From One Generation to the Next

Asaph must have been a parent.

How can we guess this? Because we can hear the determination in the Psalm-writer’s voice when it comes to sharing the word of God with the next generation. The emotion here is so strong, it certainly appears to have been personal for Asaph.

And it may well have been a key motivation for his authoring so many of these songs we call the Psalms.

His children would know the Lord. His children would be taught all the the powerful things that the Lord had done. They would not only know them, but want to pass them on to the next generation after that!

What a powerful encouragement for us — to keep our hearts and minds on our own children today. Whether young or old, we still want our children today to trust the Lord, not forgetting his deeds, and keeping his commands.

As parents (or grandparents) this means surrounding our children with the word, and especially with the gospel. It means leading them to the waters of baptism. It means living our faith in Jesus in such a way that it is just a natural, normal part of everyday life. It means surrounding them with Christian friends and teachers. It means encouraging them in their faith and giving them the tools they need to “own” their own faith.

No one can ever guarantee what a child will do with such an upbringing. But we know this: God’s word and sacraments are powerful tools of the Holy Spirit. And he is the One responsible for creating and maintaining faith.

And let’s never forget this: The Savior-God who is as powerful as Asaph describes him to be, and as loving as the cross demonstrates him to be — he loves our children exponentially more than we do!

“We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lordhis power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands” (Psalm 78:4-7, NIV).

Lord, draw our children’s hearts to you. Help us to teach them your word, and share especially the beautiful gospel of Jesus Christ with them. And then, keep watch over them, so that if they wander, you will relentlessly search them out and draw them back to yourself.

Our Bible reading for Wednesday, June 24, is 1 Kings 12:25 – 14:20, Acts 16:1-15 and Psalm 78:1-8.

Header image based on "child 3" by ann_jutatip, CC By 2.0