Our Mission to the Coming Generation
Psalm 78:4, 5
We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength…

The interest of the Old Testament in children is seldom worthily recognized. The Divine confidence is felt in Abraham on this singular ground, "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment" (Genesis 18:19). The meaning of the most significant rite of the Mosaic system - the Passover - was to be carefully explained to the "children." The command is given concerning the holy laws, "Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up" (Deuteronomy 6:7). The psalmist speaks thus of his work: "This shall be written for the generation to come; and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord" (Psalm 102:18). And the prophets repeat after Isaiah, and say, "The father to the children shall make known thy truth" (Isaiah 38:19). Dr. Horace Bushnell, in a very striking way, calls the religious teaching of religious families" the out-populating of the Christian stock." There is always hope for the new generation; but the foundation of that hope is the righteousness and faithfulness of this generation. Then they truly work for the children who work to fit the parents for influencing the children. Our mission to our children is - if we follow the psalm -

I. TO TEACH THEE GOD'S DOINGS AND GOD'S WILL. This mission is entrusted first to parents. Only as civilization involves parental inabilities and disabilities, can the duty be delegated to servants, or to Sunday school teachers. The things we have to teach our children are:

1. God in history.

2. God in covenant.

3. God in law.

4. God in redemption.

Our power to do our work worthily depends on our own spiritual apprehensions. And they must not be left to pick up religious knowledge. God requires that we teach them.


1. By commending such lives in the grace and beauty of our own. It is not enough to "allure to brighter worlds;" we can "lead the way."

2. By teaching them the lessons that we may be able to draw from our own experience.

3. By enforcing the warnings which are suggested by the ancient histories (see ver. 9).

4. By patiently aiding them in the formation of good religious habits.

III. TO MAKE THEM FEEL THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO THE GENERATION FOLLOWING THEM. The object set before us, in teaching our children, is (ver. 7), "to the intent that, when they come up" into their fatherhoods and motherhoods, "they might show their children the same." So our influence should be repeating itself, generation after generation. Our faithfulness to our mission may put a new and nobler impress on the coming generations (see Psalm 145:4). - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

WEB: We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of Yahweh, his strength, and his wondrous works that he has done.

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