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. (Judges 2:10, ESV)
This has got to be one of the saddest verses in all of the Old Testament.
They didn't know about Moses' bold fight against slavery in Egypt
They didn't know about the 10 plagues God used to chip away at Pharaoh's resistance
They didn't know that God had miraculously parted the Red Sea so his people could escape the Egyptians
They didn't know that God guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and one of fire at night
They didn't know that God gave their fathers water out of a rock in the middle of the desert
They didn't know provided manna daily for the people to eat
They didn't know that God gave their courageous parents victory over their enemies in the Promised Land
They didn't know that God's laws were given out of compassion and a desire for an ongoing relationship with his people
Whose fault was it that the next generation didn't know the works of the Lord? Who was supposed to tell them? Was it the priests? The Levites? The Prophets?
Look at this verse, written before the one above:
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children (Deuteronomy 4:9, ESV)
It was the fault of the parents. They failed to recount God's glorious deeds to their children, therefore the next generation "did not know the Lord."
None of us can control whether or not our children will embrace the faith we do, but allowing them to carry on without knowing the one who is so precious to us is a travesty of life-altering proportions.
Let us make sure that they know.