Passing the Baton of Spiritual Instruction – Psalms 78 – Part Three

Consequences of NOT Teaching Our Children (Don’t Drop the Baton) – Psalms 78:8-64

God desires that each and every generation of people be told about Him. His information, His knowledge, His teachings and His instructions should be passed on from one generation to the next. That was God’s plan for mankind. When God created us, He created within us a desire to know Him and thus our journey towards a relationship with our Creator God begins. Sadly, over the years and throughout many generations, interest in God has waned. Families don’t attend church as much as in days gone by. Individuals have given up on the search for knowing God. Talking about God, reading His Word, and even praying to Him is now forbidden in many public places. The quest to know God, to learn more about Him and to have a relationship with Him is no longer a strong heartbeat among the various generations. How this must break the heart of our God!

I meet people all the time, to whom God or His Son, Jesus, is nothing more than a swear word. There is no interest within some people to even know God. And if the senior members of a family do not know God, then they certainly won’t be “passing the baton” of God’s knowledge, God’s teachings and God’s instructions on to their children and grand children. That has to break the heart of God!

God, in His Word, warns that there are some rather serious consequences whenever we withhold teaching our children, their children, and the generations to come, the things of God. Psalms 78:8-64 spells out those consequences in detail. This happens to be a rather lengthy portion of Scripture to write out in this blog posting. But I do greatly encourage those who read this blog, to take the time and read it in the Bible for yourself. In this post, I will share the highlights though.

Verse 8 is the summary of all those consequences. It says, “And may not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation. A generation that did not set its heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”

Simply put – if we do not “pass the baton” of God’s spiritual instruction on to our children and their children, then we will end up with a “stubborn and rebellious generation.” We will have a generation whose hearts are not one bit loyal to God, for they have no desire to know Him. We will have a generation whose spirits are not faithful to Him. Hmm, does that describe our generations of today?

But God doesn’t stop there. In verses 9-64, God paints the most vivid picture of what a “stubborn and rebellious generation” looks like. I must forewarn you; this is not a pretty picture! God, through the writings of the Psalmist, tells us about the children of Ephriam (one of the twelve tribes of Israel). Let me share with you some of the highlights of that generation:

  • They did not keep God’s covenant (verse 10)
  • They refused to live and walk by God’s laws (verse 10)
  • They forgot what God had done for them (verse 11)
  • They continued to sin against God (verse 17)
  • They willfully put God to the test (verse 18)
  • They spoke against God (verse 19)
  • They did not believe in God (verse 22)
  • They did not trust in God’s deliverance (verse 22)
  • They kept on sinning (verse 32)
  • They did not believe in spite of all the wonders God did for them (verse 32)
  • They flattered God with their mouths (verse 36)
  • They lied to God with their tongues (verse 36)
  • Their hearts were not loyal to God (verse 37)
  • They were not faithful to God’s covenant (verse 37)
  • They continually put God to the test (verse 41)
  • They rebelled against the Most High (verse 56)
  • Like their fathers they were disloyal and faithless towards God (verse 57)

Does this, my friend, sound like our generations of today? Does this break your heart? It breaks the heart of our God!

But, here’s a tougher question that I wish we would all consider. Do we want that to ever be said of our children, and their children, and the generations to come?

The good news is this: It never has to be said of our children, IF we are willing to “pick up the baton” with a determination that we will be the ones to tell the next generations about the Lord our God. It never has to be said of our children, IF we “don’t drop the baton” we are now holding in our own hands. If we know God, know His teachings, know His instructions, we hold within our hands, (and hopefully within our hearts!) the obligation to tell our children, and their children and the generations to come. God wants us to “pass the baton” of spiritual instruction on, so that we do not have a “stubborn and rebellious generation. A generation that did not set its heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”

God wants something better! Do we want that too?

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