Teach the Next Generation (Psalm 78:5–8) - Radical

Teach the Next Generation (Psalm 78:5–8)

He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments, and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.
– Psalm 78:5–8

I love these verses, this whole picture in Psalm 78 of recounting the works of God, the wonders of God to the next generation, even to children yet unborn. What a phrase.

Psalm 78:5–8 Commands Us to Teach Our Young to Follow God

Oh, we want to live so that children who aren’t even born yet will hear about the works of God so that they set their hope in God and keep his commandments. I just want you to think right now about the next generation around you, and I want to encourage you to think about this even if you’re eight years old listening to this. So you’re in the youngest generation right now, but to think about kids to come who are not even born yet.

So how can we all live today to faithfully pass the gospel on to the next generation right now and coming generations after those who are youngest right now that they might not just know the commands of God, but teach them to their children? Obviously, this assumes that Jesus tarries, and we hope he comes back soon, really soon. But if he doesn’t, how can we live today to make sure that two, three generations from now, children will be hearing the good news of who God is and what God has done so that they will be setting their hope in God, so that they will be keeping his commandments?

Oh, God, I pray for all of us to be faithful to do Psalm 78 here. All of us. Certainly, for parents, God, help every parent who’s listening to this to be faithful, to tell the next generation who you are, what you’ve done, and what you’ve commanded us to do.

Psalm 78:5–8 Challenges Us to do this Regardless of Our Marital Status

God, help us to be faithful to pass on your commandments, but not just as parents, God, for every single one of us. Regardless of our status as single or married, regardless of our family picture, God, help us and the church to be faithful to pass on your word to the next generation. God, we pray that you’d help us to faithfully do this in such a way that children who are yet unborn will one day hear your commandments and put their hope in you. Lord, we pray for our children, for generations to come. God, help us to live and faithfully pass on your word such that it’s instilled in the hearts of children in a way that they will pour that word into their children and their children after them.

Lord, even as we pray for the children yet unborn, we can’t help but to think about unborn children who are in vulnerable, dangerous positions in the womb and a world where abortion is so rampant. God, we pray that children yet unborn, children in the womb would live. They would live to hear your commands and know your wonders and hope in you. God, we pray for end to abortion in the world. We pray you’d help us to work on behalf of the children yet unborn, and God, on behalf of children all around the world who for generations right now, if nothing changes, would never hear the gospel.

Praying for the Marma People of India

God, we pray for the Marma people of India, hundreds of thousands of them, not just in India, but in Bangladesh. Lord, we pray that those children would be reached for the gospel, that they would know your love for them. God, we pray. Really think about unreached people groups around the world whose children are being born, and living, and dying without ever hearing the gospel. God, we pray. Help us to change that. Help us to spread the good news of your grace that all, not just so that the next generation might hope in you, but the next generation among all the nations might hope in you. We pray all of this according to your word in Psalm 78:5–8. In Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!