Psalm 78:3

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 3. Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. Tradition was of the utmost service to the people of God in the olden time, before the more sure word of prophecy had become complete and generally accessible. The receipt of truth from the lips of others laid the instructed believer under solemn obligation to pass on the truth to the next generation. Truth, endeared to us by its fond associations with godly parents and venerable friends, deserves of us our best exertions to preserve and propagate it. Our fathers told us, we hear them, and we know personally what they taught; it remains for us in our turn to hand it on. Blessed be God we have now the less mutable testimony of written revelation, but this by no means lessens our obligation to instruct our children in divine truth by word of mouth: rather, with such a gracious help, we ought to teach them far more fully the things of God. Dr. Doddridge owed much to the Dutch tiles and his mother's explanations of the Bible narratives. The more of parental teaching the better; ministers and Sabbath school teachers were never meant to be substitutes for mother's tears and father's prayers.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 3. Which we have heard and known. We have heard the law and known the facts. Adam Clarke.

Verse 3. Fathers. Those are worthy of the name of fathers in the church, in relation to posterity, who transmit to posterity the truth of God contained in Scripture, such as here is set down in this Psalm: and this is the only infallible sort of tradition, which delivereth to posterity what God delivered to the prophets or their predecessors by Scripture, such as is the doctrine delivered in this Psalm. David Dickson.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 2-3.

  1. Truths are none the worse for being old: sayings of
    old. "Old wood," says Lord Bacon, "is best to burn;
    old books are best to read; and old friends are best
    to trust."
  2. Truths are none the worse for being concealed under
    metaphors: I will open, etc., in a parable;
    dark sayings.
  3. Truths are none the worse for being often repeated.
    1. They are more tested.
    2. They are better testified. G. R.

Verse 3. The connection between what we have "heard," and what we have personally "known" in religion.