Life moves forward, a generation dies and then another. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel (Judges 2:10). This doesn't mean they had not heard the stories. The stories passed down, but the generation that knew the stories was gone. To the Hebrew, the word "know" contains a personal intimacy that is not embraced by simply hearing the stories.
In 2005, my son was in 8th grade history class at Springview Middle School. His assignment was to write an essay on the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1945, my dad was in the 6th Marine Division on the Island of Guam. His assignment was to invade the mainland of Japan. Until two bombs dropped. I'm glad my dad and my son had a chance to talk.
So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he said, "Because this people have transgressed my covenant that I commanded their fathers and have not obeyed my voice, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died, in order to test Israel by them, whether they will take care to walk in the way of the Lord as their fathers did, or not" (Judges 2:20-22).
When God disciplined the nation of Israel, he was providing an opportunity to make it personal again. Opening his Word introduces me to my God. Walking his Word, living by faith, trusting through trials, makes it personal.
My God, You enter history and You walk with us. You guide us, You lead us, You go before us. In the work of Your Son, Jesus Christ, through death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, there is victory over death, over sin, and over evil. You are Almighty, the God of righteousness.
God, may we truly know what You have done, passing it along to our sons and daughters by living a life of faith and trust, following You wherever You lead.