YouTube is okay but...
Are you really good at something: quilting, gardening, canning, car repair, plumbing…? Did you learn it from someone else? Nowadays, many skills are gained from watching videos, but I prefer that one-on-one show-me-how-to-do-it method. YouTube is okay, but there are some things we really can’t learn from it. Things that need to be personally handed down.
That leads to another question: what are we passing along to others? Whether to children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, coworkers, siblings... are there individuals into which we’re investing our time and imparting something of value? If not, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. And maybe not just personally, but as a nation.
It would be a shame if our unique way of making bread or tying a fly-fishing knot would disappear forever, but that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s the really important things – the things of the Lord – that we must pass down and share. What He has done in our lives, prayers He’s answered, provisions He’s made, His Word and the practical truths we’re called to live out, and most importantly, the personal relationship we can have with Jesus. In the Old Testament, we have a great yet terrible example of what happens when we abdicate this responsibility.
Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt to go into the Promised Land. When they arrived at the border, their lack of faith that God would enable them to overtake its inhabitants brought great judgment on the nation, and they were forced to wander in the desert for forty years. Once that time had passed, their new leader, Joshua, brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey. Battle after battle was won, not by man, but by God. And the Jews were finally home. We read this in Joshua 24:31: Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the Lord did for Israel. (ESV)
How did the people know the work God had done for them? Some experienced it, while others were told about it by those who lived it. All was well… until we get to Judges 2:10 and see what happened next: And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel. (ESV)
Why did the next generation know nothing of the Almighty or what He had done? No one told them. No one shared the miracles of food, water, and protection. No one recounted the impossible victories. No one took the time to teach them about the One True God Who chose, led, provided for, and lived among them.
What was the result of this? The time of the judges which lasted at least three hundred years. It consisted of cycles of the Jews rebelling against God, being conquered by another nation, repenting, then being freed by a judge the Almighty raised up for them. Over and over again for centuries, this pattern played out. All because one generation didn’t bother to tell the next about the Lord.
We must not follow their example. Instead, we need to intentionally and consistently put Psalm 78:2-4 into practice: I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. (ESV)
YouTube is okay, but it’s not nearly enough.
Just something I’m praying about out how to do better along the way.