“Now I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place and on those who live here.” 2 Chronicles 34:28

This is similar to the prophecy given to Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:16-18). But we find these two kings, Josiah and Hezekiah, reacted very differently to the news of approaching disaster. Hezekiah was only concerned about himself and says, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?” (verse 19).

Josiah, however, renewed the covenant. He committed himself to following the Lord and keeping his commands, “with all his heart and all his soul” (verse 31). He encouraged everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin to pledge their commitment to God (verse 32). He also removed all the idols from the territory belonging to the Israelites (verse 33). It’s recorded that, “As long as he [Josiah] lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors” (verse 33). Josiah impacted his generation with his reforms and created opportunities for future generations. Sadly Hezekiah was only interested in his own comfort.

Likewise today, we can choose to take the long term view and make changes that will benefit the next generation or to make self-serving decisions. This is particularly important if we hold a position of influence in a church. Will we encourage the church to reach the next generation or cater to the preferences of the current congregation?

Matthew Jacoby in his devotional, Thrive, writes, “What we achieve in this life is always incomplete. We always depend on the next generation to finish what we begin.”

Our achievements in this life will be incomplete if we don’t invest in the next generation.