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Teach new generations "to put their hope in God"

August 16, 2022

Daily Scripture

Psalm 78:1-8, 71:14-19

Psalm 78

1 Listen, my people, to my teaching;
tilt your ears toward the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a proverb.
I’ll declare riddles from days long gone—
3 ones that we’ve heard and learned about,
ones that our ancestors told us.
4 We won’t hide them from their descendants;we’ll tell the next generation
all about the praise due the Lord and his strength—
the wondrous works God has done.
5 He established a law for Jacob
and set up Instruction for Israel,
ordering our ancestors
to teach them to their children.
6 This is so that the next generation
and children not yet born will know these things,
and so they can rise up and tell their children
7 to put their hope in God—
never forgetting God’s deeds,
but keeping God’s commandments—
8 and so that they won’t become like their ancestors:
a rebellious, stubborn generation,
a generation whose heart wasn’t set firm
and whose spirit wasn’t faithful to God.

Psalm 71

14 But me? I will hope. Always.
I will add to all your praise.
15 My mouth will repeat your righteous acts
and your saving deeds all day long.
I don’t even know how many of those there are!
16 I will dwell on your mighty acts, my Lord.
Lord, I will help others remember nothing but your righteous deeds.
17 You’ve taught me since my youth, God,
and I’m still proclaiming your wondrous deeds!
18 So, even in my old age with gray hair,
don’t abandon me, God!
Not until I tell generations about your mighty arm,
tell all who are yet to come about your strength,
19 and about your ultimate righteousness, God,
because you’ve done awesome things!
Who can compare to you, God?

Daily Reflection & Prayer

God’s people have always valued teaching and learning. Israel’s sacred poets showed that the focus of education was not just to satisfy random human curiosity, but to grasp and pass on the knowledge of God’s powerful acts to future generations. They clearly believed God sees a desire to instruct “the next generation” as central to life’s purpose. And Jesus continued that focus: “Jesus began to teach anyone who would listen regardless of gender status or age.” *

  • Psalm 78 said that while learning, of course, has present benefits, it is strongly future-focused. God’s followers, through the centuries, have played a major role in starting many types of schools. That’s because the faith teaches them to care about future generations, not merely their own comfort and security. How important is it to you that your faith not just make your life better, but reach those who will be here after you’re gone?
  • We often see financial ads that urge saving by picturing “retirement” or old age as a non-stop, self-indulgent vacation. Psalm 71 said the calling to share God’s love and power lasts lifelong: “Even in my old age with gray hair, don’t abandon me, God! Not until I tell generations about your mighty arm, tell all who are yet to come about your strength.” Whether you’re 21 or 81, how are you (or will you start) shaping a legacy of telling future generations about the God you love and serve?

Lord God, I want to live a life with the big picture aim of helping present and future generations know your strength and ultimate righteousness. Please help me do that well. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Lydia Kim

Lydia Kim

Lydia Kim serves as one of the pastors of Connection and Care at Resurrection Leawood. An avid believer that growing in faith pairs well with fellowship and food, she is always ready for recommendations on local restaurants and coffee shops.

When I was in high school, I sang in an intergenerational choir. The choir consisted of retired adults who wanted to instill their love of singing in young people. However, it quickly became more than that. I sat next to a lovely woman named Margaret, who shared her stories, listened to mine, and got to know me. Margaret was there for my most challenging high school moments, like when I lost one of my best friends to an illness. She was there for some of the best moments, like when we sang together in Europe.

Margaret consistently showed up in my life, and she also shared her faith with me. When she talked about her life, she couldn’t help but share stories about God. The Psalmist says in Psalms 71:17, “You’ve taught me since my youth, God, and I’m still proclaiming your wondrous deeds!” Margaret shared how God showed up in times of joy and sorrow in her life, giving me hope.

To many, Margaret’s life may seem ordinary. However, the rhythm of her life was one of extraordinary praise. My walk with Christ looks the way it does because of how Margaret lived and put her hope in God.

Who is someone who poured God’s love into you as a young person? Take a moment to thank God for that person. Who is a young person you might care for and share your life and faith with? Your story, like Margaret’s, is worth sharing. You never know how it might encourage a young person in their faith.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Ortberg, John, Who Is This Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus. Zondervan. Kindle Edition. For a more in-depth study of Jesus’ effect on education than we have space for here, see chapter 5, “An Undistinguished Visiting Scholar,” in Ortberg’s remarkable book.