“So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.
Then they will not be like their ancestors—
stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,
refusing to give their hearts to God.“
Psalms 78:7-8 NLT
This Psalm is a lament over the chequered history of Israel. The Psalmist pointed out that, on the one hand, there were times when the Jewish nation behaved well, but also too many times when they didn’t, instead behaving badly “… like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.”
The Church in the last 2000 years or so has also had a chequered history. Of times of great spiritual activity, but other dark periods where God’s people of the New Covenant lost their ways. Being stubborn and rebellious seems to be a human trait.
But what about each generation “[setting] its hope anew in God”? The Psalmist encouraged his people to teach about the wonderful things God has done to the next generation, so His wonderful works wouldn’t be forgotten. As we look around today it would be easy to feel despair, at our dwindling, increasingly liberal, congregations. Losing their way as they forget God’s wonderful works, and even His Word, the Bible. In a society where churches seem largely irrelevant to the “next generation”. But this Psalm contained, amongst all the warnings, a message of hope for Asaph’s generation. And today we too must declare a message of hope for our generation. We don’t know what the effect will be, when we share our stories about what God has done for us with our generations and the generations that follow. But one thing for sure, as we sow the seeds of our testimonies, the Holy Spirit will bring new shoots and growth in God’s Kingdom.