“That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:”
The Psalmist says in verses 2-3, “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.” He talked about how he heard about the power of God from the previous generation, but he was also quick to point out that he knew the works and commandments of God because “our father have told us.” The only reason the Psalmist knew the works of God is because the previous generation didn’t let those works die.
As I grew up, my parents were not shy to tell me about the great works of God that they had seen, heard and experienced. The stories of God working through their lives stirred a desire in my heart to see Him do the same works through me. Now that I am a parent, I have tried to tell the same stories, and share my personal experiences with my daughter so that it creates the same desire in her that those stories and experiences created in my life; this is what the verse above commands every person to do. The purpose of sharing the commandments and experiences of God to the next generation is so that “the generation to come might know them…and declare them to their children:” There are three thoughts I want to share with you about the next generation.
First, there is a generation following you. You had better absorb the responsibility you have to the next generation. You cannot go through life and live any way you want to live and expect the next generation to do right. Many in this present generation are selfishly living without regards as to what they are teaching the next generation. My friend, there is another generation following you, and they are watching you to determine what they are supposed to do with their life.
Second, you are responsible to give the next generation what has been given you. Just like my parents taught me what was given to them, you are responsible to give to the next generation what has been handed down to you. What you have seen, heard and experienced should be commonly rehearsed to the next generation. You cannot expect them to have a desire to serve the LORD if you are not talking about what the previous generation taught you, what you saw God do through them, and what you have experienced God doing through your life.
Third, how you live in private dictates more than what you do in public. The next generation will never want what you have if you are living a double life. The next generation watches how you live in private and compares what you do in public to determine if your public life is worth them embracing for their own life. When your private and public lifestyles match, it validates the Christian life to the next generation.
Christian, let me ask you, what are you leaving for the next generation to carry on? Does the next generation only hear about the works of the past, or have they seen them come to life through your life? When the next generation hears you talk about the great works of God, and they see them on display in your life, it will create a desire in their heart to pass those same works to the next generation.