“You were taught... to put off your old self.” - Ephesians 4:22
The Israelites had seen their parents and grandparents serve the only God of heaven and earth. Some had even walked through the Jordan on dry ground and had seen Jericho collapse; others had heard their parents talk about these mighty works of God. Still, the generation after Joshua ignored what God had done. Like sheep, they turned to their own way (Isaiah 53:6).
Children born today in the Christian community of faith may think they know better. Rather than receiving the wisdom of the past with gratitude, the next generation seeks its own way. It’s not that the older generation’s beliefs are false, they’re just not “true for us.” The next generation seeks what is true and good in its own eyes.
According to Judges, the next generation must face an uncomfortable truth: What matters is not what parents believe, but what is right in God’s eyes. God’s eyes are eternally open to the faithful service of one generation and the straying of the next.
We might object that God’s seeing invades our privacy. But, like loving parents, the Lord is actually looking out for us. As children take comfort in their parents’ constant presence, so God’s children of every generation learn to depend on God to help them see and do what is right in his eyes.
Lord, we sometimes struggle to see and believe what you teach us in your Word, pointing us to Jesus Christ. Help us in our unbelief, increase our faith, and guide us in living by what is right in your eyes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.