Psa 78:1-8 ESV – A Maskil of Asaph. Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; 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; 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.
“Steadfast” – that word has been speaking to my soul recently. It is so easy to forget why we are here.
The Israelites were given a command: tell the next generation – their children – of the mighty works of the Lord. This would help them to continually remember what God had done for them, as well as teach the kids to trust in God. Although it seems they were partially obedient (“…things that we have heard and known…”), they were still “a generation whose heart was not steadfast.”
If you read all of Psalm 78, you’ll see that the whole Psalm is about remembering what God has done. It remembers God casting the plagues on the Egyptians, parting the Red Sea, saving them from enemy raiders, raining bread from Heaven, bringing water from rocks, and even how He chose David to be Israel’s mighty king. It’s mixed with God’s mighty works, His people’s failures, and His correction and compassion of them.
Asaph wrote this Psalm to tell the new generation would “set their hope in God” as well as “keep his commandments.” I’ve found myself forgetting what God has done in my past. It is so easy to forget yesterday, let alone last year, and to focus on the problems of the day. It can be overwhelming and can make “being steadfast” difficult. The solution is remembrance.
When life seems hopeless, remember what God has already done – He’s saved us from our deserving punishment by taking it on Himself (as Jesus).
When obedience seems impossible, remember what God has already done – He’s given us His Spirit to conquer the flesh and defeat our enemy.
So remember, wherever you are, mistakes or no, what God has done for you and continues to do. God has done mighty works, and we can trust Him. That is why we’re here – to trust Him.