The Anniversary Banquet - The One Year Book of Psalms

The Anniversary Banquet

Psalm 78:1-8

A psalm of Asaph.

1O my people, listen to my teaching.

Open your ears to what I am saying,

2for I will speak to you in a parable.

I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—

3stories we have heard and know,

stories our ancestors handed down to us.

4We will not hide these truths from our children

but will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD.

We will tell of his power and the mighty miracles he did.

5For he issued his decree to Jacob;

he gave his law to Israel.

He commanded our ancestors

to teach them to their children,

6so the next generation might know them—

even the children not yet born—

that they in turn might teach their children.

7So each generation can set its hope anew on God,

remembering his glorious miracles

and obeying his commands.

8Then they will not be like their ancestors—

stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,

refusing to give their hearts to God.

Imagine yourself at an anniversary banquet for a church that has been around for many years. Old pastors return as well as the parishioners who have moved away. People catch up with each other. “How old are your kids now? Why, I remember when they were this tall!”

Sooner or later the conversation turns to the church’s own history. “Remember when we bought this land? That was amazing, wasn’t it?” “Remember that revival service when everyone in the youth group gave their hearts to Christ?” “Remember how God healed Linda of her cancer? And here she is today, still going strong!”

There are children at this banquet who weren’t around when those great events happened, but now these stories become part of their history, too.

There may be other stories not so publicly presented but whispered in corners. “Remember when old man Jones left the church in a huff and took his money with him?” “Remember when that one pastor left with half the congregation?” But even these add to the church’s unique history. We learn from our successes and our failures.

Psalm 78 is Israel’s “anniversary banquet,” a review of what God has done in and through and for his people. But it’s not just a time of reminiscing. It’s done “so each generation can set its hope anew on God.”

Come, and let us sweetly join, Christ to praise in hymns divine;

Give we all, with one accord, glory to our common Lord:

Hands, and hearts, and voices raise; sing as in the ancient days;

Antedate the joys above, celebrate the feast of love.


The Lord explicitly commanded Israel to pass on to future generations the stories of his dealings with them throughout history. Read Exodus 10:2; 13:8, 14; and Deuteronomy 4:9.

“Everyone who experiences God’s grace has an obligation to pass on what he knows.”


From the Book:

The One Year Book of Psalms cover image

The One Year Book of Psalms
By William Petersen, Randy Petersen, and Tyndale

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