Psalm 78:1–8 (ESV) — 1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, 3 things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. 4 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. 5 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, 6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, 7 so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; 8 and 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.
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What a good thing it is for each generation to make known what they’ve come to know and have learned about the goodness, power and wonder of God. For parents to tell their children of their own conversion to Christ. To tell them how God rescued them in trouble, provided for them, walked with them, comforted them, sustained them and blessed them. Parents – do not be silent. Give your children the heritage of your life in Christ. Recount it. Glory in it, joy in it, and tell them of it.
The following verses tell us why we should do vss. 1-4 – So they should:
a. Set their hope in God; b. Not forget His works; c. Keep His commandments; d. Not be like their fathers in stubbornness, rebellion, and unfaithfulness.
We don’t share these things with others – especially our children according to the World’s wisdom. How often do we hear that the only goal parents have for their children is that they “be happy.” Or fulfill their dreams, etc.? BUt are there not higher goals in mind for those in Christ. To live in the eternal hope of the resurrection because of reconciliation to God through the Gospel of the finished work of Christ. Happiness beyond THIS life. Hope in the face of all opposition. And to know the wondrous power of God. The mightiest of all works that of rescuing us from our death n our sins. The most degenerate among us can kill – but who can bring to life? None but God. To live a life where one is in union and harmony with their Creator. Knowing the joy and intimacy of His presence. Oh how I want my grandchildren to know that in their lives too. And to avoid the multiplied sorrow, heartaches, defilements and tragic consequences of sin.
This, beloved, is a true education indeed. If they never learned anything beyond these – they will be prepared for eternity.
And note how much of the balance of this Psalm consists of a record of Israel’s sin and failure, but God’s goodness, grace, mercy and forgiveness in the face of it. Our testimonies to men ought not to be about OUR goodness, but His, in the face of our rebellion.
Teach your children “well”. And if you have none of your own, then find someone else’s to pour these into. Even if they are already adults. Teach them of Christ.