God raised up Moses, sent the Ten Plagues and performed great miracles to deliver the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. But because of sin the generation that left Egypt wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and all of that generation from 20 years old and up except for Joshua and Caleb died before they entered the Promised Land (Num. 14:22-35; Heb. 13:17-19).
Joshua succeeded Moses. He led the people into the Promised Land and proved himself to be a servant of God (Josh. 24:29). The children of Israel were far from perfect, but they “served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old” (Jud. 2:7-8).
I don’t know how long Joshua lived after he entered the Promised Land, but the King’s Calendar says it was 22 years (from 1412-1390 B.C.). So the first generation of Jews to live in the Promised Land made many mistakes, but God’s Word says they “served the LORD all the days of Joshua.” They had lapses, but for the most part they were faithful.
Joshua died (Jud. 2:8) “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth” (Jud. 2:10-13).
Following the death of the first generation of Jews to live in the Promised Land, there arose a second generation. And this second generation did not know God, did evil, followed other gods and forsook the Lord. This reveals a major failure of the first generation. God told that first generation to love Him with all their heart, soul and mind; to hide His Word in their heart; and to diligently teach His Word to their children throughout the day (Deut. 6:4-9). But they did not do that and it took only one generation (and perhaps less than twenty-five years) for the Jews to forget God.
“And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed” (Jud. 2:14-15).
God said, “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6). His character and nature are the same as they were in the days of that second generation. His love hasn’t changed. His grace hasn’t changed. And His attitude toward sin hasn’t changed. He is the same loving God that was so angry with the children of Israel that He allowed them to fall into the hands of their enemies. It is a cycle that was repeated again and again in the days of the Judges.
About two months ago, I read an article by Bert M. Farias titled “The Great Deception in the American Church.” Mr. Farias is a missionary evangelist and the founder of Holy Fire Ministries. He wrote about the moral decline of the last generation (50 to 60 years) of Americans. He pointed out that the divorce rate, teen suicide rate, crime rate, the prison population, co-habitation of the unmarried, gay marriage and sin in the church have all drastically increased and are steadily getting worse. He laid part of this on poor preaching and part of it on church members whose lifestyle contradicts the Word of God.
It is just my opinion, but I think Mr. Farias nailed it. And something that really bothers me about it is the fact that America is traveling the same path that the second generation of Israelites traveled. Our culture is immersing our children in sin; many parents are worldly and not teaching their children the Word of God; many pastors and church members are living a lie; many church members seem unhappy with what is happening, but there are no signs of repentance in the church; this has gone on for more than a generation; God will not put up with it forever; and, sadly, all of this is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
I know that I am preaching to the choir. No one knows but many of the nation’s best prophecy teachers sincerely believe that our generation is that terminal generation before the Rapture of the church. Be absolutely sure that your heart is right with God, to the best of your ability meet your responsibilities to God and your children, and pray that you will be accounted worthy to escape all the things that are coming upon the earth.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
firstname.lastname@example.org (this is my new e-mail address)