“All right, men. Listen up!”
With these words, the rowdy bunch of hyperactive, unfocused, undisciplined, seventh grade football players would (usually) stop and focus on the coach. What followed this call was instruction on how to play the game. Unfortunately for our coaches, some of us played football more for the eighth grade girls than for the love of the game. Nevertheless, when coach said, “listen up,” we knew it was time to focus on the next words out of his mouth.
This is very similar to the call of Psalm 78:1 “my people, hear my teaching.” In other words: “hey righteous people, listen up!” So we read in Psalm 78:1-4:
1 My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— 3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.
We owe a phenomenal debt to the Jewish leaders down through the millennia. Imagine where we would be as Christians if these men had not passed down the word of the Lord from generation to generation. We take for granted the printed Scriptures but the Holy Spirit through the community of faith transmitted most of “Biblical history” orally. They told the next generation the precepts and principles of God’s standard of righteousness.
But it’s not just rules and regulations they told. Instead, they opened up the “book” of the “praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.” They would sit around and retell the stories of deliverance of God’s power, provision, and purposes. Imagine that!
What if we started today revealing to our physical and spiritual children what the Lord has done not only in the Biblical past, but also in our personal past? Recently, I encouraged a friend to document the “God stories” of what our gracious Lord was doing in the life of the church he started. As I sat there at lunch hearing one “God story” after another, I kept saying, “You have to write this down! You have to keep a record of the meaning behind the cold data!”
How about we try that? Why don’t we tell others more than the “cold data” of God’s deliverance in our lives? Why don’t we start TODAY by telling someone the “God story” conveying the praiseworthiness of our Lord?
And it all begins just like my junior high football coaches did: “All right…listen up!”