Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Influence in Tough Times

Have you thought about killing 600 people with your bare hands? I know there are times when people can make you feel like you want to kill them, but I don't think any of us have ever even thought about killing 600 people. If we actually did we would be locked up away from people for the rest of our lives.

As I was reading in Judges; getting a little background on what took place in Israel, before Deborah came on the scene as judge, I came across Shamgar.

Now here is a little background of what took place with Israel before we hear of Shamgar. Joshua 24:28 & Judges 2:6 tell us that Joshua dismissed the people to his own place of inheritance. Joshua 24:29-30 & Judges 2:6-9 tell us of Joshua's death and that he was 110 years old when he died.

The people of Israel served and "worshiped God throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who survived him, leaders who had been in on all of God's great work that he had done for Israel." (Joshua 24:31 & Judges 2:7 The Message)

In Judges 2:10 we read that the entire generation that had come through with Joshua died. There is something to learn in this next statement, "Then another generation grew up that didn't know anything of God or the work he had done for Israel." The Message

Joshua was a great leader and God used him in an awesome way, but he was not successful in passing on leadership to the next generation. He may have influenced and taught those directly following him, but he did not impress the importance of passing on what God had done for this people.

God told Israel to "Write these commandments that I've given you on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street...When God, your God, usheres you into the land he promised through your ancestors...you're going to walk into large, bustling cities you didn't build, well-furnished houses you didn't buy...when you take it all in and settle down...make sure you don't forget how you got there - God brought you out of slavery in Egypt." Deut. 6:6-9 The Message

Israel did not pass on what God had asked them. They got caught up in living...in doing life...and forgot to talk about what God had done for their grandparents and those before them.

How are we doing life? Have we become so busy we forget to pass on the goodness of God in our lives? Our children are watching us. They are watching how well, or not so well, we do life. It doesn't matter how old they are, they watch.

An example of this happened over Christmas, right before we were to leave for our vacation. The day we were to leave our son, Daniel, had blood in his urine. We weren't sure what we were going to do. Our oldest son, Jon, didn't want to go on the trip if Daniel was back in the hospital. None of us did because we couldn't relax and enjoy ourselves. So, I got everyone in a circle, held hands, and started praying. I was rebuking satan...really taking authority, and telling him he had no right to come against us. I prayed for Daniel to be ok and the bleeding to stop. When my husband, Stan, took Daniel to our doctor there was no blood in Daniel's urine. He was fine.

Now, I didn't think anything of this. I just did it. While we were away, our daughter, Catherine, made comments like, "watch out mom's going to do an exercism," and laugh about it. Any time we would pray we would make a light hearted joke about what happened. After Christmas, when their cell group at church met for their Bible study, Catherine spoke. She used that example of prayer as one of her examples in her study.

While we were on the trip in the Dominican Republic we came across a group of school children from a local church. Our kids, we all, were amazed to learn they knew of my husband's mom and dad, who were Assemblies of God missionaries there years ago. That is a legacy to leave.

My point is this: you never know when, or how you are going to influence your family, so live each day with that thought in mind. Make it second nature to you. I am certainly not one to say I have done everything right, because I haven't. We all have areas in our lives we need to work on, but there are also those areas that are positive and encouraging to our children.

Remember we are leaving a legacy for them. I do not want to be like Israel and forget to mention what God has done for our generation and those before. I do not want to have my kids have to have God intervene because they have not followed after Him, because of my neglegence.

As we read on in Judges chapter two God's anger blazed against Israel. (v20) There is so much to take out of Judges 2:11-15, so take time to read it.

Ok, we haven't heard much of Shamgar...so that means you'll just have to stop back by. I promise I will write about him next. I think you will be blessed by him. There was just too much that happened leading up to him...so stay tuned.

Blessings and come back...for the rest of the story!

1 comment:

LAURIE said...

Cheryl, that is some good stuff. We often times forget the daily stuff that we do (or don't do) that is leaving a mark on the generation behind us. If not our kids, our kids friends, or the kids that come to church, or the neighbors or the sales clerks at the store. We are either leading others TO Christ or AWAY from Christ. Thanks for the reminder, - blessings, Laurie