Be Refreshed – Day 14
by Andy Frost
I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old – things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done (vs2-4).
Children come up with these great little soundbites. Like the time my three-year-old, with a very serious face, one day informed me, “When you die I‘m going to go to eat burgers every day.”
I find that I so quickly forget these funny quips as my kids quickly move into another phase of childhood. I have taken to creating a notes document on my phone where I write down some of the funny things my children say because I don’t want to forget them.
Psalm 78 is a challenge about forgetfulness. It can almost be divided into two segments. The first seven verses act almost as a preface to the rest of the psalm. The second segment from verse eight onwards details the Israelites’ history. It shows how quickly the Israelites forgot the incredible wonders of God and the implications of their forgetfulness.
Choosing not to forget
The author of this psalm chooses not to forget what God has done. In the time this psalm was written, there was a great oral tradition of passing on both the stories of what God had done and the laws that he had commanded. The psalmist chooses to open his mouth to share these truths with the next generation.
What’s interesting is that by verse four, “I” has become “we” as he writes: “We will not hide them from their descendants.” His personal choice not to forget God’s faithfulness becomes a corporate activity that will go on to affect even the generation that is yet to be born.
A generational vision
The psalmist makes it evident that there is a vision behind passing on these stories and commands. The vision is specified in verse seven, that “they would put their trust in God”. As I choose to make a conscious effort to write down some of the quirky one-liners my kids come out with, how do we share God’s story and his commands for how we are to live?
The Great Commandment that Jesus gives us is to love the Lord our God and love others as we love ourselves. How can we share this with our children?
Catch up on the rest of Be Refreshed on the blog.
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