I just finished reading through the book of Joshua. Many aspects of this piece of literature struck me. I was amazed at how much God did for the people of Israel at the expense & devastation of many other nations. I also was impressed with the leadership of Joshua. I feel at times Joshua is kind of this forgotten leader. Moses, well is Moses, and fairly soon after Joshua we read of Samuel and David in the Hebrew Bible. These were two foundational leaders for God’s people. But Joshua was the man God chose to fulfill His promise to Abraham concerning the land. Joshua stepped into amazingly big shoes and led the people with strength and conviction as they inherited their promised land. And as God instructed him in the first chapter of the book he did it “strong and courageously”.
But then in Judges 2 we have this recorded:
“The people worshiped God throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the time of the leaders who survived him, leaders who had been in on all of God’s great work that he had done for Israel. Then Joshua son of Nun, the servant of God, died. He was 110 years old. They buried him in his allotted inheritance at Timnath Heres in the hills of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash. Eventually that entire generation died and was buried. Then another generation grew up that didn’t know anything of God or the work he had done for Israel.”
These words saddened me greatly today. How could the generation that followed Joshua know nothing of God or the work He did for them? Did the generation before not clearly communicate or did their stories fall on deaf ears? One thing about reading Scripture is that it allows you to step outside of time. In the matter of a few verses you read of one generation passing on and another generation coming to fruition. It is difficult for us to process this at times because we rarely think of what will happen on earth after our deaths. I know I desire to leave this world a bit more like God desires it to be when my time is up.
Today as I read this passage in Judges I became passionate for the generation that will come after me. This generation that will include my 3 daughters, my nieces and nephews, and my friends. Will they “know anything of God or the work He has done” for them? Will my girls follow Christ in all areas of their lives? Will they follow Christ with more reckless abandon than their mom or dad did? Will they imprint on their children (my grandchildren) the way of Jesus?
So with all of this I write a prayer for the future leaders of the global church:
Children born and children to come – I pray for you. May God’s Spirit illuminate your hearts so you know, believe, and follow Jesus all of your days. May you teach the way of Jesus to your kids and grandkids. Jesus promised that He would build His church and the gates of Hell would not stand against it. May you be used of our great Lord & Savior to advance the church in the darkest, most hellish of places. As the years roll on and you wait for the return of Christ may the Father’s Kingdom & will be a reality on this earth just as it is in Heaven. I pray you know the love of Jesus. I pray you know the life He offers you. I pray you love God & people with all of your heart, soul, and mind. I pray you finish strong and leave a lasting legacy for generations to follow. I pray you forgive my generation of our faults and model Christ where we fall short. I pray all of these things for the glory and renown of our great God. He is a great God! Amen”