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Winning the Second Generation
Cycles of Sin . . . Stories of Grace – Part I
live – the book of Judges. I want to begin by taking you to the last chapter and the last verse of this book.
The Old Testament book of Judges is a story of a
This is where God gives the diagnosis of the problem.
nation gone mad with sin and rebellion. It will sound
Usually God gives the diagnosis and then, deals
at times, like a history book on Western Civilization.
with the symptoms. In this book, He gives the
It will sound much like our nation today.
symptoms and ultimately, concludes with His spiritual
enormous moral and spiritual crisis in our country.
In Judges 21:25, the last phrase, we are given
We are being deluged by a flood of immorality and
amorality, in which everyone seems to be saying, “What’s right for you must be right.”
. . . everyone did what was right in his own
This is not a new philosophy for living, by they
way. It goes all the way back to the children of Israel.
There is one other key verse that I want to note
The book of Judges begins after the death of Joshua,
with you. It not only serves as an explanation for this
in a time of great immorality in the land.
entire book, but it will be the focus of our discussion today. Turn to Judges 2:10.
I am reminded of a cartoon that showed a
sophisticated college student speaking to a missionary.
All that generation also were gathered to
The missionary was unmistakable identified by his
their fathers; and there arose another
pith helmet, shorts, hiking boots, and walking stick.
generation after them who did not know the
The student said to him, “I don’t see how you do it!
Lord, nor yet the work which He had done
What do you do when you can’t take the superstition
and the violence and the immorality any longer?”
This could be paraphrased, “They knew about the
“Simple,” came the reply, “I just get on a plane
Now there are a lot of things that we could
Now we cannot get on a plane and leave today.
discuss in the first two chapters of Judges. However,
God has called us to this generation, in this country.
as I read and re-read, trying to discern what the Spirit
The question is, “How do we live?! How do we live in
of God would have us to study, the point that troubled
this kind of society that has gone mad, without
me more than anything else, was this phrase. How
becoming like it? How do we impact it?”
can one generation be so faithful to God and the next generation not know Him?!
I invite your attention to a book in the Old
Testament that gives us some answers as to how to
I am going to visually represent this with a couple
1. The second generation can be influenced by
of chairs. The first chair will represent the first
the partial obedience of the first generation.
generation. This is the generation that came with
Let us clear the air at the start that the generation
Joshua and conquered the land. This chair will
that followed Joshua to the promised land was not
represent the generation that had passion and fire.
perfect. First generations will make mistakes. If you
They would take on the Perizzites and the Jebusites;
are trying to start a godly heritage in your home; if
they would ask for Hebron. The second chair will
you want to be a first generation believer, you need to
represent the next generation, mentioned in Judges
realize that you will make mistakes. The problem is
2:10, that did not acknowledge the God of the first
that second generations seem to be so sensitive to that
generation and, as the verse says, really did not know
Let me point to some rather disturbing notes that
The question that I ask today is, “Why does the
are found early in Judges. Look at Judges 1:4-6.
second generation so often fail to follow in the
Judah went up, and the Lord gave the
footsteps of faith of the first generation?”
Canaanites and the Perizzites into their
This problem exists in our society. Why is it that
hands, and they defeated ten thousand men
the Spurgeon’s, the Tozer’s, the Moody’s, and the
at Bezek. They found Adoni-bezek in Bezek
Sunday’s children walked away from their father’s
and fought against him, and they defeated
great faith? What happened to schools like Princeton,
the Canaanites and the Perizzites. But
Harvard, and Yale that began as Bible colleges, in
Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued him and
which the major study was the Scriptures and every
caught him and cut off his thumbs and big
student was required to take Greek and account for an
This was the ancient method of ending a military
The problem also exists with the church. Why is
career. There was no way this king could stand
it that the average church does not remain effective for
steadily to fight or handle a bow or sword. They
more than two or three generations? I recently read a
would dismember a conquered king as a sign that
survey that concluded the average church reaches its
peak of effectiveness, outreach, and enthusiasm at
The problem, however, was that mutilation was a
twelve years of age. At this point, if this church is an
pagan practice. God had commanded to put these
average church, we are halfway to the grave.
men to death, not to torture or mutilate them. The
How can we remain in the spirit and passion of
Israelites were partially obeying, and already flirting
first generation faith?! How do we stay in the first
with and drawing from the standards of the pagan
Judges chapters 1 and 2 will give some answers.
The next verse that hints of spiritual trouble is
It will not give all of them and it will even raise some
fresh questions, but God gives enough of the story to
Now the Lord was with Judah, and they took
possession of the hill country; but they could
Problems Related To Being
not drive out the inhabitants of the valley
because they had iron chariots.
Now this seems logical – Judah is outgunned;
It seems that there are fundamental problems
Judah did not have the weaponry that the Canaanites
related to being in the second generation. We will
had. However, they compared themselves to the
start by looking at the negative points from the first
Canaanites and they had the short stick; they did not
two chapters of Judges; the negative reasons that the
compare the Canaanites to God. It is interesting that
generation in the second chair did not follow the God
in Judges 4, a lady judge, by the name of Deborah,
of the generation of the first chair. Let me suggest
will lead the Israelites against an army with nine
several problems with being part of a second
hundred iron chariots, and they will defeat them. The
generation that we can learn from today.
problem is not a lack of power on Judah’s part; the problem is a lack of faith in a powerful God.
There are actually seven references to partial
Little Susie is watching and thinking, “Liar!
obedience, which is, in effect, disobedience. These
One of the greatest stumbling blocks that young
Christians have is not the opposition of the world, but
But Manasseh did not take possession of
the disobedience of so-called established Christians.
Beth-shean and its villages . . . so the
2. A second fundamental problem is that the
Canaanites persisted in living in that
second generation can often become isolated
It came about when Israel became
Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of
strong, that they put the Canaanites to
the Lord, died at the age of one hundred and
forced labor, but they did not drive them
ten. And they buried him in the territory of
his inheritance . . . All that generation also
were gathered to their fathers; and there
arose another generation after them who did
not know the Lord, nor yet the work which
Canaanites who were living in Gezer, so
He had done for Israel.
the Canaanites lived in Gezer among
This is the “Old Time Religion”. The next
generation is looking at Mom and Dad as if to say,
The problem is that this has not been incorporated
inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants
in their own life. There is no sense of involvement; no
of Nahalol; so the Canaanites lived
appreciation of the past. They have been told to go to
among them and became subject to
church; they have been given their belief system, but
they have not had the matter of conviction shared with
them. They have not heard, “Look what God did
Asher did not drive out the inhabitants .
. . So the Asherites lived among the
Do you remember, in Joshua 22, the two and a
Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land;
half tribes were so concerned that their children would
for they did not drive them out.
understand the work of God that they built a
These references continue, but we will stop there.
memorial. It was going to be a teaching tool that they
could use to share with their children everything that God had done in their lives. In that way, it would not
The picture Judges chapter 1 gives us is that there
just be something God had done in their generation,
is control, but not total conquest. There is victory and
but would impact the second generation as well.
there is a visible sign of obedience to God, but there is still a nagging disobedience. The next generation of
How well will we communicate our vision of faith
and mission; our rich heritage of observing God’s grace and power? Our future depends upon it.
A contemporary illustration would be a couple
driving to church and arguing all the way. The
3. A third fundamental problem is that the
husband complains about having to spend “good time”
second generation can become ignorant of the
in church. Little Susie, sitting in the backseat, is
picking up on this. They arrive at church, get out of
the car, and say, “Praise God, isn’t it a beautiful day!
Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight
of the Lord and served the Baals, and they
After church, the husband shakes the pastor’s
forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers . .
hand and says, “Oh, that was a wonderful sermon,
. So they forsook the Lord and served Baal
Pastor Sominex! Have you met my dear wife?”
and the Ashtaroth.
They would, in fact, become enslaved six different
It was bad enough that they turned away from the
times in a total of one hundred fourteen years. Sin
living God, but even worse, they chose to put in His
place, foreign deities. This reveals that they knew
The amazing thing that I found as I read these two
chapters several times, is that Judges 2:16 reveals the
Let me insert, in order to give a better
incredible grace of God. Look at that verse.
understanding of this, some information about Baal.
Then the Lord raised up judges who
Baal was a god in charge of storms and fertility. He
delivered them from the hands of those who
was responsible for the fertility of the crops, the
livestock, and the family. Baal naturally had his
Thus the book of Judges is the story of the cycle
female consort; that is, Ashtoreth or Ashtart (she was
of Israel falling into sin and slavery and despair and
quite a tart). In the Canaanite theology, fertility
repentance, sin and slavery and despair and
depended upon the sexual relationship between Baal
repentance, over and over again. Then God, in His
and Ashtoreth; the revival of nature was supposedly
mercy and grace, would use men and women, called
due to intimacy between Baal and his mistress.
judges, to deliver His people and bring them back to
However, the Canaanite faithful did not just sit
back and hope their two gods got along. A Canaanite
man, for instance, would go to a Baal shrine and have relations with one of the sacred prostitutes serving
there. The man would fulfill Baal’s role and the
woman would fulfill Ashtoreth’s. The idea was that the copulating of the worshiper and the spiritual
Now we have uncovered the negatives that lose
prostitute would encourage Mr. and Mrs. Baal to do
second generations. What are the positives, from
their thing and thus, the rain, grain, wine, and oil
Judges 1 and 2, to keep them? What can we learn to
help the second generation follow the first generation – to experience the faith of their fathers as their own
So guess what this second generation of Israelites
personal faith? How can we keep the second
get involved in? This was much more than buying a
generation from falling into the second generation
little Buddha, saying a few prayers, and throwing
syndrome? Let me suggest two key ways to keep the
some rice at him. They got involved in the most
second generation in the arena of first generation faith.
degraded form of worship. They were engaging in temple prostitution, fertility rites, drunken orgies,
1. The first generation needs to develop
idolatry, snake worship, homosexuality, and even
The second generation had gone that far because,
• The first way to develop cooperation with the
I think, they had been isolated from the God of their
Look at Caleb’s daughter. You may remember
What do you think God’s response is going to be
that Caleb took on the giants of Anak. Note Judges
when He sees the second generation doing this? Will
He say, “Well, you win some, you lose some. That’s
And Caleb said, “The one who attacks
Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will even
give him my daughter Achsah for a wife.”
The anger of the Lord burned against Israel
This is my kind of dad. His daughter is about to
. . .
get married and he wants to make sure that the guy
This is not the petty anger of hurt feelings, but the
who gets her is worthy. He is probably wondering if
holy anger of a righteous God against sin, betrayal,
there is anyone worthy of his daughter. I know the
and idolatry. He recognizes that His people are
feeling – even though my daughter is only four. Caleb
prostituting themselves with foreign gods.
wants to make sure this guy is a first generation man. So, he says, “Here’s the test – if you trust God and
allow God to do the fighting for you; if you have that
My wife was shopping with our four year old
kind of relationship with God and you conquer this
daughter Candace, and could not find a parking space.
city, you’re good enough for my little Achsah.”
She drove around and finally, a car pulled out. Little
Now the lines had not been drawn at this point in
Candace said, “Thanks, Lord, we needed that space.”
time evidently, as to who could marry who. The one
I was cleaning in the garage last week, while
who steps up to this challenge, interestingly, is
Candace was outside playing. She did not see me in
Caleb’s younger brother. Look at Judges 1:13-15.
the garage. All of the sudden, she knelt down in the
Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger
driveway and said, rather loudly, “Oh, dear Jesus, . .
brother, captured it; so he gave him his
daughter Achsah for a wife. Then it came
My first impulse was to look to see if any
about when she came to him, that she
neighbors were watching – they are already uncertain
persuaded him to ask her father for a field.
about who Baptists are! I tried to hear her prayer, but
Then she alighted from her donkey, and
I could not. Children are so transparent in their
Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” She
said to him, “Give me a blessing, since you
Involve the second generation through prayer. Do
have given me the land of the Negev, give me
you have a problem? Have you ever taken someone
also springs of water.” . . .
from the second generation aside – that college
She sounds just like her dad! Years ago, Caleb
student; a younger believer you are discipling; a
had said to Joshua, “Give me Hebron.”
teenager – and said, “I need you to pray for me.”?
Now Achsah is asking for more territory with
spring water. She is not asking for land that she will
I had an example of this in my home recently. I
just inherit; she is asking for more land which must be
was quite upset a few weeks ago about a city counsel
decision. I came home from the counsel meeting at
She had, years before, apparently seen her
midnight and woke my wife. I explained the whole
father’s faith in action. Caleb had communicated his
story to her as I paced around the bedroom. She
faith to her in some way, and she is now physically
sympathized and listened. Then, she reminded me of
involved in the action of faith. This makes Achsah a
the sovereignty of God, which I did not want to hear
at that moment! I wanted some matching hysteria; anger.
Have you ever wondered why missionary kids
grow up and go back to the field where their parents
My wife also did something else the next morning.
served? It is because they had a high level of
She took the children to school and told them to pray
involvement in their parents ministry – and it became
for their daddy. Now wait a second! I do not mind
praying with them, but it is rather odd to have them praying for me – especially praying for me because I
Do you teach a Sunday School class; put out
am having a hard time and I am a little upset! I came
hymnals; teach a children’s club; set up chairs?
home that afternoon, not knowing this is going on, and
Involve your children, if you can; involve a second
the kids gave me big hugs, which is fortunately,
generation believer – a young believer that you may be
standard. But I noticed that they were looking at me
discipling. In whatever way you serve Jesus Christ,
differently; staring at me, and wondered what was
think of physically involving the second generation
going on. My wife told me later that she had told
• The second way to develop cooperation with
My children were seeing me in an entirely
different light; that is, “Daddy needs help!” Perhaps
If you have a problem, involve the whole family in
my kids were picking up on the fact that Daddy is
praying about it! Especially involve the younger
children. They will amaze you with their passion for
We have the misconception that the first
transparent prayer; they will frighten you with their
generation is to be a perfect model. As a result, we do
We should not only involve them prayerfully to
My most consistent night out is Wednesday night
ask, but to thank. We do not thank God because it
for Evangelism Explosion. I began telling our
makes Him feel good; we thank God because it is
children, not that I was going to another meeting, but,
good for us. It teaches our children; the second
“I’m going to tell people about Jesus Christ tonight.”
generation; our disciples that the source of power and
“Yea, that’s really important isn’t it? There are
Praise, worship, thanksgiving, prayer are the
people who don’t know the Lord, so I want to share
greatest protection against the second generation
It made all the difference in the world. And there
2. The second major suggestion that will keep
is a possible connection with the activities of one of
the second generation in the first chair of faith
our sons. A couple of weeks ago, this son came home
and told us that he had told his kindergarten friend
communication with the second generation.
about Jesus. He said his friend prayed and asked
In a recent conversation with our youth pastor, he
Jesus into his heart. My wife and I thought that was
mentioned that teenagers so often say, “I just wish my
great. I had to ask, however, “What did you tell
I read a survey recently that the average father
“Well, I told him if he wanted to go to heaven, he
spends less than five minutes per week talking to his
had to ask Jesus into his heart. If he didn’t, he was
children. Communication in the households of
Two nights ago, the same son put under my pillow
I am not suggesting talk for talk’s sake. We want
as a present to me, “The Wordless Book”. That is the
the second generation to pick up on our passion; our
evangelistic tool for Child Evangelism Fellowship.
mission; our vision. We want them to understand that
The next morning, I asked him what it was for. He
God is real; He is personal. We want them to realize
said, “It’s for you to use at Evangelism Explosion.”
that God can be approached; He cares. Let me give
He is catching the vision. He is part of it!
two very important things to talk about.
So often, the second generation does not hear
• First, we should communicate spiritual events
what is happening in our lives because we simply do
not share it. Then, over a period of time, they become
Remember again the passion of the two and a half
more and more isolated from what is happening in our
tribes, in Joshua 22, as they built an altar to serve as a
lives. We need to communicate spiritual events.
tool for teaching their children. They wanted to tell
I want to suggest that this is wonderful way of
them the stories and kindle in their young hearts, a fire
sharing not only our beliefs, but our convictions with
for God. It was a symbol that God is alive; that God
our children. For example, you have been invited to a
company party that your clients are putting on. You
What do we share with our second generation? If
go out of politeness, but politely refuse the offers to
you share Jesus Christ with a neighbor or a co-
drink what the boys are drinking, to laugh at the
worker, tell the second generation about it. Tell them
stories the boys are telling, and to dance with the
what you said. Tell them how the person responded.
pretty office secretaries. Do you remember how you
Tell them what you wish you had said. Let them
felt? You felt like a “stick in the mud”; a “holy Joe”;
know what God is doing in your life and through your
a “fuddy duddy”. Have you ever considered how
life. Share spiritual events. You may be surprised
powerful that story would be to communicate to your
how little they understand about what you do.
son or daughter? They are facing incredible peer
Nearly a year ago, I realized I was making a
pressure at school, at college, in a career. They think
mistake with our children along these lines. I
you do not understand and that your world is in some
recognized the problem when our kids were hanging
way, protected from that kind of thing. How powerful
onto my legs saying, “Don’t go to another meeting.” I
it would be to share how you feel and what God is
realized I was not communicating the mission to the
doing to help you to remain distinctive in the arena in
Tell the second generation what God is doing in
you and these things I see in your life, God can use in
“Oh, yea. The way God has put you together –
I’ve noticed this and this and this – God can do
It is a tragic misconception of parents and older
Christians that somehow, the second generation is
going to pick up by osmosis that we think God has a
special plan for their lives. They cannot read our
We cannot predict how God will use them, but we
can verbalize things related to their makeup that God
Smalley and Trent wrote a rather interesting book
can use for His glory. Constantly encourage the
entitled, The Blessing
. It talks about the need for
second generation in the Lord. Do not ever fall into
parents and children to bless family members with
the trap that they can read your mind. Communicate
meaningful words and touch. Tell them that God has
Let me close with a question. Which chair are
Now, by the way, godly parents have ungodly
you sitting in? Are you first generation or are you
children who will refuse to follow. We cannot
second generation? I trust that we are all in the first
guarantee that they will obey; that they will adopt the
chair, even though we may be the second, or third, or
values and the faith. Whether they do or not,
fourth, or fifth generation. I trust that we are sharing
however, the responsibility is still ours to share it.
in the passion and the vision and that this will
One of the ways we can share is to pull little
challenge us because a generation will follow who
Johnny aside, or that new believer, or that one you are
need to know that God is alive; that God is powerful;
discipling and say, “I want you to know I appreciate
This manuscript is from a sermon preached on 2/2/1992 by Stephen Davey.
Tausche 7 Jahre Leben gegen eine Hand voll Risiko! Frauen- und Männergesundheit – welche Unterschiede und Gemeinsamkeiten gibt es? Diesem Thema stellten sich Prof. Dr. Éva Rásky, Institut für Sozialmedizin und Dr. Rainer Possert , Sozialmedizinisches Zentrum Liebenau , bei einer Veranstaltung, die das SMZ am 10. 3. 2003 in Kooperation mit dem Frauengesundheitszentrum durchführte.
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