Psalms 78

Psalm 781

A well-written song2 by Asaph.

78:1 Pay attention, my people, to my instruction!

Listen to the words I speak!3

78:2 I will sing a song that imparts wisdom;

I will make insightful observations about the past.4

78:3 What we have heard and learned5

that which our ancestors6 have told us –

78:4 we will not hide from their7 descendants.

We will tell the next generation

about the Lord’s praiseworthy acts,8

about his strength and the amazing things he has done.

78:5 He established a rule9 in Jacob;

he set up a law in Israel.

He commanded our ancestors

to make his deeds known to their descendants,10

78:6 so that the next generation, children yet to be born,

might know about them.

They will grow up and tell their descendants about them.11

78:7 Then they will place their confidence in God.

They will not forget the works of God,

and they will obey12 his commands.

78:8 Then they will not be like their ancestors,

who were a stubborn and rebellious generation,

a generation that was not committed

and faithful to God.13

78:9 The Ephraimites14 were armed with bows,15

but they retreated in the day of battle.16

78:10 They did not keep their covenant with God,17

and they refused to obey18 his law.

78:11 They forgot what he had done,19

the amazing things he had shown them.

78:12 He did amazing things in the sight of their ancestors,

in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.20

78:13 He divided the sea and led them across it;

he made the water stand in a heap.

78:14 He led them with a cloud by day,

and with the light of a fire all night long.

78:15 He broke open rocks in the wilderness,

and gave them enough water to fill the depths of the sea.21

78:16 He caused streams to flow from the rock,

and made the water flow like rivers.

78:17 Yet they continued to sin against him,

and rebelled against the sovereign One22 in the desert.

78:18 They willfully challenged God23

by asking for food to satisfy their appetite.

78:19 They insulted God, saying,24

“Is God really able to give us food25 in the wilderness?

78:20 Yes,26 he struck a rock and water flowed out,

streams gushed forth.

But can he also give us food?

Will he provide meat for his people?”

78:21 When27 the Lord heard this, he was furious.

A fire broke out against Jacob,

and his anger flared up28 against Israel,

78:22 because they did not have faith in God,

and did not trust his ability to deliver them.29

78:23 He gave a command to the clouds above,

and opened the doors in the sky.

78:24 He rained down manna for them to eat;

he gave them the grain of heaven.30

78:25 Man ate the food of the mighty ones.31

He sent them more than enough to eat.32

78:26 He brought the east wind through the sky,

and by his strength led forth the south wind.

78:27 He rained down meat on them like dust,

birds as numerous as the sand on the seashores.33

78:28 He caused them to fall right in the middle of their camp,

all around their homes.

78:29 They ate until they were stuffed;34

he gave them what they desired.

78:30 They were not yet filled up,35

their food was still in their mouths,

78:31 when the anger of God flared up against them.

He killed some of the strongest of them;

he brought the young men of Israel to their knees.

78:32 Despite all this, they continued to sin,

and did not trust him to do amazing things.36

78:33 So he caused them to die unsatisfied37

and filled with terror.38

78:34 When he struck them down,39 they sought his favor;40

they turned back and longed for God.

78:35 They remembered that God was their protector,41

and that the sovereign God was their deliverer.42

78:36 But they deceived him with their words,43

and lied to him.44

78:37 They were not really committed to him,45

and they were unfaithful to his covenant.

78:38 Yet he is compassionate.

He forgives sin and does not destroy.

He often holds back his anger,

and does not stir up his fury.46

78:39 He remembered47 that they were made of flesh,

and were like a wind that blows past and does not return.48

78:40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness,

and insulted him49 in the desert!

78:41 They again challenged God,50

and offended51 the Holy One of Israel.52

78:42 They did not remember what he had done,53

how he delivered them from the enemy,54

78:43 when he performed his awesome deeds55 in Egypt,

and his acts of judgment56 in the region of Zoan.

78:44 He turned their rivers into blood,

and they could not drink from their streams.

78:45 He sent swarms of biting insects against them,57

as well as frogs that overran their land.58

78:46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper,

the fruit of their labor to the locust.

78:47 He destroyed their vines with hail,

and their sycamore-fig trees with driving rain.

78:48 He rained hail down on their cattle,59

and hurled lightning bolts down on their livestock.60

78:49 His raging anger lashed out against them,61

He sent fury, rage, and trouble

as messengers who bring disaster.62

78:50 He sent his anger in full force;63

he did not spare them from death;

he handed their lives over to destruction.64

78:51 He struck down all the firstborn in Egypt,

the firstfruits of their reproductive power65 in the tents of Ham.

78:52 Yet he brought out his people like sheep;

he led them through the wilderness like a flock.

78:53 He guided them safely along,

while the sea covered their enemies.

78:54 He brought them to the border of his holy land,

to this mountainous land66 which his right hand67 acquired.

78:55 He drove the nations out from before them;

he assigned them their tribal allotments68

and allowed the tribes of Israel to settle down.69

78:56 Yet they challenged and defied70 the sovereign God,71

and did not obey72 his commands.73

78:57 They were unfaithful74 and acted as treacherously as75 their ancestors;

they were as unreliable as a malfunctioning bow.76

78:58 They made him angry with their pagan shrines,77

and made him jealous with their idols.

78:59 God heard and was angry;

he completely rejected Israel.

78:60 He abandoned78 the sanctuary at Shiloh,

the tent where he lived among men.

78:61 He allowed the symbol of his strong presence to be captured;79

he gave the symbol of his splendor80 into the hand of the enemy.81

78:62 He delivered his people over to the sword,

and was angry with his chosen nation.82

78:63 Fire consumed their83 young men,

and their84 virgins remained unmarried.85

78:64 Their86 priests fell by the sword,

but their87 widows did not weep.88

78:65 But then the Lord awoke from his sleep;89

he was like a warrior in a drunken rage.90

78:66 He drove his enemies back;

he made them a permanent target for insults.91

78:67 He rejected the tent of Joseph;

he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.

78:68 He chose the tribe of Judah,

and Mount Zion, which he loves.

78:69 He made his sanctuary as enduring as the heavens above;92

as secure as the earth, which he established permanently.93

78:70 He chose David, his servant,

and took him from the sheepfolds.

78:71 He took him away from following the mother sheep,94

and made him the shepherd of Jacob, his people,

and of Israel, his chosen nation.95

78:72 David96 cared for them with pure motives;97

he led them with skill.98

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