Daily Devotionals

Mix Tape Week 6 Friday

We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. Psalm 78:4

One of the joys and burdens of being parents and having children in our lives who we get to help raise is that we get to teach them about faith. You see, we can take them to church and other environments where they will learn about Christ, but we are the people they see living out our faith day in and day out. We get to have conversations about faith with them regularly and encourage them to grow in their faith and relationship with Christ.

The people of Israel understood the importance of passing along stories of faith with their children and encouraging them to continue that legacy of faith. One of the places we read about this is in Psalm 78. The author of this Psalm recounted the lessons and stories about faith and God that the Israelites had passed on in their families for generations. As he recounted these stories, he concluded, “We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about His power and His mighty wonders” (verse 4). From one generation to the next, this Psalmist was determined that he and his people would continue sharing about God and all He has done.

Psalm 78:4 is a reminder to you and me today. We have to consistently talk to our children about our faith and God’s faithfulness. We have to encourage them to grow and show them that we are committed to continual growth. So let’s follow the example of the Israelites and share about the faithfulness of God from one generation to the next.

Moving Toward Action

Do you have a habit of consistently talking about faith with the children in your life? If not, now is the perfect time to start. Begin by telling them something God has shown you recently and ask them something they have learned from God or about God as well. As you do this, you will create a habit, and these conversations about God and His faithfulness will become more and more natural.

Going Deeper

Psalm 78:1-72 (NLT)

O my people, listen to my instructions.

Open your ears to what I am saying,

for I will speak to you in a parable.

I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—

stories we have heard and known,

stories our ancestors handed down to us.

We will not hide these truths from our children;

we will tell the next generation

about the glorious deeds of the Lord,

about his power and his mighty wonders.

For he issued his laws to Jacob;

he gave his instructions to Israel.

He commanded our ancestors

to teach them to their children,

so the next generation might know them—

even the children not yet born—

and they in turn will teach their own children.

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.

The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows,

turned their backs and fled on the day of battle.

They did not keep God’s covenant

and refused to live by his instructions.

They forgot what he had done—

the great wonders he had shown them,

the miracles he did for their ancestors

on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt.

For he divided the sea and led them through,

making the water stand up like walls!

In the daytime he led them by a cloud,

and all night by a pillar of fire.

He split open the rocks in the wilderness

to give them water, as from a gushing spring.

He made streams pour from the rock,

making the waters flow down like a river!

Yet they kept on sinning against him,

rebelling against the Most High in the desert.

They stubbornly tested God in their hearts,

demanding the foods they craved.

They even spoke against God himself, saying,

“God can’t give us food in the wilderness.

Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out,

but he can’t give his people bread and meat.”

When the Lord heard them, he was furious.

The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob.

Yes, his anger rose against Israel,

for they did not believe God

or trust him to care for them.

But he commanded the skies to open;

he opened the doors of heaven.

He rained down manna for them to eat;

he gave them bread from heaven.

They ate the food of angels!

God gave them all they could hold.

He released the east wind in the heavens

and guided the south wind by his mighty power.

He rained down meat as thick as dust—

birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore!

He caused the birds to fall within their camp

and all around their tents.

The people ate their fill.

He gave them what they craved.

But before they satisfied their craving,

while the meat was yet in their mouths,

the anger of God rose against them,

and he killed their strongest men.

He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.

But in spite of this, the people kept sinning.

Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him.

So he ended their lives in failure,

their years in terror.

When God began killing them,

they finally sought him.

They repented and took God seriously.

Then they remembered that God was their rock,

that God Most High was their redeemer.

But all they gave him was lip service;

they lied to him with their tongues.

Their hearts were not loyal to him.

They did not keep his covenant.

Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins

and did not destroy them all.

Many times he held back his anger

and did not unleash his fury!

For he remembered that they were merely mortal,

gone like a breath of wind that never returns.

Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness

and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland.

Again and again they tested God’s patience

and provoked the Holy One of Israel.

They did not remember his power

and how he rescued them from their enemies.

They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt,

his wonders on the plain of Zoan.

For he turned their rivers into blood,

so no one could drink from the streams.

He sent vast swarms of flies to consume them

and hordes of frogs to ruin them.

He gave their crops to caterpillars;

their harvest was consumed by locusts.

He destroyed their grapevines with hail

and shattered their sycamore-figs with sleet.

He abandoned their cattle to the hail,

their livestock to bolts of lightning.

He loosed on them his fierce anger—

all his fury, rage, and hostility.

He dispatched against them

a band of destroying angels.

He turned his anger against them;

he did not spare the Egyptians’ lives

but ravaged them with the plague.

He killed the oldest son in each Egyptian family,

the flower of youth throughout the land of Egypt.

But he led his own people like a flock of sheep,

guiding them safely through the wilderness.

He kept them safe so they were not afraid;

but the sea covered their enemies.

He brought them to the border of his holy land,

to this land of hills he had won for them.

He drove out the nations before them;

he gave them their inheritance by lot.

He settled the tribes of Israel into their homes.

But they kept testing and rebelling against God Most High.

They did not obey his laws.

They turned back and were as faithless as their parents.

They were as undependable as a crooked bow.

They angered God by building shrines to other gods;

they made him jealous with their idols.

When God heard them, he was very angry,

and he completely rejected Israel.

Then he abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh,

the Tabernacle where he had lived among the people.

He allowed the Ark of his might to be captured;

he surrendered his glory into enemy hands.

He gave his people over to be butchered by the sword,

because he was so angry with his own people—his special possession.

Their young men were killed by fire;

their young women died before singing their wedding songs.

Their priests were slaughtered,

and their widows could not mourn their deaths.

Then the Lord rose up as though waking from sleep,

like a warrior aroused from a drunken stupor.

He routed his enemies

and sent them to eternal shame.

But he rejected Joseph’s descendants;

he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.

He chose instead the tribe of Judah,

and Mount Zion, which he loved.

There he built his sanctuary as high as the heavens,

as solid and enduring as the earth.

He chose his servant David,

calling him from the sheep pens.

He took David from tending the ewes and lambs

and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants—

God’s own people, Israel.

He cared for them with a true heart

and led them with skillful hands