We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children,so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. Psalm 78:4-7
Living in this season of life, every time I see the word “children” in scripture, it catches my attention. I’ve read that verse many times. Similar words appear again and again throughout the Old Testament. But somehow I’ve always understood it in the context of Israel’s history – that even today we should be telling our children about all the miraculous things God did for the Israelites – basically that we need to tell them Bible stories. Of course this is an important thing to do. But the other day, God spoke to me through another passage:
Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the LORD your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm… But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the LORD has done. Deuteronomy 11:2, 7
I realized then that God isn’t just telling us to tell our children about Israel’s history, but also about our own history. What awesome things has God done in my own family? Do my children know how God brought us here, to this town, this home? Do they know all the ways He has watched over us and protected us in times of disaster? Do they know about the things He has used to discipline us, to steer us back to His path when we stray?
Telling Bible stories to our children is great and necessary. But some of those stories can sound very much like fairy tales. We need to tell them that the Bible is real and true, and then back that statement up with proof that He is still working in our lives today. He is STILL an awesome god. Telling them stories about our own life will make God real to them.
What is my proof that God is real? There will come a day when “because the Bible tells me so” won’t satisfy their need for answers. They need something they can hold onto, they need to be able to see that God is working in their own life – that he has been working since before they were born.