November 17: The Coming Generation (Psalm 78:4-8)
Worship Preparation - November 17 2013
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.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
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. (ESV)
In this psalm, Asaph repeats and expands a theme present throughout the Old Testament: the importance of carefully instructing the next generation concerning God’s greatness. The writer uses the bulk of the chapter to document the mighty acts and faithfulness of God in contrast with the continual rebellion and forgetfulness of his people, the children of Israel. In light of Israel’s neglect of God and the next generation, Asaph instructs his people to “tell” (v. 4) and to “teach” (v. 5) that the next generation might “set their hope in God” (v. 7). Not only as fathers but also as parents and as members of the same spiritual community, let us prayerfully consider God’s call to spread his renown to the coming generation.
Review and Apply
- In reading through the entire psalm, what clear contrast does Asaph set-up?
- In light of the chapter, list some of the ways that God specifically shows his kindness to his people (first in physical ways, then in spiritual ways).
- How would you describe Israel’s response to God’s kindness?
- To follow Asaph’s direction in verse 4 and 5 “to tell” and “to teach” the coming generation, what specifically might need to be altered in your daily routine? How might the gospel fuel these changes?
- For those without children, in what ways could you participate in building up the next generation?
- Note the end goal in verses 7 and 8, what must occur for this goal to be achieved and what part might God be calling you to play in that process?
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