Let’s look closer at Psalm 78 together.
The title of this psalm in my Bible says, “Tell the coming Generation.”
We saw a bit of this theme a couple of days ago where David said, “I will tell the coming generations of your faithfulness.” Well, this psalm talks a little more about the importance of telling the coming generations about the importance of walking with God.
I am convinced that if we want to see a revival in our country, it is going to begin in the home. If only God would do something around the world that would slow families down and force them to spend more time together….Oh wait. How are you stewarding this time with your family when it comes to leading them spiritually during this time? Today is a day of grace; be intentional.
God has provided Christian families an incredible opportunity to spend more quality time together. One way we can steward this time well is by teaching our children the good news of salvation, and how to walk in faithfulness and obedience to God.
Look at what this psalmist says in verse 4. He says, “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord and His might, and the wonders that He has done.” So this verse tells us the “what” of the psalm. We are going to tell the coming generations all that God has done.
Psalm 78: 5-8
5He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
6that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
7so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
8and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.
Then the psalmist tells us the “why” in verses 5-8. Verse 6 says they will teach God’s commands to the next generation might “know them.” Verse 7 says they will tell the next generation so that they might, “set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commands.” And verse 8 says that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
So the psalmist says teach your children God’s commands so that they will know them, set their hope in God and so that they don’t follow in the footsteps of the previous generations.
Then the psalmist goes on for the next 58 verses about how God did miracles among the nation of Israel by delivering them from slavery in Egypt, by providing food and water miraculously for them while they wandered in the desert for 40 years, how He performed plagues against Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt and protected the Israelites in the midst of those plagues, and how He split the sea so they could walk through on dry land safely from the Egyptians.
I want you to see that even though God did these amazing things for the nation of Israel, look at verses 17, 32, and 56. Even though God did all of these amazing things for the nation of Israel, verse 17, “Yet they sinned still the more against Him, rebelling against the most high in the desert.” Verse 32, “In spite of all of this, they still sinned; despite his wonders, they did not believe.” And verse 56, “Yet they tested and rebelled against the most high God and did not keep His testimonies.”
Look at verse 38-39 and what characterizes God throughout all of the rebellion of the Israelites. “Yet He being compassionate atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained His anger often and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.”
Even through the nation of Israel was rebellious against God, God did not stop pursuing after them, protecting them, providing for them and atoning for their sin.
This is what you tell your children! You TEACH them God’s word so they can see that we are all rebellious towards God. None of us are without sin, yet God, in His compassion on us, has given His son Jesus to atone for our sins. He covered our sins through faith in Jesus! This is why we STUDY Gods word; this is why we WALK IN OBEDIENCE to God’s Word. LOVE IS WHY! Because even through we were lost in sin, Christ died for us because he loved us and we love Him for this reality!
I had a parent tell me one time that they did not want to “force their beliefs on their children but wanted them to figure it out on their own.” I thought to myself, would you take a toddler and put them in the woods, leave them there, and tell them to figure their way home? Obviously not! We would never do that! God gave your children to you to teach your children the good grace of God, to lead them with love toward the throne of grace of Jesus Christ! This is your most important calling as a human being if you have children! If you do not have children or not able to, pour out your life and love for Jesus into other people’s children!
May we be a church that wants the next generation to know and hope in the one true God who loves us and proved that love through His son, Jesus!! We must live the Word in obedience as an example and teach them the Word!