What is your hope for the children in your life? How might you spend a day focused on Psalm 78 for their eternal joy?
What do we want to be true of our children 10, 20, 40 years from now? What do we want our children to know and understand about God and His Word? What do we want them to understand about the gospel? What marks of faith and spiritual maturity do we want them to have? What portions of the Bible do we want them to be able to quote from memory by the time that they graduate from high school? What kind of husband and father, or what kind of wife and mother do we want them to be? How would we want them to respond when tragedy strikes or when they face suffering in their lives?
There are hundreds of questions that we can ask. And the answer to those questions are what clarify and shape our vision for the next generation. Most importantly, our vision for the next generation must be defined by the Bible. There are several places we could turn to in the Bible where God reveals his vision for the next generation, but the first seven verses of Psalm 78 provide a valuable biblical framework. Let's consider these verses together.
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
 things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
 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; (Psalm 78:1–7 ESV)
Here are a few brief observations from this text.
God established a testimony
First, verse 5 tells us that God established a testimony. This testimony is the sum of God's Word to his covenant people. It includes God's glorious deeds, His might, and the wonders that He has done and His perfect law and commandments given to His people for their good.
Testimony to be taught to the next generations
Second, verses 5 and 6, tell us that God intends for this testimony to be taught to the next generations. He commanded our fathers to teach their children that the next generation might know them. One generation is to faithfully teach to the next generation, which then teaches the next generation, which teaches the next generation and continues this pattern until Jesus returns. This is the pattern God established for his people to make himself known and his word and the gospel known to all generations. Every follower of Christ has this calling on his life.
So the next generations should hope in God
Third, we observe in verse 7 why God established His testimony and why He instructed His people to pass it on. He said, so that they (referring to the next generation) should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments. This helps us to clarify the vision, which in light of the New Testament can be summarized this way: We are called to faithfully teach the next generation the Word of God so that they might know the truth about God and His glorious gospel and that they might always honor and love God, never forgetting what He has accomplished in Christ so that they might set their full confidence in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sin and the fulfillment of His promises, including eternal life.
Follow and obey Jesus as Lord
And then finally, follow and obey Jesus as Lord. Verse 4 of Psalm, 78 is significant because it points us to the center of the target that we are aiming for. It says that we are to tell the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord. The testimony that we are giving to the next generation is a record of His glorious deeds and glorious deeds call for praise and worship. Isaiah tells us to sing praise to the Lord for He has done gloriously. The reason it matters to God that our children know and remember His deeds and His works and set their hope in Him and keep His commandments is so that they would worship God and glorify Him forever.
Focus on Psalm 78 on 7/8
What a tremendous challenge Psalm 78 gives one generation to tell the “glorious deeds of the LORD” to the next. God intends for His testimony to be taught to the next generations. As a way to incline this generation to meditate and act on these words for the good of the next generation, we encourage you to mark July 8 (7/8) as a day to focus on Psalm 78.
Will you set aside July 8 to focus on the privilege and responsibility to tell the next generation about God’s glorious deeds?
How might you use Psalm 78 Day for the discipleship of the children in your home and church?
- Download "15 Ways to Declare the Glorious Deeds of the Lord to the Next Generation" and plan what you can share with your children on July 8th.
- Get a special one-day discount on the Making HIM Known devotional books and the new Truth78+ Family subscription on July 8th. Explore Psalm 78 Day Resources and Discounts.
Find creative prints of the Psalm 78 illustration that can provide regular reminders of the Psalm 78 message throughout the year. For Psalm 78 Day, Scripture Type is offering a one-day discount of 20% off any of their prints with the code Truth78.