The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked--who can know it?
Bill, a gentleman I'd never seen there before, kept us informed and entertained speaking of his long career working in the citrus industry in Redlands, Highland, Riverside and Corona. The Inland Empire, particularly my hometown Redlands, was known as the citrus capital of the world. Even the encyclopedia I read as an second grade student had a picture of a Redlands orange grove. [Our town was also known for having more churches per capita than any other city in the US in the 1950's, again, according to the encyclopedia. Wonder if that's the case now?] We talked at length about Riverside's Citrus Heritage State Park in which he helped plant trees.I learned about the the old Planters who owned and ran the packing sheds in the area, where he once applied the colorful, now-collectible labels on wooden crates. Conversation among us at the table ranged from Redlands' Morey House pictured above to the original Parent Washington Navel Tree displayed and still growing at the corner of Arlington and Magnolia Streets in Riverside. Since my dad had a small orange grove on his property for years, I found all of these "inside industry" details fascinating, as did the rest of the group.
The Bible tells us to honor our fathers, and learn from our elders while they are still alive. In Judges 2:7-8, 10-12 we read of the Israelites who had fought and won territory for their 12 tribes in the days of Joshua, and of the generation that followed.
So the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD which He had done for Israel. Now Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died when he was one hundred and ten years old.
When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.
Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; and they forsook the LORD of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the people who were all around them and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger.
Would that Joshua's generation had diligently heeded and acted upon Moses' words in Deuteronomy 6:4-7 :
Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
May we listen, take to heart and pass on to our children and grandchildren the God-given values of respect, honesty, hard work and patient perseverance that our elders lived by, and above all, may we lead future generations to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ! For, as Proverbs 11:30 says,