Lessons From A Lost Generation

Bible Book: Joshua  2 : 1-10
Subject: Children; Young People; Parents; Fathers Day

On September 14, 1935, a small, unattractive man with a toothbrush moustache, in a stiff white shirt, brown tie and uniform, addressed some 50,000 members of the Hitler Youth Movement in the gigantic stadium of the Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremberg. Afterwards, Adolph Hitler made this statement:  “I am firmly convinced today that, generally speaking, it is in youth that men lay the essential groundwork of their creative thought, wherever that creative thought exists. He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”

Lead In:

In this passage of Scripture, we find Israel at a very interesting moment in her history. By the power of God, the Jewish people had broken the tormenting and gnawing pains of slavery, and had come out of Egypt.  God had given to them liberty and freedom. God had performed a miracle for Israel and had blessed Israel  with a liberty, with a land, with a law, and with a Lord. But, the people did not appreciate their miracle, and the Book of Judges now tells us how Israel then lost her glory.  The sad indictment is recorded in (vs. 10), “...and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.”

Now, there’s a striking parallel between what happened to Israel so long ago and what is happening to America today.  Sadly, we are seeing the tide turn in Western nations once influenced by Christianity. In England, two-thirds of young people now say they don’t believe in God—in a culture where most people once went to church.

In America, a major poll indicated that two-thirds of young people will leave the church once they live on their own. In that same poll, 90% of those who leave church attend public schools, where by and large God, creation, the Bible, and prayer (in other words Christianity) have been thrown out.  Atheistic evolution is taught as fact.

CNN reported, “The fastest growing ‘religious’ group in America is made up of people with no religion at all. One in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion. The survey found that the ranks of the unaffiliated are growing even faster among younger Americans. Thirty-three million Americans now have no religious affiliation, with 13 million in that group identifying as either atheist or agnostic, according to the new survey.”

What they are telling us is, we are losing a generation! On every flank, our children and grandchildren find liberalism in churches, humanism in the schools, and paganism in society. They see worship that is empty and futile, and in some cases, even dangerous. The next generation has lost their moorings, and what are we to do?

Billy Graham:

“The destiny of men and of nations is always being decided.  Every generation is strategic.  We are not responsible for the past generation, and we cannot bear the full responsibility for the next one; but we do have our generation. God will hold us responsible as to how  well we fulfill our responsibilities to this age and take advantage of our opportunities.”

Now, the Book of Judges is the story of revival after failure.

I.  The Root Of The Failure   (vs. 1-2)

The root of Israel’s failure is two-fold.

A.  The Lure Of Social Prosperity   (vs. 1)

Here, we are reminded of Israel’s days of glorious conquest. They had marched from victory unto victory under Joshua’s leadership.  I mean, mighty walls fell; kingdoms were subdued; enemies fled in fear; and the land was taken. But, prior to all of these victories, they were in bondage in Egypt, and they cried out for God. But, once they were free and had enjoyed a life of prosperity, you’ll see they’re not even thinking about God!  This was the fear of Moses as they went into the Promise Land.

Deuteronomy 6: 10-12, “And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers...to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedstnot, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”

They now had things that they had never had before in their lives. Success had become a curse.  The more blessed a people are by God by way of success and prosperity, the greater the likelihood there is of forgetting God. I want to share some statistics with you that support this thought.

In 1800, there were less than a handful who could be called millionaires in the United States. At the same time 75% of the people were practicing Christians (meaning they attended at least one worship service a month.)

By 1900, there were about 4,000 millionaires in the United States. At the same time 55% of the people were practicing Christians. In March 2019, Money Magazine said there were 15,356,000 millionaires, or about one in every 20 Americans. But, there are now 607 billionaires in the U.S. At the same time, 31% of people are considered practicing Christians.

For several generations, we’ve been building a house of cards that is doomed to fall, and could at any moment.  Here’s the philosophy that has built it: “I want to be able to give to my children all of the things my parents couldn’t give me.” And, so, with wealth has come the ability to give something newer, bigger, better, and shinier.

Our children are growing up in a nation of incredible abundance, but do not know the faith of looking to God, the joy of working for what they have, and the gratitude of receiving from the Hand of God. We’ve made the road so easy by our blessing that our children have now been cursed to think that the world is all free. Anything you receive for free, just know that someone else has paid for it.

B.  The Lack Of Spiritual Preparation   (vs. 2, 10)

Now, God is saying to them, “I brought you out of Egypt, and I gave you everything you needed.”  Then, with the voice of stern inquiry, God says, “Why have you done this?” Well, let me tell you why they did it.  In (vs. 10), the word “know” means, “to give acknowledgment, to be acquainted with.” They had no personal experience with God.

A new generation had come onto the scene that were not given spiritual preparation and training.  Now, here’s a key verse to put the days of this generation in perspective.

Judges 17: 6, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes”

There’s a generation today that has no fixed standard of right and of wrong, and every man is doing that which is right in his own eyes. But you know, the Bible says in Proverbs 14: 12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Friend, we have gone through a revolution in the last generation in America; and, I want to prove it statistically. These were taken from a 2017 Barna poll.

*   24% believed that the Bible is the literal Word of God.

*   52% of those who attend Bible-believing churches said, “There is no absolute truth.”

*   57% say, knowing what is right or wrong is a matter of personal experience.

*   65% see morality as a matter of cultural consensus. That is, “every culture must determine what is acceptable morality for its people.”

*   74% of Millennials agree strongly with the statement, “Whatever is right for your life or works best for you is the only truth you can know.” 

G.K. Chesterson, 

“The danger when men stop believing in God is not that they will believe in nothing, but they will believe in anything.” 

The devil doesn’t care what you believe, as long as you don’t believe the Word of God.  

II.  The Result Of The Failure   (vs. 2-3)

It was days of some grim consequences. 

A.  There Was Social Anarchy   (vs. 11)

Baal was the god of war of the Canaanites and he was often depicted as holding a lightning bolt who defeated enemies in battle. And, the way to appease Baal required a human sacrifice; typically the first born of a family. So, these days were marked as days of great violence.  And, so are our days today. 

We live in a world that is filled with violence. You can easily see there are revolutions, uprisings, bombings, and rebellions everywhere. Our streets are filled with violence and rage. Since 1960, there has been a 560% increase in violent crime. Crime costs us in excess of 100 billion dollars a year.  This is an age of unprecedented violence.

And, on top of that, we're doing violence to our own children. Think of the child abuse.  2.9 million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the United States. Think of the grizzly, horrible, wicked abortion business. In the 46 years since the Supreme Court handed down its 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, there have been almost 61 million helpless, defenseless babies murdered.

We have contradiction in our foreign policy. We want to try and police problems in North Korea, the Middle East, and other regions of the world, but how can we help other people with their problems when we can’t even solve our own at home?

B.  There Was Sexual Abnormality   (vs. 13)

Ashtaroth was the fertility (or the love) goddess of the Canaanites, and worship of Ashatarothwas rooted in sensuality and involved ritualistic prostitution in the temples.

In a similar fashion, a cultural storm has been brewing for the last decade. We’re in a war, but not a war of bullets and bombs, but of ideas. And, we’re losing the battle culturally here at home.

There are some terrible diseases that have erupted on the scene. There are now more than 35 infectious STD’s, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are approximately 20 million new STD infections each year—almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.

According to the CDC, 2018 was the fifth year in a row that STDs rates increased to a record high in the U.S The cost of STDs to the U.S. health care system is estimated to be as much as $16 billion annually.

For thousands of years tradition marriage has been celebrated by every culture on earth as the cornerstone of society. But, on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, legalized it in all fifty states, and required states to honor out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses in the case Obergefell v. Hodges.

Since that vote, 37 states have legalized gay marriage. Thirteen states still have a ban on same-sex marriage, but 8 of those states have rulings in favor of allowing same-sex marriage. These rulings ignore the history of thousands of years of norms of western civilization. And, it is without question, contrary to the word of God.

Again, here, God says, “They will be thorns and snares to you.”

III.  The Remedy For The Failure (vs. 4)

You may ask, “Pastor, is there any hope?” Yes, because it’s never too late with God. The answer to America is not in the White House, it’s not in the school house, it is not in the courthouse. The answer to America is in God’s house!

1 Peter 4: 17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God...”

A.  A Great National Despair   (vs. 5)

They named the place Bochim which means “a place of weeping.” They were seeking God’s face and forgiveness. This is not a time for finger pointing, in America.  This is a time for confession and repentance.

1 John 1: 9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

There’s very little that could not be set right with America if all of the Christians would get right with God. There’s little hope of changing America without changing ourselves.​

B.  A Gracious National Deliverance (vs. 16)

Thank God for this word, “nevertheless.” God raised up judges. The word judge means, “tosave, to deliver.” God sent them deliverers to give them a way out.

But, there is a great lesson in this:  you cannot blame your parents for everything.  As a child, you had to learn to walk for yourself, and every generation has to learn to stand on their ownfeet spiritually and to seek after God.  No one else can do that for you!  It’s not up to someone else.  It’s up to you.

So, what do we need to do? Well, Moses had given them wise counsel for when they made it to the Promise Land.

Deuteronomy 6: 6-7, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 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 risestup.”

​1.  Give Them A Godly Example

Proverbs 20: 7, “The just man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.” 

​2.  Give Them Wise Instruction

Proverbs 22: 6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

​3.  Give Them Constant Encouragement

Children need encouragement like a plant needs water.  

​4.  Give Them Unconditional Love 

I like asking questions because questions help to make us think. But, I think this will be the most challenging and difficult question I have ever asked from a pulpit. Are you ready for it? Would your children or grandchildren have a better chance of being saved or being a committed Christian if you were not their parent or grandparent?


Many kids are turned off because they see that their parents, while they profess religion, they don’t love God with all of their heart.

Karl Marx, as a little child, was raised in a Jewish family. They lived in Germany.  One day Karl’s father said to him, “We’re moving to another city.” So, they moved to another city. They had been attending synagogue faithfully.  When they moved to another city, Karl Marx’s father came home and said “we’re no longer going to synagogue – we’re going to go to the Lutheran church.”

And Karl asked his father, and said, “Why father, are we going to the Lutheran church?” His father said, “I could make busin [Anchor] ess contacts in the Lutheran church.” Karl Marx was so disillusioned with his father and something died within him.  He said to himself, “my father had no real convictions.”

He moved to England and he later, of course founded the movement that we known of as communism, and in his writings he said this: “Religion is the opiate of the people.”  All because he had a father whom he saw did not have a sincere love for God.