Ronald Reagan was always good for a quote. On March 30, 1961 he said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
The quote from President Reagan reminds us of what actually happened to the people who followed Joshua. When Joshua lived, the people followed with devotion to God. When Joshua and his circle of influential leadership passed, the subsequent generation did not follow or even know God. The biblical record states: “And 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 work that the LORD had done for Israel…and all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that He had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals.” (Judges 2:7, 10-11).
This week, as we consider what a blessing it is to live in a free nation, let us also remember the responsibility we have to show and teach the next generation about the love and holiness of the Almighty God of Heaven.