is it possible to live with someone everyday and not know them?
Is it possible to live in a family and the family members not know each other?
Each day we interact with people at work, school or in the general community, but we don’t really know them! Of course we know their names. We may know a tidbit or two about their background. We may even know a few facts about their hobbies and the names of a few of their family members, but does that mean we know them?
There are many homes today in which family members do not know each other.
Often children know more about their parents than their parents know about them. There are many children today who are growing up in families without really knowing their parents.
They live in the same house but it may as well be a separate world because they close themselves in their rooms and shut out the rest of the family with the glare of the television set or the muffle sounds of a set of stereo headphones. It’s a rapidly growing phenomenon of the modern evolving family where each member becomes accustomed to living with "strangers in the house." There are some parents who do not know their children.
There are some children who do not know their parents. There are some husbands who do not know their wives.
And there are some shacking partners who do not know each other at all. If that’s possible, then it is also possible for a generation of believers not to really know "God." It’s possible for us to be in his presence daily and not know the history of his dealings with us or to know what makes him happy or angry, or to know the value of his promises to us. It’s possible to come to church every Sunday and call yourself a church member and not really "know" God.
Every generation must learn to know God for themselves. It is the knowledge of God and how he operates in the lives of believers and on the universal sphere of life that helps us to appreciate all that he does for us. Knowing God gives the world sanity and a sense of purpose. Not knowing God is frustrating, troubling and destructive.
As believers we strive to know God for ourselves. Beyond that, we strive to make sure that each generation that follows us knows God as well, because without him we can do nothing. Without him we’d surely fail. Without him our lives would be drifting, like a ship without a sail.
Today, tell someone the way you feel about God so that can know him too.
Joshua had led Israel through the conquest of Canaan, and now they possessed the land. While Joshua’s generation lived, the memory of God’s mighty works in their midst remained, and God was worshipped. Joshua’s generation could be called the “greatest generation” of their time. Theirs was the generation who, by God’s grace, had defeated the Amalekites, had crossed the Jordan River on dry ground, had seen the walls of Jericho come falling down, and for whom even the sun itself had stood still. How sad that when Joshua’s generation died off, so did the memory of the God who had given them so many victories. This generation to whom God had been so faithful spawned a generation that was completely faithless to Him.
“And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the Lord to anger.” Judges 2:11-12
Their parents were the strong and courageous generation that had led the nation into the land that God had promised them, conquering the inhabitants of that land and leaving nothing in their wake. Perhaps they were just too busy defeating foreign armies to remind their children that it had been the Lord who had fought for them. Maybe, after many hard years of war, the parents just dropped their guard, complacently dwelling in cities they had not built and eating the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards they did not plant. (Joshua 24:13)
It’s not that Joshua’s generation intentionally dropped the ball. They did not forget what the Lord had done for them. (Joshua 24:16-18) They just weren’t purposeful about passing those stories on to their children. They might have hung Joshua’s well-known challenge on the walls of their new homes in Canaan: “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15)