Today, Ben Purves our pastor for student ministries delivered a faithful word from Psalm 78:1-8. His message reminded us of the joyous responsibility we have to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and the whole counsel of God with the coming generation. His call to make disciples of the next generation also lays the groundwork for the upcoming EQUIP Conference that Occoquan Bible Church is hosting on September 23–25. If you are in the Northern Virginia area, we’d love for you to join us.
In what follows, Ben has given us a number of resources and discussion questions to dive deeper into Psalm 78 and into the lives of the next generation.
by Ben Purves
In the Great Commission, Jesus commanded his disciples to take the gospel to all nations (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). But not only must the gospel travel to the ends of the earth, it must also travel down through time from one generation to another. In Psalm 78, Asaph calls for God’s people to teach the wonders of God to each successive generation so that they would put their faith in God. Each generation’s faithfulness with this task is critical, so that each generation should “set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (v. 4).
As we think about this responsibility, how might we be faithful?
1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3 things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.
4 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.
5 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children,
6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,
7 so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;
8 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.
- What are “the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders he has done” which we must tell to the coming generation?
- How might Paul’s faithfulness as a teacher be a template for us? (Acts 20:17-27)
- Read the following passages: Genesis 18:17-19; Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Ephesians 6:4. What bearing do they have on telling the good news to the next generation?
- Where does this work of teaching the next generation begin, and how does it move outward? (see again Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
- What is the danger of neglecting the next generation? (Judges 2:6-11)
- What is the danger of a man-centered reading and moralistic application of the Bible?
- How might a God-centered reading of the text encourage faith?
- Where do you see the glorious deeds, might, and wonders of God in the gospel?
For Further Study
- 11 Reasons Why Childrens’ Ministry is Not Second Rate Ministry
- Brothers, Serve in the Nursery
- Leading Your Children in Worship
- Treasured Family Time in Worship
- Family Worship by Don Whitney
- The Godly Home by Richard Baxter
- Teach Them Diligently by Lou Priolo
- Helping Children Understand the Gospel by Sally Michael, Jill Nielson, and Bud Burk
Soli Deo Gloria, ds