Equipping Future Generations from Psalm 78:1-7

Opening: When I first met Steve Toews at a restaurant in El Dorado KS to talk about the position I now hold, he mentioned to me the phrase “Equipping Future Generations.” This phrase intrigued me.  We have seen a picture of that phrase as we have celebrated parent/child dedication.  As we begin, what does the phrase “equipping future generations” mean to you?

Introduction: Psalms were used in worship.  This particular psalm was written by Asaph. David appointed Asaph to serve “by giving constant praise and thanks to the Lord God and to lead Israelites in worship.[1] Psalms 50 and 73–83 are attributed to him[2]

Remember (Vs. 1-4)

·         Vs. 1-2-Asaph begins by leading the people in worship by focusing on “remembering.”

·         Vs. 3-what we have heard & known, what our fathers have told us

o   The facts of their past history had been handed down orally from father to son among the Israelites, not simply learnt from their sacred writings.[3]

·         Vs. 4-We will not hide them from their children-We will tell the next generation

o   Praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, wonders He has done

LORD- Hebrew divine name, YHWH used 6510 times in OT. Out of their respect for God and their fear of defiling his name, the Jews refused to pronounce the divine name when reading Scripture. Instead they substituted Adonai, a word meaning “my Lord.”[4]

Yahweh is used in a number of phrases which are considered names of God.[5] Literally I AM

·         Yahweh Nissi (Banner) Exodus 17:15

·         Yahweh Rapha (Healer)-Exodus 15:26

·         Yahweh Rohi (Shepherd) Psalm 23:1

·         Yahweh Jireh (Provider) Genesis 22:14

·         Yahweh Shalom (Peace) Judges 6:24

·         Yahweh Tsidqenuw (Righteousness) Jeremiah 23:5-6

·         Yahweh Shammah (is There) Ezekiel 48:35

·         Yahweh M’kaddesh (Sanctification) Leviticus 20:8

o   Praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, wonders He has done

§  God’s Covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15-love)

§  Joseph-saving of many lives

§  Moses & Crossing Red Sea (rescue)

o   What about me?

§  Provision of finances as a newlywed pastor with young kids (checks arrive anonymously) or while we waited for house in Iola to sell

§  Provision of peace while Mackenzie spent 2 weeks in NICU

§  Provision of presence when Molly was injured by basketball goal

o   Hesston MB?

§  Involvement in early days-enthusiastically setting up and resetting worship and SS space in during the time we met in the Middle School.

§  Financial-current land sold to us at a reduced price, Support from the Southern District, Koerner Heights, area churches and community for fund raiser, finished Christian Education Building costing a lot less than bid, Paying off the loans of building projects ahead of schedule.

§  People-lives changed by Christ & what is to come

What about you?

Recite (Vs. 5-7)

·         Vs. 5-Decreed statutes for Jacob, law in Israel

·         Vs. 5-Commanded to teach their children

o   What is purpose of law? To crush us, point us to need of a Savior

o   The law is good, right, and holy. God’s way is best.

o   The law speaks not just to behavior but to the heart (motives)

o   The law is absolute. Be perfect (Sermon on the Mount) not just progress.

o   The law’s message is If-Then

o   The law tells us what to do, but does not have to power to bring about change.

§  The Law, while it might bark its commands at us, has no jurisdiction over us. “For you are no longer under law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).” The resurrection ended the Law’s dominion. The Law can tell us to do something (and be accurate) but it can neither help us to do it, or punish us for not doing it perfectly. (Byron Yawn)

·         Vs. 6-Passed on to future generations who would tell their children (multi-generational)

·         Vs. 7-Trust in God

o   Would keep his commands

§  Because they were told, because they worked hard, because they were good, because they were afraid of punishment if they didn’t obey

§  If they bore God’s works—i.e. his many mercies—in mind, they would be the more disposed to obedience.[6]

§  Out of delight not dread (Byron), gratitude not obligation

o   Not forget his deeds-what has been DONE (Gospel)

§  Ultimately, the Gospel has the last word. We’re free. So says the Gospel. (Byron Yawn)

§  Gospel’s Message is Because-Therefore

§  Creation-praise Him; Loved us unconditionally

§  Keeps his covenant, his promises-Faithful when we are faithless

§  Spirit-never alone, guides us to truth, empowers us

§  Jesus (Life, Death, Resurrection, Ascension)

·         fulfilled the law in our place, perfectly obedient

·         Cross-defeated sin, death, Satan, our substitute, sacrifice, righteousness, victory, intercedes for us, Sits at right hand of God

·         Closing


§  Who God is (Names), What He Has Done, Law


[1] Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (p. 209). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
[2] Larsen, K. W. (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). Asaph, Son of Berechiah. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
[3] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 2, p. 124). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.
[4] Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (p. 1106). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
[5] Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (p. 884). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 2, p. 124). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.


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