Another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. (Judg. 2:10)

Some religious systems include ancestor worship. This is more common in Eastern culture than Western. Perhaps it is partly because there is greater respect for old age and lineage in that part of the world. Proverbs 16:31 says “gray hair is a crown of splendor,” and in many of the ancient civilizations, this was firmly believed. Even our own Native American culture in the United States has a rich practice of valuing its older members. Western culture has tended to focus on the young, and in that inclination, has lost much.

While the nation of Israel was not caught up in ancestor worship, they were very conscious of the esteem of their parents and grandparents. On the whole, they did not want to offend them or dishonor their wishes—at least, while they were living. To do so would appear callous and uncaring.

But when the old people died off and Joshua was buried, the landscape of personal devotion shifted dramatically. The new generation had no deep allegiance to their grandparents’ God; they hadn’t even been taught about the miracles he performed. Their grandparents were gone, and their parents hadn’t made faith in God important. They had no reason to continue worshiping him.

Like the Israelites, if God is not part of our life equation, then others will not find reason in us to follow him. Some traditions are worth passing on.

Ask yourself whether your life reflects your devotion to God.

Valorie Quesenberry is a pastor's wife and mom who lives in Indiana and likes to recharge with coffee and time with friends.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.