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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The DEEP

Experience

only lasts one generation.

Judges 2:6–10

And when Joshua had dismissed the people, the children of Israel went each to his own inheritance to possess the land.

So the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD which He had done for Israel. Now Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died when he was one hundred and ten years old. And they buried him within the border of his inheritance at Timnath Heres, in the mountains of Ephraim, on the north side of Mount Gaash. 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.

One of my favorite sermon illustrations is about the founder of a company who is about to retire. He grew the company from nothing to a corporation so large it has its own magazine. A reporter for the magazine interviews the old boss and asks him, “So, what is the secret of your success?”

“Good decisions.”

“Great. And what’s the key to making good decisions?”

“Experience.”

“Ok. And what’s the key to gaining experience?”

“Bad decisions.”

The lesson Israel learned at Bochim lasts exactly one generation—just as long as the memories of those who saw it first-hand.

So the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD which He had done for Israel.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.

The eyewitnesses have the experience gained from their bad decisions. The next generation won’t.


The Israelites failed to inculcate their faith in the next generation. But what does that mean? What exactly did they fail to do?

Surely they told their kids what happened at Bochim and said that’s why they named it Bochim. But somehow the lesson didn’t stick. Why? What got lost in translation?

Faith. The old NIV translated Hebrews 11:1 as, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Their kids knew the story but weren’t sure it was true. Their skepticism took over.

Kids are like that.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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