Those words were often followed by grandpa (or grandma, for that matter) telling us a story about his (or her) past. As a child I would probably have tried to get away from hearing the story (again). But as an adult, I realized my grandparents and their stories wouldn’t be around much longer, so I willingly listened and often asked them to share their stories with my family. I had come to cherish the stories of grandpa living out “west” in a sod house or grandma living in town to go to school then riding in a wagon home for the weekend on the family farm. I wanted my children to know these stories too and the sense of family that comes with hearing these stories.
God wants that for His children, too. Even in the psalms we find “family stories” with a poetic twist.
I love the imagery used in Psalm 78…13 He made the waters stand up like a heap…23…opened the doors of heaven…65…the Lord awoke as if from sleep…
In Psalm 106, the “they did”…”God did” stanzas tell the story in a powerful way.
Then in Psalm 107, the repeated sentence-in verses 6,13, 19, 28 followed by another repeated sentence in verses 8, 15, 21, 31 helps us to remember the main point of this family story.
The words of the psalms are true and there is much we can learn from them, but we must keep the context and the type of literature in mind when we interpret them. They are not written as literal, doctrinal treatises, but poetic expressions of God’s love and care for His people.
Tell God’s family stories, as well as your family stories, to the next generation that they may put their confidence in God.
…tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord…
that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
that they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God…Psalm 78