Psalm 78 - NLT version
1 O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying,
2 for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—
3 stories we have heard and known,
stories our ancestors handed down to us.
4 We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders.
5 For he issued his laws to Jacob;
he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children,
6 so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.
7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.
Listen in to the commentary from Matt Summerfield - or read on ;-)
Psalm 78 is one of the longest Psalms in the Bible but the opening seven verses contain some of most God-honouring, life-giving, purpose-bringing words in the whole of scripture.
For example, do you ever wonder what God is longing for? What God is dreaming about? What God is working towards? The answer is in verse 7 – that each generation would set their hope in Him, remembering all of His glorious miracles and committed to live the life He created us to live. That’s the vision of God.
But this good news is not just good news to us, it’s supposed to be good news through us.
Which is why verses 1-6 remind us that we have a responsibility to share the stories of God with the rising generations. Everybody lives by a story in our world today. The primary story in the Western world is the story of consumerism – it says that the way to be happy is through ‘getting and having’. But it’s an empty story that never satisfies.
The Bible presents the real story of what is happening in the world – it’s God’s living story. It tells us how God, through Jesus, is putting the wrong things right in the world and He invites us to join in.
So we have a responsibility to share this story - this life-changing truth - with the generations around us and who follow us – that all may know the good news of Jesus.
And the Psalm-writer reminds us – that as we do this – not only will we impact those that we reach – we will impact their children, and their children’s children, even children not yet born.
This is INCREDIBLE news. It reminds us that what we do now matters. It matters for this week, this month, this year and for decades to come. It matters for this generation, next generation and generations to come.
As we do our bit for God, God is able to work through us and see His good news message explode from generation to generation. We’re not making history, we are changing the future for those who aren’t even born yet.
How cool is that?
Sharing Jesus with others is the most eternally impacting thing we can even do – it’s a reason to get up in the morning – every morning.
That all may know – that all may find hope in Him, that all may experience His miraculous saving power, that all may discover the life they were born to live – with God, for God – for now and all eternity.
Matt Summerfield is the Senior Pastor of Zeo Church (www.ZeoChurch.org) which he leads alongside a wider speaking, training, coaching and writing ministry - www.stretch-your-life.com. Prior to this, he served for 18 years as CEO, and latterly President, of the youth and children's missionary movement, Urban Saints. Matt is passionate about releasing potential in people and organisations, with a particular commitment to see young people live God’s great adventure. He is the founder of lifelive123.org – a simple idea to encourage people in future-changing disciple-making. Matt loves meaty pizzas, Belgian Chocolate Haagen Daaz and great movies!