Proclaiming Your Might to Another Generation

My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,

of your deeds of salvation all the day,

for their number is past my knowledge.

With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come;

I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.

O God, from my youth you have taught me,

and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.

So even to old age and gray hairs,

O God, do not forsake me,

until I proclaim your might to another generation,

your power to all those to come.

(Psalm 71:15-18, ESV)

My late father, when in his late-90s, could still remember where he was and what he was doing when, in 1941, the announcement came of the attack on Pearl Harbor, triggering the official entry of the United States into the Second World War. He was 20 years old, playing basketball with some friends when he heard the news over the radio. Within a few months he was in the army air corps, training to serve as a communications officer at an airbase in England. Though he did not talk about it much for many years, eventually he shared stories of his experiences during the war, helping me understand and appreciate far more than what a simple summary of facts from a history textbook could provide. It was his lived experience, and I treasure those times when he shared with me how the war changed his life.

That simple experience helps me better understand that leading others in a study of the Bible needs to be much more than a recitation of facts from Scripture. It should be a personal investment in proclaiming God’s righteousness and His mighty “deeds of salvation” to others. The psalmist knows that many of his hearers were not present when he saw God perform certain “mighty deeds”, or what he heard from the previous generation. The younger generation doesn’t know what happened in the past, or how significant it was in the lives of God’s people then. It is up to those who were present to share with the next generation what God has done and what it reveals about His character (righteous) and strength (mighty).

This kind of teaching carries a deeply personal aspect. The psalmist said, From my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.” This is more than simply passing on historical facts—it is sharing how God has worked in, and impacted him. As you lead your study group, are you excited to help them know about God’s “wondrous deeds” in the Scripture’s salvation story? Are you also sharing with them God’s work in your own life, His mighty deeds that have impacted you personally? Our personal testimony to the ongoing power of God to save can have a deep influence, pointing people to the mighty God who is still at work in the lives of His people today.

As I grow older, I more and more appreciate the last part of this passage: “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” I have an older friend who has served in ministry roles his entire adult life. Though he retired many years ago, at age 80 started teaching a men’s Bible study at his church. He is now 86 and still going strong. He desires to help men know more fully and personally the mighty God who acts to save and who is present to guide and transform them. He wants them to know God’s righteous character and saving grace. His teaching isn’t just a review of facts from the Bible, as important as that is. He is able to share a lifetime of seeing God at work, encouraging the men in his group to see God’s might and power today.

How about you? As you teach, do you share about God’s mighty deeds in your own life? Are you passing on stories of God’s power, His righteous acts, both from Scripture and from the lives of God’s people in recent times? Both kinds of stories are important, encouraging hope that the God of the Bible still has power to save today.

Father, you have done so much, both in Scripture and in my own life, that I want to share with others, so that they will know You are mighty to save. As I lead my study group, help us to see You in all your righteousness and to appreciate Your great love for us that moved You to do mighty and wondrous deeds to save us. Help me to share Your work in my own life, encouraging those I teach to trust in Your power and love today in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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