‚ÄúAfter that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.‚Äù
(Judg 2:10 NIV)
WHAT!? The last few chapters have all been excellent records of what God did, of the boundary lines He established, of the altars they set up and the stones they set up and the people they set up as witnesses to all of these things!
‚ÄúJoshua said to the people, ‚ÄúYou are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.‚Äù
But the people said to Joshua, ‚ÄúNo! We will serve the LORD.‚Äù
Then Joshua said, ‚ÄúYou are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD.‚Äù
‚ÄúYes, we are witnesses,‚Äù they replied.
‚ÄúNow then,‚Äù said Joshua, ‚Äúthrow away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.‚Äù
And the people said to Joshua, ‚ÄúWe will serve the LORD our God and obey him.‚Äù‚Äù
(Josh 24:19-24 NIV)
they said they would follow the LORD and Joshua said no you won’t
they said yes we will, and Joshua said, OK, you are your own witnesses now!
How much is this just like Peter and Jesus?¬†
I’ll follow you
no you won’t
yes I will
You will be your own witness and hear the cock crow and know that you failed me.
I don’t think the answer is to shy away from making commitments, or to stay away from people making promises, but I wonder how many times we go too fast into making these commitments??
Like the summer camps for kids where they make a commitment to Christian Ministry…then what?
I remember one time I worked at a camp and we were in a pole barn during a thunderstorm. A METAL POLE BARN during a thunderstorm. And they made an altar call and they told the kids if they wanted to commit themselves to Jesus to come forward to their counselor.¬†
After everyone in my group came to me, I asked one little boy, JT, why he came up to the front.¬†
‚ÄúI don’t know!?‚Äù he said with a smile.¬†
I know a guy that used to play in the NBA. He had a strict rule for his son. It wasn’t about curfews or about where on their farm he could or could not go.¬†
It was about who he could play basketball with.
When the dad was training and preparing and learning basketball, and entering the NBA, he had to unlearn a whole lot of stuff that he had learned. He wanted his son to learn the right way to shoot a free throw, the right way to shoot a jump shot, the right way to block, the right way to set a pick, FROM THE START.¬†
I’m not totally sure I want my kids to go to some camp and run up to the front during a call to commitment in the middle of a thunderstorm. The generation after Joshua didn’t learn enough from their fathers, about the memorial altars set up, about the miracles in Egypt, and about God fighting for them in the new land. They learned some new thing from their neighbors because they didn’t learn enough from their fathers, and the whole generation went off track.