All it takes is one generation. One generation was there and witnessed the awesome power of God in parting the waters of the Red Sea. One generation witnessed the backing up of the Jordan River when entrance was granted by God into the Promised Land. One generation followed Joshua all of his days. One generation knew Joshua and the mighty works of God and they served the Lord. However, one generation later, there arose a generation who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel (Judges 2:10). Do you remember what the very next verses say? They say, “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers…” (Judges 2:11-12). How much times does it take to go from faithful to faithless? One generation. But, friend, do you not realize how much time it can take to go from faithless to faithful? The answer is the same – one generation!
King Hezekiah had a wicked father whose name was Ahaz. The Bible says that Ahaz did not do what was right in the sight of God, he made his son pass through the fire, and made sacrifices to false gods (2 Kings 16:1-4). However, one generation later, his son, Hezekiah, has these words of accommodation, “He did was right in the sight of the Lord…he removed the high places…he trusted in the Lord God of Israel so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before Him,” (2 Kings 18:1-5).
So much can change in one generation. See the words of Joel 1:3 and consider two observations. “Tell your children about it, let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.”
1. Share memories with your children. Joel is writing about a time of destruction brought on by locusts in the land of Canaan. The prophet tells the people of God that it is a kind of picture of the judgment that was coming from God in the day of Lord. This judgement was to serve as an incentive to repentance. There was a generation who saw the locusts and they were encouraged to share those memories. We would do well to share memories with our children to help them to be faithful. Tell stories of your upbringing, of worshipping God, of His faithfulness to you and great blessings you have seen from Him over the years of your life.
2. Share Scripture with your children. Concerning the law of God, the Psalmist says, “…make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them…that they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God,” (Psalm 78:5-8). Timothy was taught the Holy Scriptures able to make one wise for salvation from childhood (2 Timothy 3:15). Our children will not learn unless they are taught. It sounds too simple to miss, but it is too important a responsibility to shirk or pass on to others.
Faithfulness or faithlessness is only one generation away. Let us be the generation that ensures a bright future of love and dependance on our great God who is full of mercy and wonderous works for generations to come!
– Adam Orr