Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2010 – Mar. 17 – Just a Single Generation

Study from God’s Word Judges 2: 7 [Josh 24: 31]; Judges 2: 10 – 23; Judges 3: 1 – 31 … Passage for Reflection: Judges 2: 10 … NIV 10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.

My Journal for Today: I’ve now been transported in my journey and journaling through the Bible this year to the time of the Judges, when the Israelites would pay the piper for not having eradicated the pagan peoples and practices from their midst as they conquered and moved into the Promised Land. And having read through the Book of Judges in the past, and these passages which I read today, I know that over a period of some 335 years, there would be succeeding generations of disbelief, disobedience, and destruction experienced by God’s people, the Hebrews. But God would, in each of these generations, raise up Judges to help lead the people out from their collective, national disobedience into patterns of repentance and renewal. But in each era there would be another human cycle of disobedience which would overtake God’s people, sending them back into their own repetitive tarpits of sinfulness. And in each era it only takes one generation of people to miss out on living up to their covenant with God.

Dr. Smith today uses a word picture I think we can understand. Imagine someone trying to tell us an important message via cell phone; and the message would be garbled in the transmission. Imagine also that we were responsible to pass that message on to others because of its importance. Isn’t it likely that the message would get distorted in the transfer? And that is what happened with God’s people after Moses and Joshua were off the scene. The message of God’s covenant, His law, and His commands to God’s people became distorted by the pagan cultural values which had crept into the lives of God’s people, these cultures not having been eradicated completely in the occupation of the Promised Land. And we see the degradation of choices and actions which took place, leading to destruction of the Godly, covenant honoring life which God’s people had promised they would hold onto in their relationship with God.

With our word picture of a messed up phone conversation and the passing on of “the message,” we get a very small picture of what is happening in our times today. As Smith teaches today in his devotional, ”Cultural values are transmitted through customs, traditions, and rituals. When a civilization (or church or family) quits telling its story to the next generation, it isn’t long before cultural screeching begins. And decry as we might the evils of the younger generation, the story of cultural and moral values is theres to HEAR, not to TELL. … Whether it be a whole society, the church, or an individual family, there is ALWAYS only one generation difference between faith and disbelief.”

And is that not what we’re seeing in today’s generation? And Smith pointedly asks his readers (and that’s me – and now you), ”Do my children know about the three little pigs, but precious little about the three persons of the Godhead?” … Maybe that’s not the case with your kids or grandkids. Maybe your kids, like ours, are raising up the next generation as believers; but they are being engulfed in a morass of disbelief and disobedience to God’s ways as well as a generation of cultural disbelief in His word. And I fear that this will be the case for my grandchildren, knowing that “the rain will fall on the saved as well as the unsaved.”

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I have faith that You will protect your remnant of believers, which is my only hope for the generation of our grandchildren. Amen

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