"And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel."
Even those with limited Bible knowledge have heard of the book of Judges. Such picturesque stories as victories won through Ehud, Samson, and the likes of Deborah are all vivid accounts of the cyclical history of the book. Israel truly did exemplify the very last verse of the book, "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." The cycle would begin with sin, then move to the judgment of God, then the cry of Israel for deliverance, then the grace of our God to provide victory through a judge.
As a member of a church that actively seeks to reach the next generation through our weekly children and youth ministries (Master Clubs, Milford Christian Academy, and Biblical School of World Evangelism) each one of us shares a part of the responsibility to be an example of what God would have us to be. We are the body of Christ. When we consider that our church hosts an annual conference that encourages, edifies, and exhorts other ministries to reach the next generation for the Lord, then all the more emphasis must be placed on living and serving in victory.
What led to such demise for God's people? I believe that Judges 2:10 gives clear indications, but further that the Scripture is applicable to us in 2019. The issues that led to the book of Judges must be examined.
First, Joshua had not trained a successor to lead people to follow the Lord. Unfortunately, that which Joshua had received by Moses was never passed down from "that generation" to those who would lead the next generation of Israelites in the Promised Land.
Not only did Joshua's generation pass on to glory without training servant-leaders, but secondly we find that the next generation did not know the LORD. There was no relationship with God, no knowledge of God, and therefore no loving obedience to the LORD's commands.
Lastly, we find that this generation who arose in the book of Judges knew nothing of the works of the LORD. Certainly this was not Jehovah's fault, for He had ordained the erection of memorials, altars and, of course, the Tabernacle to constantly affirm the powerful works of God both in the past and present. What are we to do in 2019? Train servant-leaders. Our church must invest in the leaders who will serve our congregation, and others, as we pass from this life to the next. This race is not about us; it is about glorifying the Lord and His work.
Next, we must reach people with the gospel. The work of the Great Commission among our young people must be a priority in our church and among God's people.
The last effort we must make is "... shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done." (Psalm 78:4) Memorials can be built, historical accounts can be told, and testimonies can be declared of what God did back in the day. However, nothing trumps the impact of the work of an all-powerful God in the here and now, witnessed by this generation of young people. What are you trusting God for today? How are you living and serving by faith so that a generation will witness first-hand what He can do?
Written by Dan Jessup