Moisture suspends in the air, as the early morning fog rolls about down the cracks of cobblestone streets. We walk hand in hand, a needed weekend get-away from the demands of everyday life. Warm coffee in one hand, warm hand in the other. Smells of fresh baked goods and sea water mingle in the air in a dance of complexity.
My eyes are drawn to a red door and I suddenly feel that I am in another place. Perhaps Europe? The door opens and a young lady darts out with a handful of leashes attached to furry dogs that are excitedly pulling her down the street. I stop for a moment and snap a photo. This, would be a great photo to capture the charm of these city streets. I think about how just around the corner, commerce bustles in a district trying to wipe the sleep out of its weary eyes and begin another day selling and buying. Who would ever think that someone lived in that building, with the red door. Did I mention that I always wanted to live on the top of a shop…or at least have a red door?
Had we not slowed down we might have missed it. And it might not seem like much, but it was one of the most cheerful sights I saw that morning…Oh yes, there were flowers and docks and such, but for me- that cheerful brick building with the lovely awnings took the prize. Though I stopped in my tracks to stare, loads of people continued to shuffle down the sidewalk right past it, without so much as a curious glance. So interesting how we all see something different when something is in front of us.
This launches me into a thought concerning people and this generation of children. People can pass by them without so much as a glance, nothing seemingly interesting in that. Yet, this generation is lying quietly on a side street, waiting for someone to stop and show interest, someone to take notice and declare that they are something to stop for….something to value, something to prize.
Yet sadly, traffic keeps moving and the beauty and creativity lays dormant until someone stops and declares, this is worth stopping for. This is worth slowing down and seeing.
In the book of 2 Chronicles we find an account of Joash, a 7-year-old king who comes to the throne through circumstances that are unimaginable. His father, Ahaziah was murdered, and Joash’s own grandmother tried to kill him. His life was spared and protected by his grandmother’s sister and her husband who was Jehoida the Priest. With the help of the Priest, Joash took his position as king as a young child.
Jehoiada took responsibility for overseeing the most important aspects of Joash’s life. We understand from the passage that Jehoiada mentors him, and pours his life and energy into training the young king. This older man taught Joash the ways of God, and instructed Him in Godly living. He did not think it was a small task to teach, nurture, and encourage Joash in the ways of God. It appeared that he took this responsibility very seriously. While Joash had Jehoiada in his life, he lived in God’s ways, pleasing the Lord with his actions and decisions.
“Joash did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight throughout the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest.”
-2 Chron. 24:2
Unfortunately, after many years of training Joash, Jehoiada passes away. This passing of a man who was so influential in the spiritual upbringing of Joash, leaves a void in his life. It takes no time at all to see the departure of the faith of Joash, without the encouragement and accountability of his persistent and wise mentor.
Joash eventually accepts the counsel of wicked people, and pushes the Godly away. In due course, he eventually has Jehoiada’s own son killed. This was the very same son of the man who encouraged and trained Joash throughout his formative years.
What happened to this young man? We see he was instructed by a Godly man. He was taught God’s ways and He obeyed the Lord. The influence of a man of God in Joash’s life could not be underestimated. Joash clearly needed continued council and teaching. Undoubtedly, each person must have their own relationship with God and nurture that relationship, seeking God whole-heartedly. Despite this truth, another important element is missing in the lives of many young people. That element is mentorship from the older generations.
In the book of Titus chapter 2, we can see this instruction concerning the older generations, teaching the younger. So many younger generations lack the courage to seek this wisdom from the older generation, and many in the older generation perhaps do not believe that younger people desire to learn from them. Oh how we need a change in this area in the body of Christ!
What would have happened to righteous King Joash if another Jehoiada would have stepped in and continued the mentorship, the encouragement, and the accountability that Joash still desperately needed? We of course, will never know.
This generation is no different. This generation is crying out for the older, Godly people to take them under their wing and invest in their lives with great compassion and diligence. It has always been that the older generation is charged with reminding the younger generations of the glories, miracles, and wonders of God…until that generation becomes so hungry to see it for themselves…that they pursue God with even greater passion.
“And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.” Psalms 71:18
There must be encouragement, there must be conviction in our hearts to silence the accusations of the enemy that lies waiting to whisper that the next generation is too lost, too enamored with sin, and too disinterested in the older generations.
Stop on the sidewalk and see what is in front of you. This generation must not be left in the alleyway, unnoticed by the hurried traffic of a busy world. It would be an epic tragedy to remain undaunted by the lives of the next undiscovered generation which God Himself knows and created for His glory and His purposes.
“Remember those who led you, who spoke the Word of God to you and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7
Like never before this generation needs to walk in the footsteps of those who went before them. Oh that the Jehoida’s of this world who know God and who can mentor young people in righteous living, would call out to the younger people who are fading into the world!
May the older generation know that there are young people who long to be trained and mentored by them. May the younger generation know and greatly regard that the older generation has wisdom and counsel that is beyond necessary for this day and hour. May every person take their place and position in the body of Christ so that the name of Jesus is magnified and that God Himself is glorified in generation after generation.