Saturday, January 10, 2009

Our Affect on the Generations

The more I read Judges and specifically 2:10 the more I see this generation. Judges 2:10 speaks of the time after Joshua and the Elders that led with him were gone and the current generation being one that did not know the Lord or His works. As I go around the web and look at many that write on issues of faith I see people that increasingly rely on their own understanding and desires. If one wants to raise the hair on the neck of the current generations just mention that God’s word, the Old and New Testaments, is sufficient to not only inform our daily lives but actually sets out how we are to live. When I speak of the current generation I am not specifically singling out any particular age group as it seems that the pervasiveness of antinomianism is across generational lines.

There are pockets of those seeking to live biblically in light of a world that despises God. There are people that seek to see God worshiped and His name exalted in the world not just in word but also in all of life. The call of God is not to separate our lives into compartments but we are to live all of life for His glory. I fear that the understanding that many have that we have two spheres we live in, the spiritual (home and church) and the civil, leads to a lack of biblical living. Now, I realize I am treading on thin ice by the reactions I see on the internet to those that hold to God’s law being applicable to all peoples, but I find it hard not to hold this view from a plain reading of God’s word. I think it is important to see that God does not desire us to compartmentalize our lives and we need to spread this to the next generation. We need to teach the coming generations all that God desires of His people. We need to be the fathers that God speaks of in Psalm 78, ones that spread His glory.

I suppose that many are simply living out that the world cannot follow God’s law without God reworking their hearts. However, the fact that man is not able to do as God commands in a manner that pleases God does not negate that the world needs to be held to God’s law and standards. I think unwittingly when we tell the next generation that there are two spheres we live in, and I agree there is a manner in which this is true, we tell them they can live what in the end are schizophrenic lives. Lives that claim Christ as savior but in the end live lives that are not lived with Christ as Lord. When I say Lord this is not simply a claim to be made but one that lives out God’s commands, as God desires from His entire word.

When I said there is a manner where we live both in the city of God and the city of man I mean that we are not to retreat from the world around us in some manner. We will still probably work and live among pagans just as God’s people always have. But this living in the world is to be done in a way that reveals His people as pilgrims, as those separate from all those around them. God’s people are to be decidedly separate and that separation is a natural outcome of living out God’s word to it’s fullest. Not part of it but all of it.

We also need to be aware that when we teach the next generation that there are parts of God’s word that do not apply in life, such as His laws, we in essence send the message that God’s word and thus God change, since His law is a way that God defines who He is. We may not mean to teach this but whenever we mold God’s word to the culture, to the world we live in, we send the message that God’s word is malleable to our needs. Let us make sure we reveal God as His word reveals He is not as we would like Him to be.

I pray I was clear in all this and if I was not forgive me. My heart in this is that we do not underestimate the part God uses us in how to raise the next generation and by extension the generation after that. We need to get back to His word and it’s sufficiency for all of life so that we pass on to the succeeding generations that they do not need to turn to vain philosophies and rationalizations but can rely on His word. Let us be parents, and especially fathers, that emulate Psalm 78 and raise children that “keep His commandments” (Psl 78:6). To do this we need to know God’s word more intimately and live out His word more consistently. We need to be willing to be seen as strange in a world that sees God’s word as strange. We need to be a people that are intent on making His name known in the entirety of our lives so that we raise generations that do the same.

Let us not have the description of Judges 2:10 be placed on us.

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