Psalm 78:1-8

God’s Guidance of His People in Spite of Their Unfaithfulness.

[a]Maskil of Asaph.

78 Listen, O my people, to my [b]instruction;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

For He established a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should [c]teach them to their children,
That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,
And not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not [d]prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

If there’s ever a passage that describes our culture, verse 8 would do it pretty well. “A stubborn and rebellious generation…” But why? How did we get here? And the answer is in the reverse of vv. 1-7. We had a generation (probably more) where too many failed to praise the Lord and tell of His works. Too many “Christians” were content to just go through the motions, using church as “fire insurance” and lacking real commitment.

So is it any wonder that now we have millions of people who can’t commit to anything, let alone God? We could just end there, say it’s sad, and do nothing different. But the antidote is to do as the psalm instructs us, to teach our children, and our children’s children. Only if they hear about God, who He really is, and what He has actually done for us, can they put their confidence in God.

Some might say they didn’t want to “indoctrinate” their children, or they wanted them to “make up their own minds”–which they absolutely 100% must do. You cannot force God on anyone, especially a child, or they will only resent it. But “forcing” as the only option is completely missing the point. Far too much attention is put on all the things we can’t do, on the rigors of the law.

And who wants to serve the law? It’s a false master anyway, as it doesn’t save us from anything but only condemns us. As verse 5 states, the law is important, but our children need to know what God has done, both in the Bible, throughout history, and in our own lives. And if you don’t think He’s done anything in your life, you need to take a serious look at your heart.

This isn’t just for parents, but anyone who claims to follow Christ. The next generation needs you, and needs to know your story. They need to know what you know, and “how will they hear, unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:15) Don’t be afraid to share your story, to share what God has done in your life. For that matter, don’t just limit it to the next generation, your fellow believers could always use the encouragement too! Be like this psalmist, “open your mouth” and speak up.

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