In times past, today was considered a day of fasting in commemoration of the belief that today marked the end of the period of the Elders who were contemporaries of Joshua. These were the people who witnessed the miracles in the wilderness and the crossing over the Jordan. They would have borne testimony to the destruction of Jericho and would have been present when Israel heard the blessings and the curses and consented to follow God. In short, these people were the generation who knew and understood the miraculous nature of the birth of Israel and their coming into the land.
Yet to following generations, that knowledge became ancient history. They lost touch with those things that their ancestors held dear; specifically, the unique relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that Moses told us in Deuteronomy 4:9-10:
“Take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren, especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’”
God knew that, in the future, people would turn from the truth and be removed from the experiences at Horeb, in the wilderness and beyond. He knew that subsequent generations, not having first-hand knowledge and experience with the miracles, would fall away. So He instructed the generation that witnessed these things to be diligent to teach their children what God had done for His people.
We can see this same trend occurring here in America. Today, there is a up and coming generation that doesn’t know and understand their heritage. Many of them do not know, perhaps don’t care, how this country came to be. So in our time, we see how quickly and easily the generations that are removed from the Founders have walked away from those founding principles. Today that falling away is greatly exacerbated by lust for the blessings of liberty without any regard for the responsibilities that must be upheld to enjoy that liberty.
In Israel’s history and in our own, we see how younger generations drift from their roots. In time, the error of slowly moving away from those foundational principles becomes evident, sometimes much too late to remedy the situation. As much as we would like to reverse this trend in society, we are powerless to do that on a corporate level. However, we do have the ability and power in our own homes to make a difference by teaching our children as we’re instructed– diligently, consistently, and continually. We read in Deuteronomy 6:7:
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
We are to teach our children all the time. Why is this so important? Because history has shown what happens when we do not. If we do teach our children, one household at a time, we can influence the direction of a nation. Maybe this will happen in America – maybe not – but, we can certainly influence the nation that God is raising up at this appointed time. Perhaps the time has come for the rebirth of Elders who will again lead God’s people into their promised destiny.