But all that is inconsequential to what hit me as I read the second chapter this morning. In chapter 2, verse 10 jumped out at me. It had jumped out at me before, but considering some conversations that my wife and I have been having lately, it struck a particular chord with me. The New International Version reads, "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." The Contemporary English Version puts it in terms that are a little easier understood, "After a while the people of Joshua's generation died, and the next generation did not know the LORD or any of the things he had done for Israel."
As I read this verse, I came to the stark conclusion that we are always just one generation away from a complete ignorance of the faithfulness of God. If I hesitate to instill it into my children, then the likelihood of them thinking it is important to pass on to my grandchildren is low. So, what am I doing to make this happen? Am I promoting the extinction of faith within the Gibson family? I hope not.
Every night, we always ask our boys two questions, "What was your favorite part of the day?" and "what are you thankful for?" It's been interesting to see the growth in our four year old as he begins to understand the difference in valuable things. He understands that time spent with family and the family that you have are things to be thankful for. I hope and pray that they, along with the sister that will come along in a few months, will be able to not only hear that in our family, but see and witness it as well.
Do I live a life that makes it evident to my children that I believe that God has been faithful to every generation? Is it evident to them that I believe the very things that I sing about and preach about on Sunday mornings? If not, I might as well sit down and let somebody else do what I do. One of the greatest sources of accountability for me is my children and I am sure that will continue to be the case.
Judges 2:10 is highlighted in my Bible. I will continue to remind myself that if I don't give credit where credit is due and thank the Lord for his faithfulness, my children will be in danger of living lives apathetic towards the very One who created them. If I don't exhibit a value of thankfulness and gratefulness, a value for the community of faith, and a value of time set aside to corporately worship the One responsible for my life and breath, I shouldn't be surprised if, in a few years, they see the church as a building, old and irrelevant, rather than a people, a community, a spiritual force, set here on earth to pray and live Jesus' prayer for his father's will to come on earth as it is in heaven.
May our lives show the Lord to the next generation that they might see what he has done for us.