Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6 ESV
The book of Judges began with a battle. The children of Israel continued to invade the territory of Canaan, claiming their Promised Land from the people who had refused to worship the true God.
Things seemed to be going well. But before the end of the first chapter, there were signs of trouble in Israel. In some areas, the Israelites did not fully drive out the inhabitants of the land but allowed the Canaanites to dwell among them.
By the beginning of Judges 2, we begin to see the consequences. God is not pleased with His people and He makes a proclamation that we will see play out in the lives of the Israelites.
Then the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you.
‘And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? “Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’ ” – Judges 2:1-3 NKJV
Despite hearing these words, the Israelites did not redouble their efforts to drive out the Canaanites. Instead, they settled in and began to live as if they had accomplished all that they had been tasked with.
But it was after Joshua and the elders of his generation died that things really got bad.
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 (Judges 2:10 NKJV).
How could it be that the nation who had been cared for and tended by the Almighty didn’t know who He was?
How is it possible that people lived in Israel and didn’t know who God was when His fame had gone all throughout the land and had been known by so many nations?
Related: What Do You Know About God?
Yet, this was their fate. Those who inhabited the land of Promise had forgotten to develop a lasting relationship with the Almighty and to instill those teaching in their descendants. They had forgotten to live out Moses’ teaching of Deuteronomy 6:7.
Let’s not follow in the footsteps of that generation of Israelites. Let us teach our family about the God we serve. Here are some simple things you can do to teach the next generation about God.
1. Share the Bible with your children in relatable ways. When Moses told the Israelites to talk about God’s Word with their children (Deuteronomy 6:7), he meant it literally.
The Bible is filled with good teaching on every topic you can think of. We, as well as our children, will benefit from talking about what it says. Don’t preach at your children, teach them about God and allow His Word to become part of your family’s narrative.
2. Live your faith. As much as we should be talking about what we believe, the way we live paint a more powerful image. Let your family see you in the Word, praying, and trying to live by what the Bible says.
Show them the God you serve by the way you serve others and the way you love. We will by no means do that perfectly, but let them see you work hard to become more like Christ every day.
3. Surround yourself with people who believe the way you do. Let’s face it, the time we spend with our families is much less than the time we spend apart. That’s why it’s important to ensure that they have a plethora of positive influences. Include people who share your beliefs in your family activities so your children have a community of believers.
Let’s make our beliefs a living and active part of our lives so that our families are exposed to the God we believe in. They may still not choose to serve Him, but let it not be because we were not good witnesses for Him.
Father, I want to be an example to my family. I want them to know the God I serve. Help me to live out my faith and to talk about what I believe. But help me to do it in a way that creates hunger and desire in them to know more about You and to draw closer to You. Let them see Your great and mighty hand and recognize that there is no God like You. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray, Amen.
Other actions you can take: