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Reading:                                      Psalm 78

A maskil of Asaph.

Verses 1-8

My people, hear my teaching;
listen to the words of my mouth.

 I will open my mouth with a parable;
I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
things we have heard and known,
things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the L
ORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors 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.
They would not be like their ancestors—
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God,
whose spirits were not faithful to him
(NIV).

Reflection

Psalm 78 begins with a simple imperative statement: My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.

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The next generation — photo by David Kitz

Hearing and listening are very simple commands. There is nothing particularly difficult about hearing or listening. But… but it seems most of humanity’s problems stem from not hearing or listening. Most marital breakdowns come as a result of a refusal to listen to one another. Intergenerational conflict results from a breakdown in communication. One party may be speaking, but the other party isn’t listening. Even on the international stage, when nations refuse to talk to one another, the next step is usually war.

Why do we stop listening or hearing? Is it because we don’t like what the other person is saying? How does that affect our relationship with God? Have we stopped listening to His voice because we don’t like what He says? Have we stopped listening to the voice of our conscience? Good listening starts with listening to the LORD. When our children stop listening to us we have a problem. Have we in turn listened to them? Telling the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD starts with us hearing and really listening to God. Our children are so very important to us. But it all starts with the LORD. He has something to say to you today. Are you listening?

Response: LORD God, today give me ears to hear what your Spirit is saying to me. I want a listening heart. Help me to really hear the others in my family and workplace. Thanks for listening to me. Amen.

Your Turn: At times I have not listened to God. How about you? How do we change?