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

Teach the Faith

not just about the faith.

Judges 3:7–11

So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God, and served the Baals and Asherahs. Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the children of Israel served Cushan-Rishathaim eight years. When the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the LORD delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed over Cushan-Rishathaim. So the land had rest for forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

This is the first of many cycles of 1) forgetting, 2) practicing evil, 3) being conquered, 4) suffering, 5) crying out to the LORD, and 6) being delivered by a judge.

It might seem that the Israelites quickly forget, but this first case shows that it’s not so quick. Step one lasts a long time.

We don’t know exactly how long it has been since Joshua died, but we do know, from Judges 2:10, that it was on the order of generations.

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

This is important. As bad as the Israelites are, they aren’t forgetting individually; the forgetting comes when the generation that held the memory died off.

This is going to happen over and over unless a way is found for them to pass the faith on to their children.

We have the same problem. It’s one thing to teach our children about the faith. It’s quite another to teach them the faith itself.

Our children’s education is usually rote memorization. They learn all about the Old Testament characters: Adam and Eve, Noah, David and Solomon. We also teach them about Jesus and many of the New Testament saints.

But are they ready to head off to college? There they will encounter challenges to their faith just as bad as the Baals and Asherahs. Will they “go along to get along” or will they have a backbone of faith that allows them to stand? They’ve memorized what is true but do they know why it’s true well enough to stand their ground in an argument.

This is the purpose for “Faith in What.” It builds a logical sequence case for the historicity of Jesus’s resurrection. Our kids need to take knowledge of things like this with them when they leave home.

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:

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

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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