Spread The Word: Take heed to thyself and keep thy soul diligently...Deuteronomy 4:9

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.

Judges 2:10

This verse must be one of the saddest verses in the Bible. After all that the Lord had done for Israel, the next generation did not know the LORD nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

What? Did we read that correctly? How could this have happened?

I mean how could the children not know?

* Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as [they] heard, and live?

* Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD [their] God did for [them]...?

* [He drove] out nations from before [them] greater and mightier than [they were], to bring [them] in, to give [them] their land for an inheritance.

Deuteronomy 4:33-40

Then how could only one generation later not know the LORD nor yet the works which he had done for Israel??

There can only be one answer: They were not told.

It wasn't God's fault.

It wasn't the children's fault.

It was the parent's fault.

How can we know this? How can we place the blame on the parents? Because God gave explicit instructions for those Israelite parents and they must not have followed them. Listen to what God had instructed...

...Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently,

lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen,

and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life:

but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;

Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb,

when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together,

and I will make them hear my words,

that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth,

and that they may teach their children.

Deuteronomy 4:9,10

We can only conclude one thing about these Israelite parents:

They did not take heed to themselves.

They did not keep their soul diligently.

And what happened as a result?

They forgot the things which their eyes had seen.

These amazing acts of God departed from their heart.

As a continued result...

They did not teach these things to their sons and their son's sons.

And the final result in this downward progression...

There arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

How incredibly sad. A people that had been shown so much. A people to whom God had made known all these things that they...mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him (Deuteronomy 4:35). And yet their children did not know about Him nor His works done on their behalf.

Who was to blame? The parents.

What about us parents today?

Our older generation is passing on. The ones that brought the gospel to us are getting older. Someday we will be the generation passing on and what about our children - the next generation? Will they grow up without knowing the Lord nor what He has done for us? Or, will we take on the responsibility that God places upon our shoulders, just as he placed on the shoulders of the children of Israel, to teach our children. No, we cannot guarantee that our children will follow the Lord all the rest of their lives as adults, but we can be certain that they know about the Lord and what He has done for us. We are responsible for teaching our children just as much today as the Israelite parents were responsible 4000 years ago. Who was to blame for the children's lack of knowledge about God? The parents. Who will be to blame if our children do not know about the Lord or what He has done for us? We will be.

But where does it all start?

With our own hearts.

Take heed to thyself and keep thy soul diligently... (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Just as God instructed the Israelites, so He instructs us.

Are we taking heed to ourselves?

Are we keeping our souls diligently?

Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul...

And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house,

and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Deuteronomy 11:18-20

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this

thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

1 Timothy 4:16

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

Our heart comes first...the hearts of our children second.

Are we taking heed to ourselves?

Are we keeping our souls diligently?

Are we remembering what God has done for us?

And then...are we teaching our children?

May we take to heart what the aged Samuel spoke in his final address to the Israelites...

Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.1Samuel 12:24

Written by Zonya Bergsma

Reach Hearts Ministries

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Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
Psalm 86:11

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