Psalm 78:2–4: “I will open my mouth in a parable; / I will utter dark sayings of old, / Which we have heard and known, / And our fathers have told us. / We will not hide them from their children, / Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, / And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.”

December 21st, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

The Hebrew word used here for parable is broader than the one used in the New Testament. Here it means any story with a moral and spiritual application. In English, the concept might be expressed by the saying those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This suggests that the theological lessons from history aren’t always easy to discern correctly. For an infallible interpretation, we should listen for a prophet from God.

These verses always remind me of an old saint, now with the Lord, from the church where I serve. I remember Bud Deyoung well because his children, his grandchildren, and his great grandchildren are still with us and love Jesus. How did he do that? He spoke about God in every conversation of his life. We had more than a 100 conversations; and no matter what subject we started on, by the time we were through talking, he had brought the conversation back to God. There always seemed to be something new God was teaching him. Bud spoke the same way with his children and grandchildren. The psalmist says to be careful and “not hide [what God has done in our lives] from [our] children . . . the generation to come.”

British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once had a discussion with a man who firmly believed that children should not be given formal religious instruction, but should be free to choose their own religious faith when they reached maturity. Coleridge did not disagree, but later invited the man into his somewhat neglected garden. “Do you call this a garden?” the visitor exclaimed. “There is nothing but weeds here!” “Well, you see,” Coleridge replied, “I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden in any way. I was just giving the garden a chance to express itself.”

“LORD, help us to teach our children well the things You have taught us, and when necessary, with words.”