Temple Baptist Church - 2-1-2009
A. This is an Amazing portion of Scripture! After all that God did for Israel, there arose another generation who “knew not the Lord.”
1. The Lord Delivered The People From Egypt
2. The Lord Opened The Red Sea
3. The Lord Fed The Multitude In The Wilderness
4. The Lord Delivered Canaan Into Their Hands
B. The older generation failed to teach the younger generation about the Lord.
1. They Weren’t Taught The Ways of God.
a) Teaching involves daily exhortation. (Deut. 11:18-20)
b) Teaching involves dedicated examples. (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21)
c) Teaching involves determined exactness. (The words “My son” are in the book of Proverbs no less than 19 times, followed by exact instructions!)
2. They Weren’t Taught The Works of God.
a) Teaching involves constant reminders of deeds. (Deut. 32:7)
b) Teaching involves careful reminiscing of details. (I Cor. 10:1-11)
c) Teaching involves controlled removals of distractions.(Heb. 12:1 Rom. 14:23)
3. They Weren’t Taught The Worship of God.
a) Teaching involves showing our sincerity. (Josh. 24:14)
b) Teaching involves setting the standard. (Jer. 50:2)
c) Teaching involves sanctifying our self. (I Pet. 3:15,16)
d) Teaching involves satisfaction in service. (Prov. 19:23 Psa. 145:16)
C. Last week I preached to the younger generation of believers. We certainly need young people and young parents to step up in these last days in order to carry on the work of the Lord and present a positive peer pressure to their generations. At the same time, we do not need for the older generation to “step down” as the years begin to creep up on us.
D. Getting older should bring with it excitement! Dr. Tom Wallace wrote this description of getting older:
“Getting Old and Loving It “
By Dr. Tom Wallace
“For many years I’ve dreaded getting old. I saw people with all the ailments and problems that old age brings and wished for some way to avoid all of it. Since dying young seemed to be the only alternative, I finally decided I would accept it and move on. As I approach my 71st birthday I am really excited about the whole matter.
According to my Bible, I’m going to get a glorified body, live a thousand years on the earth in the millennium, and have access to the new Jerusalem. During that time there will be no pain, no sorrow, no death, no problems with sight or hearing, no heart or gall bladder problems and a hundred other things I will not have to be concerned about. As one line in an old gospel song says, “ won’t it be wonderful there.”
Every year I get a little closer and it is more exciting than Christmas coming. Paul the apostle spoke of, “having a desire to be with Christ which is far better.” He also said, “ to die is gain.” Then again, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
The older we get, the closer we are to all those beautiful blessings, so let the years roll on.”
E. Some Thoughts on Growing Older: An older man said 'I even look better as I get older. I look good in anything I wear, cause I can't see too well. I don't worry about high fashion either. I buy what I like loose and baggy. I even simplified my will. I just took a piece of paper and wrote on it "Being of sound mind, I spent it all." I don't have to make big decisions any more. I just concern myself with what color tennis shoes to wear to the wedding or whether McDonald's will sell me a "happy meal." I don't even have to wonder if my teeth are clean. I just take them out and look at them.
I seem to have more fun as I get older. I can go to sleep in Church and people think I'm praying. I can hug a young lady and people will think I'm being grandfatherly. I have learned to laugh at myself and to appreciate the child within. That's where my dreams and imagination originate. Growing old has nothing to do with the number of years you have lived. I am only as old as my despair and as young as my faith. Someone said to me, "Don't ever grow up." My response, "Hey, I'm too old to grow up."'
F. All joking aside, the older generation of believers is just as important as the younger one! While they have the strength of health we have the wisdom of age. They are going there to do that and we have been there and done that.
G. Older generation, our job is not done; it has only changed to some degree.
1. We Are Still Needed In War Because Of Our Expertise – Numbers 1:3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies. (I find here a young man’s limitation but not an older man’s.)
a. The younger generation needs our mentality! A young man walking with an older man once said, “I believe I will whip you, old man.” The older man lookup up to the young man and replied, “I believe I will kill you, young man!” There is a dangerous determination that goes with age and words such as “surrender” or “retreat” becomes obsolete in our vocabulary.
b. The younger generation needs our methodology! Older men learn how to wage war with strategy and skill when they lack the strength. I never met a young General while serving in the military. Older men were experienced in the art of war and led the younger soldiers.
2. We Are Needed In Wisdom Because Of Our Experience – Proverbs 24:6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors [there is] safety.
a. Young men have knowledge but wisdom comes through age.
b. Young people can have knowledge but wisdom comes through experience.
3. We Are Needed In Walk Because Of Our Example - 3 John 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. (It is important that our youth have proper examples to follow in the spiritual realm.
a. One of the greatest needs that younger people have is that of role models who love God! They will have role models!
b. Our young people need someone to blaze the trail. They will follow someone! Who is it that is following you older man? Who is it that is following you older woman?
4. We Are Needed In Work Because Of Our Encouragement - 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith. (I know of no better verse to use than this one. Paul served and labored until time to go home.
a. We have the example of Caleb. Joshua 14:10-14 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while [the children of] Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I [am] this day fourscore and five years old. 11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. 12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said. 13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel. (At 85 years old, Caleb said, Give me this mountain! Today, most would have said, “Give it to someone else. I have paid my dues and now rest on my laurels.”)
b. The strong young man or woman needs the example of the steady older man or woman! I spent many days rabbit hunting with my father. I remember the extreme cold back in the late 50’s and early 60’s in Kentucky. My feet would hurt from the cold so bad that I wanted to cry but I kept up through the snow with dad. He would not quit and neither would I. He was battle hardened and tough. I wanted to be like my dad!
Conclusion: Though our work changes to some degree because of advancing age, there is no mandate to quit and let the younger do it all. We need the wisdom and experience of the elders as much as the strength and vitality of the younger.