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Generations and Challenges

Every generation is different from those who lived before. My grandmother was born almost two years exactly before the first powered flight by the Wright brothers. Her grandmother lived through the Civil War. Her grandmother lived before Alabama was a state in the Union. Her grandmother lived before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Each one saw great changes in life.

Notice the differences in the following verses. (Judg 2:7-12) “So 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 works of the LORD which He had done for Israel... 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. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger.”

The generation of Hebrews that came out of Egypt all died faithless in the wilderness, despite having seen the miracles of God. The next generation grew up in the wilderness, knowing God, Moses and Joshua. They conquered the land and followed God throughout their lives but their children abandoned God.

Each person reading this has a history. Perhaps your were raised by Christian parents and knew the truth from childhood. Or perhaps you were converted at some point from denominationalism or even unbelief. Your kids grew up in a different time and are facing different church challenges than you did. My children have different challenges to face than their children will. However, each of us and all of us face the challenge of being faithful to God in our own generation.

Elijah thought he was the only faithful one left in his time (1 Kngs. 19:10) but he was wrong. Abraham thought there must be some good people in Sodom (Gen. 18:23), but he was wrong. And when God flooded the world, he saved a grand total of ... eight! The accounts of other generations help us learn how to live for God (Rom. 15:4). But just like Joshua’s challenge almost 3500 years ago, each of us must choose for ourselves if we will serve God or not (Josh. 24:15).

- Tim Orbison


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