“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 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 He has done…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 whose heart was not steadfast (and) whose spirit was not faithful to God.
But we, your people– the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to You forever—from generation to generation we will recount Your praise.” Ps 78:1-4; 7- 8; Ps 79:13.
The repeated sin of Israel: They (habitually) forgot the Lord, their God—His Works, His Ways, His Love, Mercy, and Grace. How do we overcome that same habit of forgetfulness?
I think the Psalms are a gift from God to show us how to live. There are a number of principles to be mined but more than that, I can read them in the 1st person; read them like I was writing them.
The Psalms have a general pattern: I can release my thoughts, feelings, emotions—including anger, anguish, fears, terror, happiness, joy. I can acknowledge the wickedness in my heart that no one sees but God, the lies, the double-dealing, pride, and etc. etc. These are innate in some respects with every person. But this kind of confession doesn’t stop there. It continues with a fierce declaration of “But You O Lord are my Rock and my Shield; you are aware of all my comings and goings, the thoughts and attitudes of my heart—and You deliver me. Therefore, I will….”
I read in Ps 78-79 a familiar condition: I forget the ways and the works of God; I forget all He has done. Gracious. When I wonder where God has gone, when I am in anguish and wringing my hands, what I am doing is forgetting God. I am caught up in the moment and I am letting it capture my heart and mind in sin’s chains. Just like Israel who sinned continually before the Lord, I forget and commit the same sin.
1st Thes 5:18 says: “In everything give thanks (be grateful) for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Doesn’t sometimes saying “Thank You, Lord God” just stick in the roof of your mouth? It does for me. But this (among other things) is how being a disciple starts. How do we recount, talk about, and testify about the God of Heaven and the mystery of the Gospel? We practice with each other, our family, our children, and then practice outside the local church.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall (the saying starts)? Practice, practice, practice. How do you remember to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, (and) his might, and the wonders He has done? Practice, practice, practice.
Father God, the best way to remember is to practice remembering; repetition. Being a disciple is to practice holiness, practical righteousness—practice pursuing You. I know I don’t have it all together so what can I do? The Scriptures tell me: I will recount Your deeds, Your works, Your awesome wonders—the little instances where I know You have intervened in my life, where You have delivered me, where You have shown me Your splendor. I will cherish musing over the mystery of the Gospel all the days of my life and I will be astonished at the mystery of Your Mercy towards me. These things I will talk about, I will ponder, and I will tell to the coming generations. Lord God, please make this reflexive in my life and help to keep me from falsely shifting into “christian gear.” “Make my life a prayer to You; I want to do what You want me to…” Keith Green. AMEN