In Joshua 24:14-18, that conquering leader of Israel reminded the people of their covenant with God.
“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods, for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. And the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”
Joshua 24:31 serves as an incredible testimony to the character of several generations of people.
Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the LORD did for Israel.
But Judges 2:10-11 represents a tragic turning-point in Israel’s history.
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. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals.
What can we learn in an effort to “work out our own salvation” and impact the generations to come?
How an Entire Generation of People Lost Its Way:
- They stopped listening (Judg 2:16-17).
- They abandoned the LORD who had brought them out of Egypt (Judg 2:11-12).
- They went after other gods of the peoples around them (Judg 2:12-13).
- They turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked (Judg 2:17).
- They sought God’s intervention on their terms, when they felt like it (Judg 2:18).
- They refused to repent (Judg 2:19).
- They reaped the bitter fruit of rebellion (Judg 2:20-3:7).
What Can We Do to Faithfully Pass Along the Greatest Inheritance of All?
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children… (Prov 13:22)
- We must listen (Luke 8:8).
- We must remain faithful to the Lord who has delivered us from bondage (Rev 2:10).
- We must keep ourselves from idols (1 John 5:21).
- We must ask for and walk in the ancient paths (Jer 6:16).
- We must seek God on his terms (Rom 12:1-2).
- We must be humble people of repentance and confession (1 John 2:1).
- We must be filled with the fruit of righteousness to the glory of God (Phil 1:9-11).
This sermon was delivered on November 2, 2014.