*** This blog was originally posted online 1/18/22.
Adam Clarke, in his commentary on the book of Psalms, suggests that in the seventy-eighth chapter there are five generations contemplated.
1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: 3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his won-derful works that he hath done. 5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: 7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: 8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. 9 The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.
Clarke points out at least three specific things about teaching the next generation. • Children learn from their fathers (v. 3). • They in turn are to teach the same things to the next generation (v. 4). • Father should teach their children who in turn teach their children God's word (vs. 5-6).
Next, the Psalmist assigns five reasons for teaching children: • That they might know the will of God (vs. 5-6). • That they might “set their hope in God” (v. 7). • That they might “not forget the works of God” (v. 7). • That they might not “be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation” (v. 8) • That they might have a steadfast spirit with God (v. 9).
When Moses made his farewell address to God's people, he had a new generation standing before him. Those who serve the flock of God as under-shepherds of Christ, have a new generation standing before them. Never have elders needed to stand in the gap more than in our perilous, turbulent times.
May the Lord bless you and keep you!