Monday, October 31, 2011

Passing the Torch...Avoiding the Stubbornness of Old Age (Psalm 78)


In his iconic inaugural address, President John F. Kennedy declared that the "torch has been passed" to a new generation of Americans. He envisioned the ushering in of a golden age because one generation had given way to the next.

This is not a concept completely foreign to the experience of God's people. We should understand that our responsibility is to constantly be passing the torch to the next generation of God's people. In doing so, we not only ensure the ongoing completion of Jesus' mission, but we guard against becoming inwardly focused ourselves.

Psalm 78 served as a reminder to Israel that they were to pass the knowledge of God's great works on to their children. It was accompanied with a warning, that to neglect this responsibility would cause them to emulate previous generations who had become "stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful."


What is something you love that your family has passed on to you? What are some of the darker sides of your family history?

What is one thing you want to pass on to your children? Why? What are you doing right now to make sure that happens?

Read Psalm 78:1-8.

Have several people summarize this passage in their own words.

What are some of the things God did for Israel throughout their history? (think about Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samson, etc.) How could you use these stories to teach children about the nature of God?

If you had to make a list of the praiseworthy things God has done in your life, what would you include? How have you seen the power of God in your life?

What do you think are the most important things children need to learn about God? How can we teach them these things?

Along with teaching, how can God's people invest in the next generation? What gifts do you have that you could use to invest in the next generation of God's people?

How can you avoid becoming like the people in verse 8?

An assumption in this passage is that those who do not invest in the next generation eventually become inwardly focused and turn away from God.

How are you sometimes tempted to become inwardly focused? How can you avoid this temptation?

What can you do today to invest in someone else? What can this group do to make an impact on the next generation of God's people?

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