[God] commanded our ancestors to teach [His laws] to their children, so
the next generation might know them . . . and they in turn will teach their
own children (vv.5-6).
My dad surpassed the biblical lifespan of 80
years mentioned in Psalm 90:10. But his 84
years was barely 9 percent of the average
lifespan of the first 10 generations of humans. Adam
lived 930 years. Seth, 912. Enosh, 905. Kenan, 910.
Mahalalel, 895. Jared, 962. Enoch, 365. Methuselah,
969. Lamech, 777, and Noah, 950 years (Genesis 5).
These 10 patriarchs (excluding Enoch who did not die)
lived an average of 912 years. I‘ve often wondered why
they lived such long lives.
In Psalm 78:9-72, Asaph recounted the history of
Israel, so that the Israelites would not forget God and
what He had done. Asaph said, “I will teach you hidden
lessons from our past . . . stories our ancestors handed
down to us” (vv.2-3).
God told parents “to teach [God’s laws] to their
children, so the next generation might know them . . .
and they in turn will teach their own children” (vv.5-6) so
that “they [would] not be . . . stubborn, rebellious, and
unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God” (v.8).
Perhaps this is why for the first 1,600 years of human
history, people lived long lives: so that they could teach
their children and their grandchildren about the Creator
God and encourage them to “set [their] hope anew on
God” (v.7). Overlapping 9 generations, they were either
contemporaries of Adam, or personally knew someone
who had been! Imagine this: Adam telling Lamech, his 9th generation progeny, and
Noah’s father, about what had happened in the Garden of Eden! (Genesis 3).
Today, our life spans have been reduced significantly (Genesis 6:3). But the
duty to teach the next generation “to give their hearts to God” (Psalm 78:8) hasn’t
changed. It remains our most important gift to the next generation (Matthew 28:20).
Who—the father or the mother—is more liable to be held accountable by
God to teach the children about Him? Why? (Check out Genesis 18:19;
Deuteronomy 4:9-10, 11:19-21; Proverbs 6:20-22; Ephesians 6:4.)
What’s one thing we should teach our children about God? How will
we help them “hope anew on God”?