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Illustrating Scripture

Today's Devotional

Read: Psalm 78:1–8 | Bible in a Year: Daniel 1–2; 1 John 4

We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. Psalm 78:4

Decorative blue and white ceramic tiles commonly found in Dutch households were originally made in the city of Delft. They often depict familiar scenes of the Netherlands: beautiful landscapes, ubiquitous windmills, and people working and playing.

In the nineteenth century, Charles Dickens wrote in his book A Christmas Carol how these tiles were used to illustrate the Scriptures. He described an old fireplace built by a Dutchman paved with these quaint Delft tiles: “There were Cains and Abels, Pharaohs’ daughters, Queens of Sheba, . . . [and] Apostles putting off to sea.” Many households used these tiles as a teaching tool as the family gathered around the warmth of a fire and shared the stories of the Bible. They learned about God’s character—His justice, compassion, and mercy.

The truths of the Bible continue to be relevant today. Psalm 78 encourages us to teach the “hidden lessons from our past—stories we’ve heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us” (vv. 2–3 nlt). It goes on to instruct us to “tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done” and “they in turn [can] tell their children” (vv. 4, 6).

With God’s help, we can find creative and effective ways to illustrate the truths of Scripture to each generation as we strive to give God the full honor and praise He deserves.

What ways have you found effective in illustrating the truths of the Bible to someone who’s new to Scripture? Who needs to know about the “praiseworthy deeds of the Lord”?

Loving God, show me ways to illustrate what I’ve learned from Scripture so others may know of Your wonders.

Learn more about the central meaning of the Bible.


The opening verses of Psalm 78 identify it as a wisdom psalm. The psalmist invites hearers to listen to his wise teaching, described as “hidden things” (v. 2). However, they’re nevertheless “heard and known” (v. 3) due to both God’s revelation and the people’s ancestors passing down that revelation to their children.

The psalm as a whole urges its hearers to be faithful in passing on wisdom, recounting Israel’s story (vv. 5–7) as “a parable” (v. 2) applicable to all. Each generation has a responsibility to pass on both the story of God’s revelation and mighty acts of redemption as well as the ways in which their ancestors failed to trust and follow God faithfully (v. 8). Through the lens of Israel’s story, God’s people can grow in wisdom and trust and “in turn . . . tell their children” (v. 6) so that they may also “put their trust in God” (v. 7).

By |2021-12-05T08:06:02-05:00December 5th, 2021|
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