Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 78:8

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And might not be as their fathers - Their ancestors, particularly in the wilderness, as they passed through it to the promised land. See Exodus 32:7-9; Exodus 33:3; Exodus 34:9; Acts 7:51-53.

A stubborn and rebellious generation - Stiff-necked, ungovernable; inclined to revolt. Nothing was more remarkable in their early history than this.

A generation that set not their heart aright - Margin, as in Hebrew, “prepared not their heart.” That is, they took no pains to keep their heart aright, or to cherish right feelings toward God. They yielded to any sudden impulse of passion, even when it led them to revolt against God. This is as true of sinners now as it was of them, that they “take no pains” to have their hearts right with God. If they did, there would be no difficulty in doing it. It is not with them “an object of desire” to have their hearts right with God, and hence, nothing is more easy or natural than that they should rebel and go astray.

And whose spirit was not stedfast with God - That is, they themselves did not maintain a firm trust in God. They yielded readily to every impulse, and every passion, even when it tended to draw them away wholly from him. There was no such “strength” of attachment to him as would lead them to resist temptation, and they easily fell into the sin of idolatry.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
These are called dark and deep sayings, because they are carefully to be looked into. The law of God was given with a particular charge to teach it diligently to their children, that the church may abide for ever. Also, that the providences of God, both in mercy and in judgment, might encourage them to conform to the will of God. The works of God much strengthen our resolution to keep his commandments. Hypocrisy is the high road to apostacy; those that do not set their hearts right, will not be stedfast with God. Many parents, by negligence and wickedness, become murderers of their children. But young persons, though they are bound to submit in all things lawful, must not obey sinful orders, or copy sinful examples.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 38

Here is seen the great responsibility devolving upon parents. Children who are allowed to come up to manhood or womanhood with the will undisciplined and the passions uncontrolled, will generally in afterlife pursue a course which God condemns. These are eager for frivolous enjoyments and irreligious associates. They have been allowed to neglect religious duties and indulge the inclinations of the carnal heart, and, as a consequence, Satan controls the mind and principles. In ----- parents have given him ample room thus to work. Most of the backsliding from God that has occurred in that place has come in consequence of the parents’ neglect to train their children to a conscientious, religious life. The condition of these children is lamentable. They profess to be Christians; but their parents have not taken upon themselves the burden of teaching them how to be Christians—how to recount the mercies of God, how to praise Him, how to exemplify in their lives the life of Christ. 5T 38.1

When these children enter school and associate with other students, those who have been really trying to be Christians are ashamed to act out their faith in the presence of those who have had so much light. They are ashamed to appear singular and deny inclination, and so they throw away their armor at the very time when it is most needed, when the powers of darkness are working through these irreligious companions to lead them away from Christ. They enter upon a path that is full of danger without the protection and support of religious principle, because they think it will be difficult or unpleasant to carry their religion with them to the schoolroom, the playground, and into all their associations. Thus they lay bare their soul to the shafts of Satan. Where are the guardians of these youth? Who have taken a firm hold of the throne of God with one hand while with the other they encircle these youth to draw them to Christ? It is just here that these children need to know the power of religion, need to be held back with a firm hand. 5T 38.2

Many of those who have so long rejected divine guidance and guardianship are rushing on in the path of levity and selfish pleasure, yea, more, into baser acts and defilement of the body. As a consequence their minds are polluted, and religion is distasteful to them. Some have gone so far in this downward course, and followed so earnestly in the path of the Sodomites, that they are today nigh unto cursing, and the voice of reproof and warning is lost upon them. They will never be redeemed, and the parents are guilty of their ruin. The debasing enjoyments for which they have made such an enormous sacrifice—health, peace of mind, and eternal life—are bitterness in the end. 5T 39.1

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