-Theme: Lessons from the history of Israel from the time of slavery in Egypt to the reign of King David. Generational instruction for the perpetuity of a God fearing-honoring people.
-Historical Insight: This is a parable of Asaph, set as a maskil (a psalm that teaches something). It is a general history lesson as God established His testimony in Jacob and set a law in Israel (Psalm 78:5). These laws were expected by God to be taught to the succeeding generations (Deuteronomy 6:1-7). The purpose was to instill the confidence of God and the right heart for faithful righteousness into the ones who would come behind so that they would not be a stubborn and rebellious house like their fathers (Psalm 78:7-8). Asaph goes through each scenario to demonstrate this, from Ephraim’s refusal to keep covenant with God, to the Egyptian exodus complaining, to the wilderness wanderings testing of God, to their possession of the holy land in the hill country with idolatry, to the Kingdom of Israel of God’s choosing. He describes what had happened and why God was justified in His anger and wrath when disobedience was prevalent. Asaph also depicts the grace of the LORD in these events, and how much He cared for His people through it all. Even the grief of God is portrayed when His people forgot His power and authority over them (Psalm 78:40-42). There is special attention given to Zion and the tribe of Judah near the end of the parable with David receiving credit for being the one who “shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands (Psalm 78:72).” This encompasses the Davidic line, which runs as a constant theme through Scripture fulfilled in the Messiah.
-*Application* This is a clarion call for us to instruct our children in the ways of God with all due diligence and patience. It is His expectation for each generation to obey Him and His plan for salvation and shalom (well-being). Shepherd your family, and those you have influence over, according to the integrity of your heart and guide them with skillful hands. May your confidence be put in God.
Verse to Memorize: Psalm 78:54