THE NEXT GENERATION
“And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:8, 10
What will become of the next generation? Will those who follow us love and serve the Lord? Joshua was one of the greatest leaders of all time. His generation crossed the Jordan River and saw great victories in Canaan. One might think that succeeding generations would perpetuate the faithfulness of each previous generation, but this does not always occur. After Joshua and his peers died, the very next generation turned away from God and began to serve idols.
We all should be concerned about the generation that will follow us. It would be very presumptuous or selfish for us not to consider the faith and zeal of those who will take our place. It has been said that “we could be only one generation away from apostasy.” Churches that were once led by godly pastors and were served by faithful Christians have fallen to compromise and heresy in a single generation. Parents who genuinely know and love the Lord have seen their children forsake the faith.
What can we do to help preserve the testimony of the Lord for future generations? Obviously, they must know the Lord personally. Our Scripture says, “there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD.” We want our children to have a relationship with the Savior that is genuine. Our prayer is that they will come to understand their great need for salvation and trust Him completely as their Redeemer. Not only do they need to know Him initially as Savior, but also they need to grow in their knowledge of Him experientially. The next generation needs to know the Lord as their personal Redeemer and Friend, and as their God and not just the God of their fathers.
The future generation needs to see God at work. The Scripture tells us that the following generation did not know “the works which he had done for Israel.” One reason we are losing the next generation is that they have failed to see God work in their lives and circumstances. They hear that God can do anything, but see no evidence of His activity in their lives or in the lives of others. May God help us to powerfully influence the generation that follows us.