19
Nov
13

Passing On Our Faith

Teaching our children the ways of the Lord is so vital to the preservation of our faith and our churches.  Look at verses 10-13:

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. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.

​ – Judges 2:10-13 (NIV) 
The Hebrew word translated as “forsook” in verses 12-13 can also mean “to abandon.”  The older generation did not pass on the faith to the younger generation.  Verse 7 tells us that the older generation served the Lord:

The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.

​ – Judges 2:7 (NIV) 
​It is not as though God had stopped doing great things.  The people didn’t tell their kids of the great things God had done!  The younger generation abandoned the Lord because they didn’t know the Lord.
As Christians, we must not confuse passing on our traditions with passing on our faith.  We must pass on the essentials of doctrine and faith to our children.  We have to teach them the great stories of the Bible as well as our own stories of faith.  How has God worked in your life?  What difference does Jesus make in your life each day?  It is not enough to tell them about Jesus.  We have to teach them to know Jesus!  ​We can’t just teach them about going to church.  We have to teach them to be the church.  We have to teach them how to worship and how to study the Word of God.  We have to teach them about how to have a relationship with God through Jesus.  We must mentor these younger generations so that love God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength.  They will be far less likely to bow down to the gods of this world and instead, they will serve the Lord.

Judges 2

New International Version (NIV)

The Angel of the Lord at Bokim

2 The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, 2 and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? 3 And I have also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; they will become traps for you, and their gods will become snares to you.’”

4 When the angel of the Lord had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud, 5 and they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the Lord.

Disobedience and Defeat

6 After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to their own inheritance. 7 The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.

8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 9 And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

10 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. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.

16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.

20 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant I ordained for their ancestors and has not listened to me, 21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22 I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their ancestors did.” 23 The Lord had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua.

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