Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional thoughtfully penned by leaders in DUMC arising from their daily devotions. The devotional’s title, “Our Best Thought” is taken from the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision” as a reference to God: “Thou my best thought, by day or by night.” Publishes on Sundays.
After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress. Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
Judges 2:10-19 (NIV)
Another generation after Joshua grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel.
We read in Exodus that the Israelites had been rescued from slavery and oppression in Egypt by the mighty works of God through Moses. They went through the 10 plagues and then later the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. But the generation after Joshua has forgotten all these miraculous encounters, or they were not told what the Lord has done for their forefathers.
The result of this led to a recurring sequence of events as in verses 11-19:
- The Israelites worship the Lord and are blessed by Him.
- In their time of prosperity, they take God for granted and rebel by following other gods, serving and worshipping them.
- God brings judgment through foreign oppression.
- The people cried out to God.
- God raises up a deliverer or judge to lead them out of the hands of their enemies.
- The people repent, turn back to God, and worship Him.
- When the deliverer (judge) died, this cycle starts over again.
It is important that our next generation are made fully aware of the Lord, not as a “hand-me-down” faith. They must experience the Lord themselves and we need to provide an environment for the next generation to grow and experience God themselves.
It is the duty of Christian parents to teach their children about God and His saving work, so that the next generation will know God and be saved.
When the knowledge of God is preserved and taught in the Christian community, especially by those who have personally experienced God's power, faith is encouraged and obedience to the Lord will increase.
Referring to God’s laws, Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us:
“Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
One of our core habits in DUMC is pass it on. Therefore let us “pass it on” to the next generation, our knowledge, experience, and the goodness of God.
Lord, help us be good role models for the next generation that they may see Christ in our lives and in our homes. “May we be careful and watch ourselves closely so that we do not forget the things our eyes have seen or let them fade from our heart as long as we live. We will teach them to our children and to their children after them” (Deuteronomy 4:9 italics mine).
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Allan Leong is Pastor of Kuala Lumpur Zone.
Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional that follows DUMC's Bible Reading Plan. Posts on Sundays.