Psalm 78 – years ago I use to listen to Crosby, Stills , Nash and Young – they recorded a song with the same title of this blog,; who knew that listening to rock and roll would be inspirational? But besides being a great song, it has a timeless message about investing in the next generation. I have recently presented a seminar on Generational Issues and Revitalization; the seminar was packed; this only tells me that the subject was of high interest to many. Asaph writes for all of us a great, but long Psalm 78 speaking to the needs of parents to teach, and model a godly example before their children. Our church decided four years ago to switch ministry focus from Youth to All in the Family – Humm that sound familiar! The material we use comes from D6 and Randall House. The emphasis is on passing on a faith heritage to the children and grandchildren. Currently in the church and workplace there are seven  generations that are all competing for supremacy. Yes you read that right. I thought years ago that the “music wars” were over; but trust me they are alive and well! It seems that because of the advanced technological developments our world has radically changed from an agricultural one to an unban one. The influence of “daily chores” and working for the good of the community are ideas that have fallen on hard times and deaf ears. Also if note, author Haydn Shaw writes in Generational IQ how that every generation is trying to correct the other generations. The focus is on what is different not on Why. Asaph declares that every generation MUST pass on the truths of daily living and worship of the LORD God. Something a few past generations have failed to do. The Church [universal] is struggling for identity and direction, especially in America.
Asaph tells us to speak of the “things of old” – not just old ways, but wisdom. Our older generations has much to offer to all of us if we will listen. Just because they were born in 1938, doesn’t give us reason to completely discount them. Our church also revived an old church children’s program called Royal Ambassadors and Girls in Action. We did this at the cry of our community that children didn’t have any role models on how each gender [Boys and girls] should act. We have found that too many of our children are growing up without “life skills.” SO we teach them how to change tires, build with wood, sewing and cooking. I know that some may read this and be angst that we would be so “gender specific” and role oriented. The scriptures are pretty solid on how God created, even if we don’t accept it. There is a goal with all this in mind – don’t turn out like your fathers who were disobedient. Now who hasn’t said that as a child “I sure hope I don’t turn out like mom or dad!”
The goal is to teach every generation, even those yet to be born – wow what an indictment to us all. My opinion is that we have such a good “parenting book” in God’s word, why are we listening to a lot of “philosophical numbskulls” who have no clue! Remember reading Dr. Spock’s books, he didn’t even have children at the time.
Most of Psalm 78 captures a nation – Israel and their wayward and rebellious ways of doing things. Usually the opposite of what they were told to do by the Lord, who only provided “daily” for their needs – whoa that sounds strangely like a parent!
Primarily looking at Psalms 69 the on-going lamenting of David as he is being hunted by King Saul and his enemies. Knowing that David at this point has already been identified and anointed by the Prophet/priest Samuel to replace King Saul because of his disobedience; yet David has to wait some 13 years before he actually takes the throne. When we consider the waiting time; it would be difficult for anyone. But when we add in the fact that King Saul wants David dead and pursues him at all cost; the waiting time becomes a journey of constant fear and fleeing. David is not shy about praying against his adversaries; which really is the opposite position of Jesus Christ in Matthew 5. From the beginning of the Psalm 69 – the ethos of Davis can be felt – SAVE ME! The trials of all of us have at one time or another caused us to cry out in such a manner. We have come to the end of our rope, we find no way out of the circumstances and the enemies still pursue us. Talk about an overwhelming and frustrating position! David continually declares his innocence; that may be the case at this point in time, but we know what happens to David when life has “found its ease.” [2 Sam 12]
David is weary; he continually cries out for God to deliver him and prays for God to hear and answer his prayers. What are we to do when it seems that there is no end to the relentless attack of people, Satan and life? In our current time many people opt out of life all together. Others will seek refuge in extra/multiple relationships looking for that “safe haven” person. While others will attempt to mask or escape reality through drugs and alcohol. All the the “escape or defense mechanisms” fail to cope with the on-onslaught of life gone crazy.Paul writes for us in 2 Cor. 4:7-12 about his life and the ills that flow from someone who lives to please God in Jesus Christ. He, Paul had been beaten, shipwrecked, stoned [rocks], scourged and left for dead; not your most comfortable living conditions. What was his attitude and response to all of this? He chose the “high-road” of living. He was afflicted, but saw he was not crushed; perplexed but not despairing; persecuted but not forsaken and struck down but not destroyed. Paul looked at his suffering and saw the silver lining. In other words he saw that even though things were bad; they could have been worse! I know many right now are saying – he had to be crazy to keep the positive attitude in the worse of conditions that life threw at him. But such is the life of a believer. If they have persecuted Jesus our Lord and Savior; why would we think the enemies would treat us any better? The struggle and failure of Christians, i.e. Christians today is they want Heaven without any costs to them. People want a comfortable religion – Christianity is not this religion. The Bible speaks more about how the Christian should take up his cross and deny himself, if he wants to be a “disciple of Jesus.” I have found that many professing Christians think this is too much – and they want to maintain control over their lives. Sorry people, that is not what Jesus has called us too. The followers in Jesus day had the same problem – see John 6:50-66. I believe people want to miss Hell and go to Heaven, but they do not want to be a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ. When a person declares that Jesus is their Lord – it is suppose to mean that they pledge complete allegiance and commitment to Him and that they no longer look to please themselves, but Jesus only. That is what it is suppose to mean; but we have distorted what a Christian really is in our Churches and faith [lack of] testimony.
David feared what his enemies were trying to do – Jesus tells [Matt 10:28] not to fear the one who can kill us; but the one who can destroy both soul and body in Hell. There is great confidence in knowing that all man can do is kill the body – Paul in Romans 8:31-39 places all his confidence in the fact that nothing in this world can separate us from the love of God. Paul tells us “if we suffer with Jesus [like manner] we will also be exalted like Him. We must stop worrying about what man t\”thinks he can do to us” and live in the confidence that “in Christ” we are already victorious!