A Curse in the ChurchJoshua 6:26
- Anyone who would build Jericho has no regard for the next generation.
1 Kings 16:34
- (connection to “How Far Do You Want to Go” lesson) - the man is from Bethel! A place of deepintimacy with the Lord, and yet he rebuilds Jericho at the cost of his children.Spiritual application - when we split the church based on age we rebuild walls too. We must defend the familystructure and promote healthy, multi-age interactions.
Focus - family structure; need for age-unity2 Kings 2:23-24
- Bethel again! Compare Bethel to Church - the people of God’s presence. Spiritual curse - when ittakes root, hard to break.First - Joshua at Jericho, curse to younger generation.Second - Hiel fulfills curse to younger generation.Third - Younger generation curses the older.Fourth - Older curses the younger...and the gap grows.We must break this curse(used loosely - Jesus became our curse...not saying we’re actually cursed -
- Either we sew up this generational divide or allow the land to become cursed. The church’s inactivity onthis has allowed dreadful statistics in America:Read bottom stats.What should we do?1.Stop sitting in church based on age! Sit with your family. Don’t have family at church? Become friends with anolder couple and start sitting with them. (Oh boy, can we really step out like this?) Don’t feel comfortable withthis? At the very least, start sitting in different spots in church to meet other people.
Start practicing hospitality (
). Those few moments at church of talk aren’t enough to develop areal relationship. There’s something very personal about having people over to your home so they can see howyou behave.
Humble yourselves and find a mentor. We could all benefit from the wisdom of another. (1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-25, 29)
Fill the gaps. Family members have first responsibility within themselves. But when you see a broken situation: be on the lookout for teens who need a Christian mentor; be on the lookout for older people who seem lonely.See God’s heart -
.Example - Pastors who do this properly.Why is this important?
- Jesus will return, before that we need to get people ready. Three goals of God before His return:1.The miracles of God will return with great affect
The family structure will be restored among many; especially in the church3.The church will be purified and unbelievers will repentSee the curse over Jericho (Josh 6:26) - parent child relationships severed. See it continue in time of Elisha (2 Kings 2:24)See the warning for the people in Malachi (4:6) - they failed to turn and Jerusalem destroyed. See the warning for thechurch today (Luke 1:17)? Will we be prepared for the return of the Lord?
Closing:Ezekiel 22:30-31- will there be a man to stand up for family?
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol14, p. 403-26, 1978.)71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on theState of High Schools.)75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God`sChildren.)70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, SpecialReport, Sept 1988)85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, TexasDept. of Corrections 1992)