Tom Brokaw wrote The Greatest Generation about the World War II generation in America. The generation that entered the Promised Land with Joshua could be called the Greatest Generation of Israelites. They were able to conquer the Promised Land and stayed faithful to the Lord throughout their lives. (There were a few instances of disobedience, but they were not widespread and did not last long). At the end of Joshua’s life and their lives Joshua gives this challenge:
“So now, revere the Lord. Serve him honestly and faithfully. Put aside the gods that your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt and serve the Lord. But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the Lord.” Then the people answered, “God forbid that we ever leave the Lord to serve other gods! The Lord is our God. He is the one who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. He has done these mighty signs in our sight. He has protected us the whole way we’ve gone and in all the nations through which we’ve passed. The Lord has driven out all the nations before us, including the Amorites who lived in the land. We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God.”
It is no wonder they are able to respond like this. They were children when they saw the plagues in Egypt culminating with the Passover and death of the firstborn in Egypt. They saw the Red Sea parted. They witnessed God’s presence and power descend upon Mount Sinai. They ate manna and drank water that came from rocks. They wandered in the wilderness and saw their parents drop dead because of their lack of faith. They saw the Jordan dry up and crossed over it. They saw the walls of Jericho fall. They routed larger and stronger nations than themselves.
They had firsthand experience of the Lord and his power. They know the Lord is with them, and because of that they are with the Lord.
What have you seen in your life to let you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Lord is with you?