The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him. (Judg. 2:7)

I have a thing for vintage Americana. I like Norman Rockwell scenes, iconic portrayals of life in the golden years in the 1950s. To me, today’s verse has a vintage ring to it.

The next generation served the Lord while Joshua and the elders were living. Like those bright Rockwellian settings where the whole family is on the sidewalk to church, this verse indicates that serving the Lord was, for many in Israel at least, a family affair, a matter of heritage and loyalty.

These people had witnessed incredible workings of God; they had seen miraculous provision and protection; they cherished the faith of their leaders. But it was not enough. In the days to come, their children, who were shabbily tutored in the things of God, would reject him entirely.

A day will come when grandparents die; beloved older saints leave empty pews and respected childhood pastors lie in nursing facilities, their days of active ministry past. In that time, we must choose to have a deep, personal commitment to God that goes beyond affection for those mentors or how they lived. Mere nostalgia is not strong enough to nurture our own ongoing faith and certainly not to pass it on to the next generation. We must own it ourselves and choose God out of affection for who he is and what he has done.

Serve the Lord out of commitment rather than nostalgia.

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®.