Judges 2:10-11 “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….”
One generation. That’s all it took to lose everything.
The Lord promised not to break his covenant with Israel and warned them not to break their covenant with him. He commissioned them to drive out all the Canaanites living in the land. He said failure to do so would result in a disastrous compromise with the pagan nations. So what did they do?
They lost their zeal. Just as the Lord said would happen, they adapted to the surrounding culture, worshiping their gods, oblivious of the impending danger of losing their identity as God’s people. As a result, God removed his protection over them, causing them to face plunder and defeat time and time again.
The key to understanding how they let this happen lies in Judges 2:10-11. The generation of Joshua and Caleb, who led Israel into the Promised Land, had died out. The next generation grew up knowing “neither the Lord nor what he had done.” Had no one relayed to them how God drove out nations more powerful than them? Of how one routed a thousand because God was on their side? What about the drying up of the Jordan? What about Jericho? Ai? The sun standing still at Gibeon until the coalition of five kings was demolished?
In one generation the knowledge of everything the Lord had done to establish Israel vanished. They traded their God-focused heritage for evil.
For the last few years I’ve slowly been reading my grandpa’s diaries. Every week, entries reveal his faithfulness: Jennie and I to church to pray for the boys [Korean War]. To Bible Study tonight. Revival continuing another week. Good liberty tonight, many to the altar. Grandpa’s sold-out dedication to the Lord inspires me. It reminds me where I’ve come from. Where I’m going. It helps me remember what’s of utmost importance.
Scripture admonishes us to tell our children about the great and mighty deeds of the Lord (Psalm 145:4). If we don’t tell them, they certainly won’t get it by osmosis. Let’s be intentional, lest all we have found gets lost….
In one generation.