The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the LORD had done for Israel. Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the ager of a hundred and ten. And they buried him in the land of his inheritance at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of mount Gaash. 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. Then the people of Israel did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals.
There is a key truth that we need to grasp in these verses and it is that we need to know our history and share it! All was well with Israel while Joshua was alive and after his death because there were elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything that the LORD had done for Israel. In other words there were those who knew first hand who God was and what he had done so they served the LORD. This meant that the people were able to learn by example. But example on its own is not sufficient. What was missing was instruction as to who God was and what he had done and the result was disastrous as this generation did evil in serving foreign gods.
In recent weeks at CFC we have been hearing God’s word, through Paul to Timothy, a young church leader and again and again this theme of past experience of God’s goodness and the need to pass it on is clear.
Why not take a few minutes either to read through the whole of 2 Timothy and see how the importance of passing on the good news is emphasised. If time does not permit then the verses below will also drive the message home
2 Timothy 1v.5;12;13: 2 v.2;14;15: 3 v.10: 4 v.1-5
The period of the Judges was between three and four thousand years ago and we are also separated from the world which Timothy knew by some two thousand years so you may ask how relevant are they to me today?
As I close this morning please permit me to be slightly provocative! In many respects our 21st Century world, particularly in the west is very close to what is written in the opening verses of this blog piece. We live in a generation that knows little or nothing of the LORD or of what he has done in past ages through faithful men and women and unless this is addressed the next generation will be even more ignorant. This ignorance pervades all of society regardless of rank, wealth, or anything else and is visible from government down and as a result we are in a spiritual and moral mess with no foundation and no idea where to look for answers. That may seem a bleak assessment but there is a way forward.
As churches and individuals we need to tell our fellow men of the LORD and what he has done for us in the past – particularly and most importantly through the death and resurrection of Jesus – and point them to the one who calls all to repent in the present.(Acts 17v.30)
As we have been reminded in our studies in 2 Timothy we are currently carrying the Baton (The knowledge of the LORD and what he has done) and we MUST pass it on. Drop it and the next generation will be even worse than the present.
We cannot, we dare not sit back and do nothing. Rather in the power of the Spirit we must
Tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power and the wonders he has done.
Psalm 74 v.4