A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to preach at my church and I spoke from Joshua 24:15, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.
There were three things that Joshua warned the leaders of Israel about that they needed to be doing:
- Keep God’s Word (Joshua 23:6)
- Cling To The Lord (Joshua 23:8)
- Love the Lord (Joshua 23:11)
Joshua told them that:
“if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you and make marriages with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, KNOW FOR CERTAIN that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, but they will be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the Lord your God has given you”.
Joshua’s plea to the children of Israel did not fall on deaf ears. Later in Joshua we see that the children of Israel “served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua”.
However, the story does not end at this point. It continues in the book of Judges. In chapter 2, we find one of the saddest verses (to me) in the Bible.
When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land. And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the Lord had done for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years. And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.
Even though the children of Israel served the Lord until their death, what they did not do was train and disciple the next generation to love the Lord and to serve him.
Let this verse be a wake up call to all Christians today. We can keep His Word, cling to Him and love Him but if we don’t train our children and disciple them, then the next generation after us will be “another” generation who did not know.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.