In Judges chapter 2 we are told that the Israelites worshiped Yahweh throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the elders of that time. Then the next generation “did not know Yahweh or the works He had done for Israel.” They worshiped the gods of the surrounding peoples and abandoned Yahweh.
How is it that the children of the people who saw God’s “great works that he had done for Israel” turned from Yahweh so quickly and easily? How is it that these ‘children’ did not know Yahweh? Did their parents not teach them?
Unfortunately, the same thing happens today! Many people who grew up in church and grew up learning the stories of God have left all of it behind them. Why? Do they not see and believe the value and truth in the ways of the Lord? What has happened to lead to such a mass exodus from the church?
I suggest that in part it is an epidemic due to individual parents turning over their parental rights and duties to teach their children. They have expected the church, schools and even government to fill their role. This is wrong. As parents we are given a mandate to teach our children to love the Lord with all that they are (Deut. 6:4-25; Psalm 145:3-4; et al.).
Secondly, many people have not learned how to develop a personal relationship with the God of their father and mother. They have no idea, beyond their parents’ faith, who God is and what he is like. They don’t know how to call on Yahweh for themselves.
Finally, I believe there is a lack of understanding God’s truth and how to defend it intelligently. We don’t teach our young people why we believe what we believe. My generation, the one before it, and the one after it are drowning in a sea of worldviews. Thousands lost because they don’t know how to explain reasonably why they hold to certain beliefs and so they have abandoned those beliefs.
Do not fail to pass the baton to your children, to those around you on a personal level, to your family. We must be true and authentic examples for those around us. And we must constantly, as we go about our days teach them the ways of God. We must also teach them to understand the ‘whys’ behind what they are being taught. There is nothing more important than to take the personal responsibility for guiding and teaching everyone God has placed into our sphere of influence.