Know, Arise, Tell, Hope

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 from 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 that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, 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, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God… They forgot his works and the wonders that he had shown them.” Psalm 78:1-8,11

God’s people were for centuries the vehicle for His word. The holy scriptures were passed along through writing and telling, and when God beckons us come to partake, to listen and learn, it is not for our benefit alone. His gifts, His truth, are to be passed on. He orders our lives in His sovereign determination as He writes our story, and it is one He intends us to share with others.

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I remember vividly a challenging situation with which I wrestled the summer after my first year of college. I journaled about it, pouring out my heart to God, writing as He directed my conscience, my thought process, my reasoning. Eventually He won out. That experience had a significant impact on the trajectory of my life. A quarter century later, one of my own children was struggling with a very similar conundrum, and I was able to share from my journal how personally the Lord had met and helped me, given hope and courage for obedience. It became a pivotal time for my child’s faith. Who knows how posterity may benefit from God’s awesome works for us?

What priority am I making to proclaim God’s wonders to the next generation? How willing am I to take the time, to be vulnerable, to speak (with discernment) not only of famous, happy deeds, but of how He has used mistakes and consequences and heartaches too? Am I telling how He widened the seas of resentment and walked me through forgiveness? Do I teach how He convicts of sin and changes our mindset, dissolves preconceptions, softens hearts toward the brusque and unlovely? Do I model gracious and generous living that puts others first, that looks to fill needs and to extend myself even when it is hard, is inconvenient, or hurts? Am I willing to describe temptation’s pull, and the way out God provides, that the momentary pleasures of sin often leave scars, but the freedom from obedience comes without regret and baggage? (1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 11:25)

Lord, let me ever recount Your glorious deeds, and be faithful to tell others so they will put their hope in You.

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