A main focus of Joshua 4, which tells the story of the crossing of the flooded Jordan River, is a memorial of 12 stones taken out of the Jordan and set up as a reminder of this miracle. Repeatedly the Lord says ‘tell your children”, “tell your children”.
God wants us to pass on to our children a heritage of faith and one of the best ways to do this is through stories of his faithfulness to us and other heroes of the faith. Not every generation will experience the awesome miracles of a Red Sea crossing or a Jordan crossing.
Some generations will live during the 400 years that Egypt was in bondage and saw few, or no, miracles rather than the incredible days of Moses and Joshua. These generations must know of His power through the stories of others.
Let your children walk with you (age appropriately) through your trials and tests. Let them see you trusting God even when the obstacles seem insurmountable. That is the only way they can rejoice with you when God does His marvelous deliverance.
Sadly, despite God’s emphasis upon this (devoting a whole chapter to it) apparently, Joshua’s generation failed at “telling their children”. Once Joshua and his generation died, “there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10
Unbelievable! Not only did they not know the Lord but they did not even know the stories of what God had done for Israel. What a tragedy! This ignorance led them into the period of the Judges – the “Dark Ages of Hebrew History” – a time of perversion, failure and bondage with only periodic sparks of revival. Because they failed to pass on the faith to the next generation their children suffered, their grandchildren suffered, the nation suffered and the enemies of God triumphed.
Psalm 78:4, 6, 7
We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.
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