The Old Testament book of Judges is, frankly, a depressing piece of literature. It is an account of a downward spiral into degeneracy and ignorance as God’s people forgot his laws and embraced foreign religious practices. The Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament, often referred to as The Law) is filled with admonitions to teach children and to be careful in passing on God’s covenant to future generations. But no sooner did the Israelite leader Joshua die that the people rested on their laurels in the good land God gave to them. The Israelites simply failed their children. They neglected their God-given duty and privilege to teach about the LORD and the great work he had done in delivering them from Egypt and giving them the Promised Land of Canaan. And as a result, the people began experiencing the curses of God’s covenant instead of the blessings.
We in Western civilization live in an extremely fast-paced and busy culture. The gods of our age are effort, efficiency, and effectiveness. We rise early and rush to get to work. We move at the speed of light to get things done. Then, at night, if we do not bring a stack of work home with us, we fall into our favorite chair with no energy left except the ability to watch TV.
But what happens to the kids and to the family? With such a lifestyle there is no space for relaxed time around the Word of God; no ability to pass on some instruction of Scripture; nothing left in the tank to give to the people who need it most. It is no wonder an entire generation of people in the age range of 18-29 are leaving church in droves with a neglect of the Bible and its life-giving message. Since it was not important enough for parents to pass it on to them, they simply ignore Christian redemption and the community of the redeemed who worship Jesus.
We must, for God’s sake, rearrange our crazy lives so that God and his Word become valuable enough to be top priority in our families. It is high time to stop the excuses and start the instruction.
O God, I confess that my busy life has pushed out the people for whom I care most about. Give me the courage to make a fierce moral and spiritual inventory of my busy life, and the care and conviction to act upon what you reveal to me so that my family may know your Holy Word through me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.