And the Israelites served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who outlived him—those who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel. . . . After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel. The Israelites did evil in the LORD’s sight and served the images of Baal.  Judges 2:7,10,11 (NLT) 

President Ronald Reagan famously once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” I’m not sure if he knew he was reciting a spiritual truth or not, but the Biblical example is clearly found in the passage above. There was a reason that Moses gave the mandate in Deuteronomy 6, commonly referred to as the Shema, that Hebrew parents be intentional in the development of their children as followers of God. This Old Testament version of “discipleship” was intended not only to remind the children of Israel of the necessity of their obedience to God but of His constant provision and faithfulness to His people. 

Israel had been blessed with years of Godly leadership in Moses and Joshua. Moses had brought them to the very threshold of the Promised Land and Joshua led them to both conquer, occupy and settle the land “flowing with milk and honey.” The generation that followed Joshua would have witnessed the “mighty things” God had done firsthand. However, the impact of His miraculous interventions on their behalf seem to have steadily been diminished by the passing of time and the neglect of the generations that followed. So great was the abandonment of their obedience and devotion to God that, by the end of the book of Judges, it would be said, “all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”

We are living in a day where the rule of law, racism, gender identification, sexual preference and sanctity of life are volatile issues that are in the forefront of America’s moral struggle. However, for so many of the men and women who come to Adult & Teen Challenge MidSouth the issues are far more personal. They bear the scars in their bodies of generational curses and addictions that have plagued them from birth. They know evil of our society better than most. But, unlike the generations before them who never spoke of the goodness of God, they have determined to change the status quo and learn of Him for themselves. Their decision to surrender to His grace and His promise of salvation has the ability to change the course of their descendants FOREVER.

Choosing to believe in a God who once did “mighty things,” has the potential of transforming one desperate life, one family, and even one generation!