Psalm 78 – Josiah or the Rich Young Ruler

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In our first look at Psalm 78 I noted that it is essential to share the Psalmist’s passionate commitment to giving God’s truth and the wonder of his character to our children. As the Psalmist said, “We will not hide these truths from our children.”

The impact upon children is to be so significant that their children will be impacted as well. If parents’ hearts are not consumed with attractively passing on God’s glory there is a greatly diminished likelihood that this same passion will grip their children. See verses 6&7 of the psalm:

… so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands,

As we learn from Judges 2:10 the first generation of Israel after Joshua failed to maintain this passion. What resulted was the hard-hearted, me-first culture of the book of Judges. This is exactly the history lesson the Psalmist is teaching verse 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.

So, the lesson to be learned is this: if you desire to see your teenagers passionate about God, caring for his honor as devotedly as Josiah did, then passing on the wonder of God must be your consuming passion.  Otherwise, your children’s hearts will not be soft towards God like Josiah’s was, but they will be hard, as in the time of the Judges.

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