“…After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works He had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10
FORGETTING THEIR GOD
It is amazing at how quickly after the death of Joshua that the people of Israel had forgotten about the Lord, how quickly they turned away from their faith and took after the pagan religions of the nations around them. What could cause such a great nation a holy people to turn so quickly from the ways of the Lord. The bible teaches us that as long as Joshua lived the people served the Lord and continued to worship Him and offer sacrifices. But when Joshua and the Elders died the new generation no longer knew the Lord, they no longer understood the law nor served the God of their fathers, “they did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord”. How could a generation so easily lose touch with their faith, so easily turn from the God of their forefathers, so easily follow the ways of the pagan nations.
A GENERATIONS FAILURE
The generation the entered into the promise land with Joshua was the generation of faith. It is important to understand that many that entered into the promise land were born in the time of Israels wilderness wanderings. They were eyewitnesses of God’s glory and power. They knew Moses and had witnessed many miracles in the desert, they had personally experienced the divine provision of God. They knew the law, they understood the priesthood and the sacrifices, they in the desert had learn to worship and serve God. They had direct revelation of the divine! This generation served God with all their hearts and they rendered unto God the reverence and the worship that was due unto him – but in all of this they still had a great failure. This is what the book of Deuteronomy teaches the Hebrew nation concerning God and His law, “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Dt 6:7-12 NASB). The command was to teach diligenty the next generation so that they would not forget. This was the great failure of Joshua’s generation their failure to teach their children about God, about His laws, about the beauty of their faith. This generation failed to bring their children into a love relationship with God, not a relationship of just biblical rules and regulations but a relationship that abounded with Holy love for God. This generation after Joshua did not remember the Lord, they did not remember that God had brought out their forefathers form Egypt, they did not understand the bondage their forefathers had been in and they had no sense or understanding of the great deliverance God had done for their forefathers. It was simply a generation that forgot!
ANOTHER GENERATION’S FAILURE
Their is another great failure that must be noted. Not only did Joshua’s generation fail but the generations after Joshua failed. They failed in the aspect that whatever was taught about God was rejected in favor for the pagan religions that surrounded them. This generation wanted to be free, free from the faith of their fathers, free to experiment and try new religions and philosophies, they failed to realize that the more they wrapped themselves with the ideas of paganism and liberalism the more they became bound to the system of the world. This generation was inexcusable, they could not blame their sins and idolatry on their forefathers because the bible teaches us that in times of distress God would raise up men and women Judges who would remind them and teach them about God, they themselves would see the provision and power of God, this is what the Word of God says, “Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did not do as their fathers. When the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed and afflicted them. But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their stubborn ways” (Judges 2:16-19 NASB). Inexcusable was this generation and thats how God is He will hold each and everyone of us accountable to His Word. Whether mother or father, daughter or son each one of us is accountable to God on an individual basis their is none that will have an excuse before God both rich and poor, small and great will have to give account to the same God. The Apostle Paul said it more profoundly than all I think because he said, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
BREAK THE CYCLE
One of the deepest spiritual truths that the book of Judges reveals is this sinful cycle that man lives in. One of the phrases that you will continually run into when reading the book of Judges is “And the children of Israel again did evil the sight of the Lord” they were in continual cycle:
1. They would find themselves oppressed and in need of God
2. They would call on God
3. God would hear, raise a Judge and deliver them
4. The Judge would die and they would return to their wicked ways
This was sinful cycle that the Israelites were constantly in. They only called on God when they had need and they would serve Him for a short while but would always return to their wicked way (how this must hurt God). This is the same cycle we see in many believer today, the same cycle we see in much of the young generation. I think of 911 and other times of great tragedy do you remember how full the churches were, do you remember even presidents and great leaders praying and crying out to God. I remember brothers and sisters young and old seeking God for protection, deliverance and guidance but after a short while those that were so moved returned to their old ways. How easily we forget, how easily we let go; when will we break the cycle? The cycle will be broken when we become like Ezra and Nehemiah when men and women have a burden for the Word when men and women both young and old seek God daily and do not just call on Him in time of tragedy. The cycle will break when our hearts burn with a Holy love for God. When we become like the two men on the road to Emmaus, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked to us by the way, and while he opened to the Scriptures?” Will our hearts ever come to that place where we don’t need tragedy and great deliverance for us to be moved in His kingdom. Will we ever just be in that place where our hearts burn because He speaks to us. This cycle, this tragedy of our generations growing up without faith in God will end when our hearts begin to burn in us, when we we are consumed by a holy passion for God. When excuses are laid to the side and we get to that place where our hearts will burn for His presence, His anointing, His glory in our lives. Before we give the next generation our Godly standards and before they can embrace the spirtiual precepts of God Word we must be sure that their hearts first burn for God. Rules and regulations will not keep them; but a burning in the heart for Him, for His word, for His holiness this will keep them, this will keep us.
© 2007 Apostolic Messenger Minister Daniel Bracamonte