“We Will Not Hide”
Psalms is a wonderful book contained within God’s Word divine, endowing us with hymns of praise and glory sung by the nation of Israel in the days of old. Often written in poetic language, the psalms abound with metaphors and prophecies foreshadowing extraordinary events that greatly impacted the landscape of history. Psalm 22 comes to mind when reflecting on memorable prophecies. David so eloquently foretold of the coming suffering that the Savior would endure, explaining that anguish and distress as if you and I were experiencing it! Almost everyone could probably quote the first few verses of Psalm 23, because it is the most familiar psalm to us. But the psalms are also riddled with untold wisdom and knowledge for every person with a desire to grow in the discernment of things eternal. For example, Psalm 1 is simple in meaning, yet rich with depth and learning for the challenges of life.
The attributes previously mentioned are visible throughout the 78th Psalm. A man by the name of Asaph, the chief singer of praises to God while David was king, composed this psalm many centuries ago. The connotation of each psalm can sometimes be heavy, presenting a formidable task to decipher the root of each verse. Remember that these words were likely set to music, so the way we read each psalm is different from how the chosen people understood it when singing these glad tidings! But fortunately for us, the opening verses of Psalm 78 can be comprehended without confusion. Obscure sayings of old passed down by their forefathers must not be hidden from the generations to come, or else a perverse generation would arise that did not know God, and heeded not his teachings. The phrase “dark sayings” in verse 2 of the psalm 78 means a hard question, proverb, or riddle. In other words, Asaph would use an oral teaching that required interpretation to convey his exhortation. Verse 4 mentions three specific things that the present generation of Israelites could not hide from the generation to come. These are the praises of the Lord, His strength, and the wonderful works that he has done. Such blessings should not be hidden, Asaph is saying, or else a rebellious generation would arise departing from the one who had delivered their ancestors from bondage. The chosen people would have to raise men and women who would be faithful to God, tending to lives guided by his instruction. Asaph’s plea is to the responsible souls who have the duty to teach those who are young about the sovereignty of Almighty God and the need to subject themselves to His will! Each person in the present world that is of a responsible age has the same obligation—to teach the coming generations about the Creator, the praises due him, His marvelous strength, and about all the wonderful works that he has done since time began. There are things of an eternal nature that we must not hide.
We must not hide the praises of the Lord from the next generation. The psalmist tells us that a man who would be righteous praises God because praise is becoming of the righteous (Psalm 33:1). Today, folks have reduced the praises of the Lord to a form of entertainment and lip service, giving no thought as to whether their praise is admissible to the Father. We are not slack on praising ourselves, however. We want all the recognition available when we excel at some sport or put in a lot of time on a work project and it pays off! We want our children to stock up their trophy cases so people might praise them, all the while ignoring who it is that gives us our abilities. Why do you think today’s generations are denying the existence of God and letting slip the memory of his power and might? It’s because they were taught to embrace the selfish desires born within every human being instead of seeking righteousness. That trend won’t change unless we revert back to teaching the next generations to give praise unto whom praise is really due. David said that he would praise the Lord because of his marvelous works in Psalm 139. We read of two men in Acts 16 who praised God despite finding themselves in unfavorable circumstances. Paul and Silas were beaten with many stripes for preaching the gospel, yet they praised the Father anyway. And because they did, the Lord allowed the jailer to see His power and he obeyed the gospel. And so, if for no other reason, we should praise God for the simple fact that he saved us (Acts 2:47)!
We must not hide God’s strength from the next generation. Despite what critics say about the Creator, He is omnipotent or all-powerful! That truth is evident throughout the entirety of the scriptures. This is one of the many reasons we should praise God, because of what he can do! The phrase “and his strength” in the text is derived from the Hebrew and it means forcibleness, power, or might. Think through the great miracles and events that are recorded in the scriptures! We read of a God who spoke this world into existence and blinded the eyes of men when appearing to them in His marvelous light! This is a God who once wiped out all but 8 souls from the surface of the earth with a flood! This is a God who annihilated entire cities with fire from the heavens! This is a God…whose strength must be feared!!! Think back to God’s deliverance of the people out of Egypt, how he caused the plagues to come about, how he parted the Red Sea, and caused it to collapse when the Egyptians pursued the chosen people. That’s power that cannot be matched! But more than that, think also about the miracles that were wrought in God by Jesus and his apostles in the first century? Such things as healing the blind and maimed and speaking away the sins of some lost soul further illustrate the power of God! But the Master’s strength was never on greater display than when He raised His Son from the dead as promised (Romans 1:3-4; Matthew 28:6). God’s strength in raising Christ from the dead paved the way for the gospel. The gospel is our way of escape from sin and it is God’s power to save (Romans 1:16). Unfortunately for the world’s sake, the coming generations have all taken on the outlook that God is some kind of crutch, that man can pull himself up by his own bootstraps without God’s help. This seed of independence in people’s minds has had its effects on the church in one way or another. We grow impatient waiting on God, so we just try to do things ourselves, forcing the issue. When we fail, we blame the Lord for our failure, not recognizing that all strength flows from Him (Philippians 4:13). We grow very disappointed, even sometimes bitter when we can’t do something on our own, when all we need to do is ask the Father for assistance since he has the strength to cover our weaknesses! In II Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians about his “thorn in the flesh.” This hindrance kept the apostle from being exalted above measure. The apostle begged the Lord three times the scriptures say, for this thorn to depart from him, yet it remained. The apostle learned that the Lord’s strength was brought to light in his weaknesses! So remember that our weaknesses are a window into God’s unfailing strength. May we teach the generations to come the necessity of fearing God’s strength!
We must not hide the wonderful works that God has done from the generation to come. A tall task awaits anyone who would seek to explore all the wonderful works performed by our Lord. John the apostle supposed that if every work that Jesus did while on earth were written down, the world could not hold all the books (John 21:25)! With that in mind, this writer must be selective in naming at least two of the most wonderful works that God has accomplished. The first of which is Creation. Have you ever stopped and looked at the things surrounding you everyday? We take for granted the sun coming up every morning and setting every evening! We give no mind to the vast beauties that make man seem so insignificant! We’ve developed a science to explain all of these marvelous things, while each wonder points to the Creator! It’s amazing with how vast the universe is and even the world we live in, that God bends his ear to man’s call (Psalm 8:3-4). David noted that something as beautiful as the heavens above us declared the glory of God’s handiwork (Psalm 19:1-2). Paul told the Romans that the deeper things of God are revealed in creation (Romans 1:20). The point is that creation is one of the most wonderful works that God has done, and something that future generations should be taught about! But the creation that we see is only a drop in a bucket compared to the God’s most wonderful work. The second of countless wonderful works wrought by God that we would make mention of is Heaven. We only have imagery of this work through the words of the Bible, but it is certainly something that must be passed down so that everyone can know about a realm of glories untold. In Revelation 21, John describes a scene that he saw, a glorious city unlike anything he had ever seen! Verse 4 tells us that it is a place where no sorrow, no death, no crying or any more pain; and God would wipe away all tears. He went on to explain in detail some of the unbelievable glories and riches he beheld there. One thing he noted was that there was no night there. And the only one’s who entered in had their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:23-27)! The things we read about will never depict Heaven with the glory and perfection that it shines in. But just from what we can read, don’t you want to go there?
Here’s what I know—the importance of learning about God’s will by the things we have been taught must be a priority! The generations before us bore the responsibility to teach us the things of God and we must bear the same responsibility! Like Asaph told the Israelites, we will not hide from the generations to come the praises of the Lord, His strength, and the wonderful works that he hath done.