Saturday, December 29, 2018

Another Generation

Today's Reading:
Judges 1:1–2:9
Acts 21:37–22:16
Psalm 68:21-27
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses: Judges 2:10-14
10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the LORD handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist.

The new generation of Israelites born in the Promised Land did not remember or appreciate their history. Did their parents fail to teach them? Did they simply not listen to their parents? Somehow they forgot their heritage and turned away from God to worship the idols and false gods of the people around them. This resulted in conflict, war, and bloodshed.

They were caught in a tragic cycle. They would forget and forsake God. Then, they would fall prey to their enemies. Next, they would cry out to God for help. Then, God would deliver them and restore them through chosen leaders (the judges), and they would prosper. As they prospered and things were going well, they would once again plunge into error—forgetting and forsaking God.

Response and Action:
I intend to face each new day with a fresh resolve to choose God and follow Christ Jesus. Every morning I will renew my commitment to Christ, turn to the Scriptures for guidance, and set my heart on walking in the ways of Jesus. I will make an effort to know and remember the works and ways of the Lord. I will do my best to pass on my knowledge and faith to my children and grandchildren.

O God, you are my God. Earnestly I seek you. Help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Help me to tell the stories and speak the truth of your faithfulness in meaningful and convincing ways so that my children and their peers might know you and find their hope and purpose in you. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: James 1:22-25 
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

Never Beyond Hope: How God Touches and Uses Imperfect People
by J. I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom

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