Ps 78 is a Psalm about the history of Israel’s relationship to God. It is instructive to the generations to come so they might set their hope in God, Ps 78:2-8. The future generations must learn from the mistakes of the prior generations. They provoked God with:
They Provoked God
With Their Forgetfulness
Ps 78:7, 11-16, 41-55 – They forgot all that God had done for them. You should regularly recount all that the Lord has done for you. And you should be aware of all that he is doing for you everyday. And you should let your children know.
With Their Fleshiness
Ps 78:18-31 – They weren’t content with God’s provision. They wanted to satiate the lust of their flesh. You will never satisfy the lust of the flesh or the lust of the eyes, no matter how much you try. The solution is to strengthen yourself spiritually and limit yourself carnally (don’t give in). And don’t give in to all of your children’s fleshly desires so they will learn the lasting value and satisfaction of spiritual things.
With Their Flattery
Ps 78:35-37 – They said things with their mouths that weren’t true according to their heart. For their heart was not right with him. Always check your heart because you are capable of saying anything with your mouth. And be aware that your children can see your hypocrisy. They need to see what “right with God” looks like.
And They Provoked God With Their Faithlessness
Ps 78:22, 32, 56-57 – They didn’t believe God or trust him. Because they didn’t believe him they dealt unfaithfully. We are to walk by faith, and not by sight. The Lord is right here for us, but we must trust him. And your children need to see that you trust him, so that they will learn to trust him, too. If you’re walking by faith and they are following you, they will also learn to walk by faith.