April 18 “Will the next generation know God?” & new LINKY PARTY

Have you ever said, “I don’t want to force my religion on my children. I’m just going to let them grow up and decide for themselves”? Today’s reading in Judges gives us a clear picture of the result of that kind of thinking!

the next generation

Today’s Readings:
Judges 1 & 2
Psalm 48.1-8
Proverbs 14.15-17
Luke 14.1-24

A note of encouragement

If you set out to read through the Bible this year, you may be tempted to quit because you’ve gotten behind or started out late. I want to encourage you to keep going whether you just keep reading where you are or start with today’s reading. Either way you will probably read more than you have in the past. Even when it’s challenging or we do things less than perfectly, it’s still worth the effort.

young couple jumping together

Even if this is your first day visiting this blog, we have lots of wonderful things to read and understand from God’s Word in the days and weeks ahead. So jump in and join us!

Judges 1 & 2:

A generation who did not know the Lord

As we’ve talked about in the last few days, the nation of Israel was now in the Promised Land, but even though God had promised them complete victory, they failed to follow through and completely drive out the idol worshipers who had polluted the land and caused God to declare judgment against them. They thought they had things under control and didn’t need to completely obey God.

In addition, the older generation had failed to adequately teach their children about God. One of the saddest verses in the Bible is 2.10, “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.”

Parental responsibility

next generation

More times than I care to think about, I’ve heard parents say, “I don’t want to force my religion on my children. I’m just going to let them grow up and decide for themselves.” That sounds good in some ways and, to be sure, we can’t “force” our children to believe. Many a parent has learned the hard way that you can’t insist on legalistic behavior that drives your children away from God.

But, though both of those extremes are wrong, there is a way other than either forcing or neglecting our parental duty. It’s seeking God’s wisdom, help, and grace to reach the heart of our children. Followed by loving instruction, appropriate discipline, and living out our beliefs. Living it out in a way that is real and honest and where we show them how sinners respond to their own mistakes with humility and a teachable spirit.

next generation

But here in Judges we are going to see how the lethal combination of neglect and disobedience is going to bring a cycle of disaster that will go on for generations. But you will also see God’s faithfulness to both discipline and show mercy on His rebellious children.

Psalm 48.1-8:

Great is the Lord!

Verse 1, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised …” I pray that you are seeing the truthfulness of that verse as we continue on our journey through the pages of Scripture.

Proverbs 14.15-17:

The error of self-confidence

Verse 16, “A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident.” A fool rages and is self-confident. In spite of what our culture teaches, God has not called us to be self-confident. We are to be confident in God. “My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad” (Ps. 34.2).

Luke 14.1-24:

God’s dinner party

Jesus tells a parable in verses 16-24 about a man (God) who gives a great supper, but the “invited guests” (the nation of Israel) make excuses and don’t come, so the host sends his servants out to bring in “the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind” (that was most of us, spiritually speaking!) and then to go out and invite the whole world (Jn. 3.16).

Plan B?

We are not “plan B.” God always intended to invite everyone, but His desire was to use His people, the nation of Israel, to be the holy, set apart people who would be a light to others. Instead, they constantly turned to the idolatry that they were supposed to stand against and destroy. Even when they had an outward appearance of religion, they had a legalistic, holier than thou attitude that shut others out. Even so, God loves His people and will someday, probably soon, do a great work in them again.

Will we be the light?

In the meantime, we are to be salt and light to a dying world. How are you doing? How am I doing? Will we take the Gospel into all the world starting with those closest to us, including our children? Or will we choose self-righteousness, indifference, or neglect?

Blessings,
Donna

 

Now it’s time for our LINKY PARTY. Link up any family friendly posts.

Link up as many posts as you like as long as they bring glory to God!

faithful friday

Faithful Friday Link-Up


2 thoughts on “April 18 “Will the next generation know God?” & new LINKY PARTY

  1. My husband and I have always been struck by those verses in Judges. The way we see it, it’s not loving to let our children explore and come to their own conclusions about God. The loving faithful thing to do is to teach them about the the Lord.
    (Visiting from the Thrive @ Home link-up.)

    • You’re right! It’s our job to guide them to the truth and to live it out in front of them. Thanks for visiting, Donna