Psalm 78, Learning From Our Past

Introduction:

Psalm 78 is a rather lengthy psalm that was penned by Asaph. All of the psalms since Psalm 73 have been from Asaph. So he is a major contributor to the psalms in the scriptures. As we read Psalm 78 we will look for the key themes and main message of the song.

Teach The Generations! (78:1-8)

Asaph begins the psalm by declaring the need to teach. The people, particularly the children, need to be taught about God’s works. Verses 2-4 set the stage for what Asaph is trying to accomplish. The events and teachings from the past that their fathers told them, they are going to tell to their children and to the next generation. This declaration is exactly what the Lord commanded:

“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as emblems on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9).

What was supposed to be taught? Asaph says that the mighty works of God need to be taught. Too often we think that we will teach our children by assumption. We assume they know our faith, but we never verbalize exactly what we believe in God and why. We simply think that our children know, but we never taught. We fear sitting our children down and explaining to them things about the Bible and explain why we are disciples. Moses said that children must be taught diligently. That means that we must be teaching them verbally on a regular basis. When we are sitting, walking, laying down, and rising up. In every place and at every time we are to be teaching about God’s laws and God’s mighty works.

The second thing Asaph says that we need to teach our children is to trust in God (vs. 7). Here is a place where we have great difficulty. If our lives do not reflect that we have fully put our trust in God, then our faith will look hypocritical and we will not be able to effectively teach our children about trusting God. We must teach our children that trusting in God is not simply a mental affirmative, but a complete life change. We must show our children that trusting in God is putting him first above the things of the world that so often occupy our time.

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