What would happen if you were faced with a generation of young people, most of which were never taught to love the Lord or obey His commands?
In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses gave God’s commands to the new generation who wandered in the wilderness to prepare them to enter into the land God promised them. God gave him specific directions for His people. One of the greatest is found in Deuteronomy chapter six. “1. Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them … 2. That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged” (Deuteronomy 6:1-2).
The people were taught God’s commandments.
The people were to obey God’s commandments.
The people were to teach these commandments to their children and their children’s children.
Those words are extremely important. The following words are just as important. “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5). If they loved God with all of their heart, soul and might, their obedience would reveal that love of God.
We just read that God’s people were taught to obey God’s Words and preserve them by teaching them to their children. The following verses help us understand the best way these things can be taught. “6. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). First, these words must be in the parents’ hearts. It would be then that they would be able to teach their children when they sit or when they walk. It is important to be able to teach children the principles found in God’s Word in everyday life situations when they arise. In the morning when they wake, ready to start a new day, with questions in their hearts and minds. As they get ready for bed, and have had challenging circumstances from the day. The Bible says for parents to teach their children the things of God diligently! We can clearly read in these verses the importance of a parent teaching their child of the ways of God, and to “love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Teaching children the commandments of God is important!
Joshua led the people after Moses. He had learned much about the importance of loving the Lord and obeying His commands. At the end of Joshua’s life, before he died, he left a word that has been remembered throughout the ages: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). He understood the importance not only of knowing to love and obey the Lord himself, but to teach these things to his children. The whole family, together, would serve the Lord. By teaching it to his children, they would know how to live a life pleasing to God in this world. If you read the book of Judges, the book that immediately follows this statement by Joshua, you learn what kind of a nation they became. All because the people forgot God and failed to teach God’s commandments to their children. This is to be a warning to us today!
Think about our world today. Does it sometimes appear that we live among a generation of young people, most of which were never taught to love the Lord, obeying His commands?
Do you love and serve the Lord?
Have you taught your children to love the Lord and obey His commands?