Tuesday, January 17, 2023

2023.01.17 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 78:1–8

Read Psalm 78:1–8

Questions from the Scripture text: To what are to give our ears and incline them (Psalm 78:1)? What will we be told (Psalm 78:2)? Where have we heard this (Psalm 78:3)? Whom will we tell (Psalm 78:4)? What will we tell? What has God established and where (Psalm 78:5)? What did He command our fathers to do? To whom else would this be communicated (Psalm 78:6)? What are the three parts of the application of this teaching (Psalm 78:7)? What had previous generations not done (Psalm 78:8)?

What is the Lord’s prescription for making a generation of His church better than the previous? Psalm 78:1–8 looks forward to the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these eight verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the Lord employs fathers as the teachers of their children; to show them God’s character, relations, and works; that the children might be doctrinally driven to faith, worship, and obedience. 

From this Scripture, we learned God’s plan for the reformation and preservation of His church: one generation teaching another generation of generation-teachers—all of whom put that teaching into practice.

Of course, teaching begins with your ears. You can’t teach what you haven’t studied. In our flesh and our folly, we would like to skip to faith, worship, and obedience. But, the Lord’s plan for us and assignment to us begins with our minds. Listen and learn. We cannot teach the next generation until we have learned from the previous one.

What are we to learn in order to teach? The Lord’s testimonies and laws. His teachings and His commands. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man.

Psalm 78:1-4 teaches us that telling to the next generation the praises of the good, great, saving God is an obligation not an option. Psalm 78:4 refers to failure to do so as “hiding” the “praises of the LORD and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.”

Psalm 78:5-7 tells us that God Himself established this “right” that covenant children possess, that they would receive instruction in the Word of God from one generation to the next. It is His appointed means by which successive generations would be brought to “hope in God and not forget the works of God but keep His commandments” (Psalm 78:7).

But the people of Israel up to the point of the Psalm’s writing had not been faithful to their purpose (Psalm 78:8). They had neither known what they ought nor conveyed that knowledge to their children.

There are three primary responses to this knowledge:

Faith. “That they may set their hope in God.” One generation doesn’t just teach data to the other. They put their hope in God, training the next generation, as well, by the example of their faith.

Worship. “And not forget the works of God.” Worship is the first response of faith. We fall at His feet saying, “My Lord and my God.” We don’t forget His works, but rather acknowledge and praise Him. Realizing and remembering Who He is provokes a response of adoration.

Obedience. “But keep His commandments.” Obedience is worship translated into action in the life. Having acknowledged the Lord as God, we give up our right to ourselves and live according to whatever He says.

In what situations are you listening to God’s Word? In what situations are you teaching God’s Word? What place does worship have in each of your days? In each of your weeks? What difference does it make daily that you are living a life of obedience?

Sample prayer:  Lord, You have displayed Your glorious strength in Your wonderful works—particularly in the saving work of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Since we are often forgetful of You, come now and help us by Your Holy Spirit to set our hope in You. Help us not to forget Your works, but to adore You for them. Help us to worship in the offering of the spiritual sacrifices of prayer, and praise, and hearing preaching. Feed and strengthen us at Your table, that we might be enabled to offer our bodies as living sacrifices this week. In particular, grant that our children would hear now Your praise, Your strength, and Your wonderful works. And so implant Your Word in us all that they might one day tell the same to a generation to come, we ask in Jesus’s Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP78B “O Come, My People” or TPH550 “Let Children Hear the Mighty Deeds” 

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