Psalm 78  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Ps 78
A meditation of Asaph.

1Listen to my instruction, O my people. Turn your ear to the words of my mouth.
  2I will open my mouth in a proverb. I will pour forth riddles of old
  3that we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
  4We will not hide them from their children, recounting them to the generation to come the songs of praise about Yahweh, even his strength and his wondrous works that he has done.
  5For he established a testimony in Jacob, yes, he placed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should declare them to their children;
  6in order that the generation to come might know; children to be born, who should arise and recount to their children,
  7that they might place their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments,
  8and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and disobedient generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart, and whose spirit was not faithful toward God.
  9The children of Ephraim, being well-equipped archers, turned back in the day of battle.
  10They did not keep the covenant of God, and they refused to walk according to his law.
  11They forgot his deeds, even his wondrous acts that he had shown them.
  12He performed a miracle in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
  13He split the sea and caused them to pass through. He made the waters stand up like a heap.
  14He led them with a cloud by day, and all night with a light of fire.
  15He split rocks in the wilderness, and gave them abundant water to drink like the deeps.
  16He brought streams also out of the rock and caused waters to run down like rivers.
  17But they continued to sin even further against him, to rebel against the Most High in the dry land.
  18They even tested God in their heart by asking for food according to their desire.
  19Then they spoke against God. They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
  20Behold, he struck a rock and waters gushed out and streams overflowed. Can he give food also? Will he prepare meat for his people?”
  21Therefore Yahweh heard, and he was infuriated. Then a fire was kindled against Jacob, yes, anger also went up against Israel,
  22because they did not believe in God, and did not trust in his deliverance.
  23Yet he commanded the clouds from above, and opened the two doors of heaven.
  24He rained down manna upon them to eat, yes, he gave them grain from heaven.
  25Man ate the food of the mighty. He sent them provisions in abundance.
  26He caused the east wind to break forth in the heavens. And with his strength he made the south wind blow.
  27When he rained down meat upon them like the dust, winged birds as the sand of the seas,
  28then he let it fall in the midst of their camp around their dwellings.
  29So they ate and were very satisfied. Yes, he brought to them their own desire.
  30They did not turn from their desire. Their food was still in their mouth
  31when the anger of God went up against them, yes, he killed some of their nobles, and he laid low the youth of Israel.
  32Despite all of this, they still sinned, and they did not believe in his wondrous deeds.
  33So he ended their days in futility and their years with a sudden ruin.
  34When he killed them, then they sought him. They repented and desired God.
  35Yes, they remembered that God was their rock, yes, the Most High God, their redeemer.
  36But they attempted to flatter him with their mouth, and lied to him with their tongue.
  37For their heart was not steadfast toward him, nor were they faithful in his covenant.
  38But he, being compassionate, forgave their punishment and did not exterminate them. Yes, many times he held back his anger and did not arouse all his wrath.
  39He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that moves along and does not return.
  40How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness yes, they hurt his feelings in the desert!
  41Yes, they turned and tested God, and they hurt the Holy One of Israel.
  42They did not remember his hand, on the day that he redeemed them from their enemy;
  43when he displayed his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan;
  44and he turned the rivers of the Nile into blood, so they could not drink from their streams.
  45He sent among them a swarm of insects that devoured them, and frogs that destroyed them.
  46He also gave their produce over to the grasshopper, and their product of their toil to the locust.
  47He destroyed their vines with hail, their sycamore fig trees with a devastating flood.
  48He gave over their livestock also to the hail and their flocks to plagues.
  49He set upon them his burning anger, fury and indignation and distress, a detachment of harmful angels.
  50He leveled a path for his anger. He did not spare their soul from death, but he delivered their life over to the pestilence
  51and struck dead all the firstborn in Egypt, the firstfruits of their vigor in the tents of Ham.
  52But he led his own people out like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
  53He led them safely so that they were not afraid, but the sea covered their enemies.
  54He brought them to his holy territory, to this mountain that his right hand had acquired.
  55He also drove out the nations before them, and apportioned for them a measured territory as an inheritance, and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
  56Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God and they did not keep his testimonies,
  57but they turned aside and acted unfaithfully like their fathers. They, like a slack bow, failed to function.
  58For they made him angry by their pagan shrines and made him jealous by their carved images.
  59God heard and was filled with anger, then he utterly rejected Israel,
  60so he rejected the dwelling place at Shiloh, the tent that he pitched among human beings,
  61and he gave up his strength to captivity, and his beauty into the foe’s hand.
  62He also delivered his people over to the sword and was filled with anger at his inheritance.
  63Fire devoured his young men, and his virgins were not praised.
  64His priests fell by the sword and his widows could not weep.
  65Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep, like a mighty man overcome by wine.
  66He struck his foes on the rear. He gave to them a perpetual reproach.
  67He even rejected the tent of Joseph, and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
  68But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion that he loved.
  69He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven, like the earth that he has established to last forever.
  70He also chose David his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds;
  71He brought him from tending ewes to shepherd Jacob, his people, and Israel, his inheritance.
  72So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the discernment of his hands.

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