“That whole generation was also gathered to their ancestors. After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works He had done for Israel.” – Judges 2:10
After Moses and the Exodus … after 40 years in the wilderness … after crossing the Jordan and the falling walls of Jericho … after removing most of the Canaanite horde, Joshua (along with all the others who had endured this shared history) died and it soon became obvious that the succeeding generation did not share their ancestor’s convictions.
It was Edmund Burke, British supporter of the original American colonies, who first said, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Should we truly wonder at the degradation of society in America? If the morés of this age grieve us, we might do well to ask where they learned them. Or perhaps, where they did not? Could it be that succeeding generations have not followed God simply because they do not know Him or the works he has done? How could they ever learn what they have never been told or taught?
Certainly, teaching the next generation about God in Christ Jesus is no guarantee that they will follow Him, but a lack of such teaching (by word, life, and intentional instruction) is almost a guarantee that they won’t. If our children find it difficult to follow the true God that they do not know, they will surely find it easy to follow the false gods that they do.
When we are all “gathered to our ancestors,” may the next generation absolutely know all about our God and the “why” of His works among us.
Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. – John Quincy Adams