Will the Next Generation Know?
March 1, 2016
Joshua died at the age of 110 years old according to Judges 2:8. He had been with these people and their forefathers since Egypt. After Moses died, God spoke to Joshua in Joshua chapter one that he had picked him to finish the journey from Egypt to Canaan. He had experienced the miracles of the days leading up to the first Passover and the exodus out of Egypt. He had walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. He was there when Moses climbed the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments from God. He also saw the rebellion of the people and heard them whining about the miraculous supply of manna. He walked beside Moses as his lieutenant. The great Moses who had “talked with God” had mentored him.
Joshua took the lead in Joshua chapter 1 after God told him three times in vs. 6, 7, and 9 to “Be strong and very courageous.” God has ALWAYS connected with those that would seek him and obey his words. Through this relationship between God and his servant, the children of Israel saw victories in their battles and provision for their needs. In Joshua 1:7 God instructed Joshua to stay in his word, “… Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.”
It was Joshua’s call to lead them into the Promised Land and teach them God’s law so that they would continue to be blessed by the Lord and live in peace in the land. It has always been the mandate of God’s servants throughout the ages to lead God’s people into God’s promises for them and teach them to dwell in his word. This was done so that they would be prosperous in their lives. We have witnessed a handing off of the leadership of God’s people from one generation to another as our Pentecostal forefathers have taught the richness of God’s Word and demonstrated the Pentecostal experience in which they functioned.
Joshua had come to the end of his time and passed to the next generation what had been passed to him. Here’s the problem: The next generation does not always understand their heritage and are unaware of it’s worth. Judges 2:7 says, “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 work which the Lord had done for Israel.” While the memory of God's greatness and the work he did for Israel was alive, the people maintained their devotion to God.
But verse 10 says that after the death of Joshua and those who had seen God's mighty acts, “There arose another generation after them, who did not know the Lord or the work which he had done for Israel.” The result of this ignorance is given in verse 11, “The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt.” And then verse 14 describes the divine response to this idolatry. “So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers.” Those whose forefathers had seen and experienced the hand of God, are now facing the wrath of God.
So what about this generation in which we live? 100 years ago, this fellowship was birthed in the fire of Pentecost. For decades we have seen the Pentecostal message preached and taught among our churches. Here is my concern: if we aren’t careful, we are going to follow non-Pentecostal evangelical models of how to “do church” until we have come to a generation that “knows not” the Pentecostal experience. God forbid!
We are going to Moffett Road Assembly of God in Mobile (April 25-27) for our 101st Alabama District Council. Our theme is, “Will the NEXT generation know?” Judges 2:10 ASV states, “There arose another generation that knew not…” Pray with me for God to manifest his presence and bring a “sure word” for the NEXT generation. I look forward to meeting with the family in Mobile. See you at ADC 101.