“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.” (Judges 2:10)
This passage describes Israel after their leader Joshua had died. He had been a faithful leader who had followed God’s guidance. Joshua learned this from his mentor Moses. Moses had also been a great leader and had sought and nurtured a close personal relationship with God. This relationship impacted the way Moses led Israel and the way he mentored Joshua. But now that both leaders were dead, a problem surfaced; there was a new generation that did not know God or His ways. How could this have happened to God’s chosen people?
Joshua’s generation failed at discipleship. Evidently, they did not pass along the stories of God’s acts of faithfulness, of His creation story, nor of His promise of sending a Messiah. Israel failed to live out Deuteronomy 6 in which parents were challenged to continually teach their children about the things of God. They failed at helping the younger generation learn to see life from God’s perspective. Israel did not teach the next generation to honor God by reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on His word. They failed to serve those in need so that the next generation could learn to be the hands and feet of God.
Pouring oneself into a less mature believer has always been part of God’s plan. This is one reason He created the family. Mothers and fathers are in the ideal position for teaching their children the ways of God. But discipleship goes beyond the family. We see Jesus modeling discipleship when He mentored the twelve disciples. In addition we find Paul’s admonition to Timothy to pass along all he has learned from Paul to men who could, in turn, teach others (2 Timothy 2:22).
Question: Are you currently being discipled by someone. Also, are you discipling someone else?
Challenge: Find a mature believer to mentor you and a younger believer for you to mentor.
Prayer: God, please bring someone into my life who can teach me your ways and give me someone into whom I can pour my life.
Chris Hail, Chapel Leader -- Jackson Generals