Read Judges 2
Focus on verse 10-11
History seems to demonstrate that every generation ultimately must find its own way through life. How they fair and the direction they take is largely encumbrance upon what they learn from the previous generation. In today’s reading we discover that it only takes one generation for a culture to forget where they came from.
And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. (v. 10-11)
The most sincere people of God are ever only one generation away from becoming rebels. The people that fought with Joshua served the Lord with him had seen first hand the things God had done. They even set up a few reminders for the generations that followed, but apparently these were not all that effective, for when “all that generation also were gathered to their fathers — and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the word that He had done for Israel,” — in the very next verse the author of Judges records: “And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.”
All it took for Israel to abandon the worship of the God of their fathers who had rescued them from Egypt was for one generation to pass away without effectively passing the faith along to their children.
It is my observation that even with the benefits of recorded history, and written literature, we continue to be ever only one generation away from forgetting where we came from. The America in which we live today is vastly different from the America our parents grew up in. One generation ago, there was a general acceptance in America that most people at least respected the worship of God even if they did not worship Home themselves. Today there are segments of our society that are openly hostile toward anything that smacks of Christianity, while hypocritically espousing an ideology of tolerance and acceptance of all people.
While we do not set up idols of wood and stone as they did in the worship of Baal in the Old Testament, we sacrifice our children to the same false gods but give them different names. Instead of burning our infants to death on the arms of an idol of the god Molech, we kill our babies while they are still in the womb and call it a medical procedure in the interest of women’s health. Instead of committing adulterous sexual acts with cult prostitutes in the worship of Baal, we attempt to normalize indecent and unnatural sexual behavior and call it alternative lifestyles.
“Do not be deceived” writes the Apostle, “God is not mocked”. Those who sow seeds of destruction will reap destruction, those who sow to life and holiness will reap life and holiness. We will all reap what we have sown in time, though God, in His mercy has provided an exception for those who repent and receive the mercy and grace offered through the sacrifice of Christ. While we may temporarily continue to live with the consequence of our past choices in this world, each generation has the opportunity — even in the midst of the brokenness — to find the way back to peace with God as we submit ourselves to His will and His word.