All those who were of that generation were "gathered to their fathers" (code words for "they died").
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...did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served other gods.
Does this verse send shock waves through you?
It does me.
Ever wonder what happened?
How could a mere handful of years make the difference between a believing generation and the next-gen that turned their backs on a God-of-Deliverance? The God-of-the-Red-Sea-Parting? The God-Who-Is-Faithful? Commanding-King-of-Kings?
Those two verses need to be pondered.
History has a habit of repeating itself.
The thought of that has me crying out for mercy!
I've always wanted better for my children and my grand-treasures.
Instead of going backwards, I want them to leap forward, go deeper, stand stronger, fight harder, live worthier of the gospel.
Why? Because I want the so-much-more-of-God for them.
I know I'm not alone in that.
I know all parents feel the same, and echo these words of John:
Nothing brings me greater joy than to know my children are walking out the truth.
(3 John 1:4)
But, currently, we stand in a critical place.
We are positioned on the cusp of seeing another generation rise up and make a choice!
Which way will they choose?
Who will they serve?
And, what is the answer to the problem presented in the book of Judges?
I have a one-word answer:
The older generation stopped telling the stories.
They stopped recording them.
They stopped passing on the tales of God-the-Hero.
They became AWE-forgetters.
They put God out of their minds...and out of their talk.
The generation that followed didn't know of the Lord or His works.
They didn't observe the reality of God in the lives of their parents and grand-parents.
They weren't instructed in His ways, or His deeds, or His character.
There was no intentionality.
When intentionality is missing, so goes the AWE.
When we fail to rehearse the faithfulness of our God, we fail to pass on faith.
The adults stopped paying attention.
Thus, they failed to see God's omnipresence in their every day lives.
They slowly faded into a life being lived unto themselves.
We, too, are standing dangerously close to the same edge of the same cliff.
About to tumble over.
We need a clarion call.
We need someone (several someones) to shout from the pulpit (several pulpits) the words of the Psalmist:
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from our children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might,
and the wonders that He has done.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which He commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments...