Fools Rush In (Part 2): Learning from the Wisdom Psalms

bible opened to the book of psalms

Three Ways to Build a Life that Matters

In the previous article, we looked into Psalm 78 and highlighted three traits of a life that matters to God. Now, we are going to consider Psalm 78 again, and see what are the three responsibilities we have as members of God’s people—duties that God gives to us, which are for our benefit.

LISTEN HUMBLY AND ATTENTIVELY.

Asaph in Psalm 78 summons God’s people to “hear” him—“Incline your ears”, “open your ears wide, and stretch them out in my direction!” These are expressions of desperation, cries for help in a situation where the Psalmist is left with no other option but to trust in God.

Listening to God’s Word is the only way we can know how to lead lives that matter. It asks—yearns for—a “what now” from the message. “What do I do, now that I’ve received a word from the Lord?”

LEARN FROM THE SINS OF OUR FATHERS.

Asaph wants to remind the people, because they’re prone to two mistakes: forgetfulness and misinterpretation. These are the same sins that provoked the Lord’s wrath against previous generations, including Asaph’s generation.

John Calvin said, “He takes it as a fact which could not be questioned, that their hearts were in no respect better than the hearts of their fathers, whom he affirms to have been a treacherous, rebellious, crooked and disobedient race. They would, therefore, immediately backslide from the way of God, unless their hearts were continually sustained by stable supports.”

We need to learn from the sins and shortcomings of our forefathers in the faith.

What do I do, now that I’ve received a word from the Lord?

Oh brethren, who is sufficient for these things? Can we, indeed, learn from the mistakes of our Davids and Elijahs, and do greater works then they? Only God knows. But we must, by the grace of God, strive to do so. Therefore, we need to pray.

PREPARE THE NEXT GENERATION.

The Lord commanded each generation of Israelites to impart God’s Word to the succeeding generation. Asaph speaks of the “children yet unborn”. Beyond impacting eternity with our lives, we’re called to disciple the next generations to do the same.

We might say that believers need a “4G network.” We need to think in terms of 4 generations—our fathers’, ours, our children’s, and their children’s.

The “children” that we’re called to produce and teach should surely include, but not be limited to, our flesh-and-blood. This, understood in light of the Old Testament command to Israel to teach their children, establishes the pattern for discipleship in the church today.

It sounds simple enough. But it’s impossible for us to accomplish this in our own power.

But if God’s glory is more important to us than our own comfort, then we won’t be satisfied until God gives us disciples who are also discipling others to disciple yet others. This, brethren, can only be accomplished by prayer.


Pull-quote: “What do I do, now that I’ve received a word from the Lord?”


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Passion for the Word

Oct 16 to 22 -- 2 Corinthians 7:1 (NASB 1977) Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

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