I was reading through the Psalter Hymnal recently and ran across this song:
Let Children hear the Mighty Deeds
Let children hear the mighty deeds which God performed of old, which in our younger years we hard, and which our parents told. He bids us make his glories known, his works of power and grace;and we’ll convey his wonders down through every rising race.
Our lips shall tell them to our young, and they again to theirs, that generations yet unborn may teach them to their heirs; thus shall they learn, in God alone their hope securely stands, that they may not forget his works, but honor his commands.
While the hymnal didn’t relate this to Deuteronomy 4:9,
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
it seems to me to be a perfect pairing for this song. The Jews believed this and every year they passover liturgy had built into it the recitation of the salvation of God.
When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. The Israelites did just what the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. (Exodus 12:25-28)
But the Jews weren’t the only people to witness a saving act of God. Each and every person has a personal story of God’s salvation in their life. And it needs to be told. This is one aspect of giving testimony. But beyond our personal salvation stories, there are many other wonderful works of God we need to recount: answered prayers, miraculous interventions, providence, the gift of godly families… These stories also need to be told and retold. Why? Becuase this is the greatest act of worship that any person can render to God – reciting his goodness. When we recite the goodness of the Lord, we are essentially offering thanksgiving and thanksgiving prepares the way for salvation.
He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God. (Psalm 50:23)
So the next time you see your children, tell them about the good things God has done in your life. Recite his goodness so that they are clear about who the giver of all good things is.