Handing Down OUR faith to OUR Children: The book of Judges begins with an account of the incomplete conquest of the land of Canaan by each of the individual tribes (Judges 1:19, 21, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34) due to compromise of their values. To add injury to insult, the Israelites disobeyed the voice of God, which the Angel of the Lord clearly voiced out: "But you have not obeyed My voice" (Judges 2:2).
However, the greatest mistake that the Israelites did concerning their faith was that after the Joshua generation was dead and gone, the next generation did not hand down their faith to their children. "When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel" (Judges 2:10). The new generation neglected their relationship with God, and they could not visualize God’s hand at work for them like their parents did. They bowed down and worshipped the idols of Canaan (Judges 2:12, 13, 17), disobeyed God’s commandments and did not pay attention to God’s voice (Judges 2:17b, 20), and intermarried with the foreigners of the land (Judges 3:5-6). God purposely left foreign nations to oppress the Israelites as He wanted to ‘test’ them to see if they would obey the commandments of God or not, if they would keep the ways of God or not, and if they would walk in the ways of their fathers or not (Judges 2:20 -3:4). They had to now grapple the bondage of their enemies as the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity, and they were ‘greatly distressed’ (Judges 2:15).
One of the greatest responsibilities that God has given to us (parents) is to hand down our faith and godly values to our children. Through us, our children should know God more intimately, and should be aware of the great things that God has done in our past. We should hand down our faith, our sense of moral values, and our understanding of the principles of Scripture. We should love our children deeply enough to listen to them concerning their hurts and troubles. Through those periods of interaction we should leave with our children the strong foundation of faith in the faithfulness of God that they can sustain and overcome every difficulty and trial that will come in their life.