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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Investing in Following Generations (Psalm 78:4, 6)

 "We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done . . . so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children."

In relay races the team who drops the baton automatically loses the race, therefore each 
successive runner must take and pass off the baton carefully.
David learned a hard lesson in the death of Uzzah. Under King Saul's example and reign an entire generation lacked a clear understanding of their origin, history and the fear of God. King Saul had neither grasped the baton nor handed it off and, as a result, an entire generation suffered from lack of Bible literacy.

David responds to this appalling lack of Bible literacy. He lists four reasons why every generation must teach the following generation their history and solid theology (Psalm 78:7-8):
  1. So that they would put their trust in the God
  2. So that they would not forget His deeds
  3. So that they would keep His commands.
  4. So that they would not be like their forefathers--a stubborn and rebellious generation whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to Him.
Many church leaders (Sunday school teachers, small group leaders, etc.) are substituting good books written by popular Christian authors for the Bible. It shouldn't surprise us, therefore, that Barna Research Institute reveals that only 7% of Evangelical church pew members have a Biblical worldview. Just as people cannot maintain proper physical health by skipping meals entirely and living totally dependent upon vitamin supplements, so believers cannot maintain spiritual health without knowing the history of God's people and the theology embedded within the stories of the Bible.

Good books are just that--good books; they are supplements to the Word of God, not substitutes for the Word of God. Every generation must know the Word--which means I must be involved in Bible literacy (intentional growth in my own knowledge of the Word), in teaching the next generation the Word of God.

Questions for today's Chronological reading: 1 Chronicles 12:23-40

  • What has the consolidation of Israel done for them as a people?
Psalm 2
  • What ideology or philosophy brings diverse (and wicked) peoples and nations together?
  • How do kings often view themselves once they become king?
  • What warning does David give kings in this Psalm?
  • How does the gathering of wicked world leaders affect God and His kingdom?
Psalm 78
  • This Psalm describes the consequences of not teaching the following generation about their responsibility to God. What two periods or events in Israel's history does the Psalmist highlight and what are the consequences of their "forgetfulness"?
  • What has God used in David's life to prepare him for this leadership position?
  • What imagery does David use to describe people and their need for leadership?
Turning truth into prayer
Thank the Lord for your Christian heritage. Offer yourself to God as a student of His Word and as a teacher of His Word to the next generation.