GenerationsBro. Ron Rupé
1/24/2010 6:00 PM
And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land. And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that he did for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
"Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:6-11
We’re in the last season of this world and we need examples so that we’ll be prepared for what is ahead.
"And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel." We’re in a generation similar to that both nationally and globally. This describes a generation that doesn’t know the Lord; that hasn’t seen what God can do. The generation that came before them had seen and known what God could do.
1 – Revelation and Deliverance
2 – Nurture and Admonition
3 – Conquest and Rest
4 – Forgetfulness and Indifference
This is a pattern that happens today. It happens to nations, churches, congregations and families. It doesn’t have to happen. There is a solution to break the cycle. Israel didn’t start out forgetful and indifferent. They started with a revelation from God and deliverance.
Exodus 2:23-25; 3:1-3, 14-16; 14:26-31; 15:1-2
And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:
And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
God gave Moses a revelation and then gave the Israelites a glorious deliverance. They "sighed and cried". It wasn’t necessarily to God. It’s the cry of the lost to anyone who will hear. They want help. Their bondage caused them to desire deliverance. God heard and revealed himself to them. He saved Israel that day. The revelation and deliverance had a profound effect on the conscience of the people. They feared and believed on the Lord and sang a song to him.
"The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him." It wasn’t an indifferent song. It meant something to them. This is the same way for everyone that experiences the revelation and deliverance of God today. It works something within your soul. Salvation does not create indifference, carelessness or lukewarmness.
As time passed the generation that saw these things passed from the scene. The next generation saw the works of the Lord through his nurture and admonition.
And the Lord heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying, Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the Lord.
There’s a generation that will pass away and be replaced with a new generation.
Deuteronomy 8:1-6, 15-16
All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water: who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint: Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
This generation is one that God nurtured, admonished and chastened. God worked in their lives and led them. After God reveals himself to us and delivers us, there is nurture and admonition that needs to take place. As he leads us through the wilderness, we see the nurture and admonition that needs to take place. He humbled and proved them. He helped them know that his word was life.
We also receive the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He leads us from being children to the fullness of the stature of Christ. As they ate manna and drank water from the rock it made a lasting impression on their souls. In the course of time that generation passed away and gave place to a new generation.
Joshua 1:1-6; 24:11-18
Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead: now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. Therefore shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage; for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand. And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and olive yards which ye planted not do ye eat.
Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt: and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods; For the Lord our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: And the Lord drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the Lord; for he is our God.
Another generation came to being. They were given the command to go and conquer for the Lord. They saw the work of God when he used a hornet to help them overcome. They saw God work in their lives and on their behalf. "For the Lord our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: and the Lord drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the Lord; for he is our God." God does this for us today. He conquers our foes and gives us rest. It gives us a fervor for God.
And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
This generation didn’t know the Lord because they didn’t see the works of the Lord. They hadn’t seen the revelation, deliverance, nurture, admonition, conquest or rest. They hadn’t seen what the previous generations had seen. Because of this, they walked away from God.
This cycle plays out in history and in people’s lives. Consider the apostolic church – God revealed himself through Christ and redeemed them; the Holy Spirit nurtured and admonished; they went out conquering and to conquer; the church today is indifferent about Christ who died.
We see it in our nation. It began with a Declaration of Independence and a revolution; then came the Constitution and the forming of the nation; then came conquest into new frontiers; but where is the nation today?
This has happened in congregations. Evangelists begin a work for God in a community; they are followed by pastors and teachers; then the local evangelists cause it to grow and thrive. Too often it is followed by a lukewarm, indifferent, careless generation that lets the work die.
If the pillars were gone, what would be left? If you’re what’s left, what could be said about you?
There’s an answer for breaking the cycle.
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ,
"…tradition of men…" …"A form of godliness…" Often in an effort to break this cycle, well-meaning men look to traditions to stave it off. There are some who look to a time of God’s working and mimic the traditions and customs in hopes that it will create the work of God today. This is man’s answer and it always fails. This isn’t the way for us here. God has a different answer.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
"And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel." Judges 2:10. It isn’t the wisdom of men or organizations or systems of men. People need to experience the work of God in their lives. We must all experience the work of God in our lives. His revelation, deliverance, nurture, admonition, conquest and rest must be real and active in our lives. We need God to shine his light in our dark places until the day dawns there. We need God to speak to us and illuminate us. We need his deliverance. We need the Spirit to reprove of sin until we cry to God for deliverance. We need to experience his deliverance from sin. The soul that experiences this isn’t indifferent or careless. We need the nurture and admonition of God in our lives. Our convictions should come from us being taught of God. See the hand of God conquering for you. Be stirred by God to conquer. An evangelistic program won’t spread the gospel. If we have to be admonished and coaxed to work for God it tells us that something is missing. Feel the commission within.
"…that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God…" What does your faith stand in? It should stand in the working of Almighty God in your soul.