Psalm 78
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Psalm 78

A well-written song by Asaph.

1Pay attention, my people, to my instruction!

Listen to the words I speak!

2I will sing a song that imparts wisdom;

I will make insightful observations about the past.

3What we have heard and learned –

that which our ancestors have told us –

4we will not hide from their descendants.

We will tell the next generation

about the Lord’s praiseworthy acts,

about his strength and the amazing things he has done.

5He established a rule in Jacob;

he set up a law in Israel.

He commanded our ancestors

to make his deeds known to their descendants,

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

might know about them.

They will grow up and tell their descendants about them.

7Then they will place their confidence in God.

They will not forget the works of God,

and they will obey his commands.

8Then they will not be like their ancestors,

who were a stubborn and rebellious generation,

a generation that was not committed

and faithful to God.

9The Ephraimites were armed with bows,

but they retreated in the day of battle.

10They did not keep their covenant with God,

and they refused to obey his law.

11They forgot what he had done,

the amazing things he had shown them.

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

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

13He divided the sea and led them across it;

he made the water stand in a heap.

14He led them with a cloud by day,

and with the light of a fire all night long.

15He broke open rocks in the wilderness,

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

16He caused streams to flow from the rock,

and made the water flow like rivers.

17Yet they continued to sin against him,

and rebelled against the sovereign One in the desert.

18They willfully challenged God

by asking for food to satisfy their appetite.

19They insulted God, saying,

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

20Yes, 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?”

21When the Lord heard this, he was furious.

A fire broke out against Jacob,

and his anger flared up against Israel,

22because they did not have faith in God,

and did not trust his ability to deliver them.

23He gave a command to the clouds above,

and opened the doors in the sky.

24He rained down manna for them to eat;

he gave them the grain of heaven.

25Man ate the food of the mighty ones.

He sent them more than enough to eat.

26He brought the east wind through the sky,

and by his strength led forth the south wind.

27He rained down meat on them like dust,

birds as numerous as the sand on the seashores.

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

all around their homes.

29They ate until they were stuffed;

he gave them what they desired.

30They were not yet filled up,

their food was still in their mouths,

31when 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.

32Despite all this, they continued to sin,

and did not trust him to do amazing things.

33So he caused them to die unsatisfied

and filled with terror.

34When he struck them down, they sought his favor;

they turned back and longed for God.

35They remembered that God was their protector,

and that the sovereign God was their deliverer.

36But they deceived him with their words,

and lied to him.

37They were not really committed to him,

and they were unfaithful to his covenant.

38Yet he is compassionate.

He forgives sin and does not destroy.

He often holds back his anger,

and does not stir up his fury.

39He remembered that they were made of flesh,

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

40How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness,

and insulted him in the desert!

41They again challenged God,

and offended the Holy One of Israel.

42They did not remember what he had done,

how he delivered them from the enemy,

43when he performed his awesome deeds in Egypt,

and his acts of judgment in the region of Zoan.

44He turned their rivers into blood,

and they could not drink from their streams.

45He sent swarms of biting insects against them,

as well as frogs that overran their land.

46He gave their crops to the grasshopper,

the fruit of their labor to the locust.

47He destroyed their vines with hail,

and their sycamore-fig trees with driving rain.

48He rained hail down on their cattle,

and hurled lightning bolts down on their livestock.

49His raging anger lashed out against them,

He sent fury, rage, and trouble

as messengers who bring disaster.

50He sent his anger in full force;

he did not spare them from death;

he handed their lives over to destruction.

51He struck down all the firstborn in Egypt,

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

52Yet he brought out his people like sheep;

he led them through the wilderness like a flock.

53He guided them safely along,

while the sea covered their enemies.

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

to this mountainous land which his right hand acquired.

55He drove the nations out from before them;

he assigned them their tribal allotments

and allowed the tribes of Israel to settle down.

56Yet they challenged and defied the sovereign God,

and did not obey his commands.

57They were unfaithful and acted as treacherously as their ancestors;

they were as unreliable as a malfunctioning bow.

58They made him angry with their pagan shrines,

and made him jealous with their idols.

59God heard and was angry;

he completely rejected Israel.

60He abandoned the sanctuary at Shiloh,

the tent where he lived among men.

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

he gave the symbol of his splendor into the hand of the enemy.

62He delivered his people over to the sword,

and was angry with his chosen nation.

63Fire consumed their young men,

and their virgins remained unmarried.

64Their priests fell by the sword,

but their widows did not weep.

65But then the Lord awoke from his sleep;

he was like a warrior in a drunken rage.

66He drove his enemies back;

he made them a permanent target for insults.

67He rejected the tent of Joseph;

he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.

68He chose the tribe of Judah,

and Mount Zion, which he loves.

69He made his sanctuary as enduring as the heavens above;

as secure as the earth, which he established permanently.

70He chose David, his servant,

and took him from the sheepfolds.

71He took him away from following the mother sheep,

and made him the shepherd of Jacob, his people,

and of Israel, his chosen nation.

72David cared for them with pure motives;

he led them with skill.

Psalm 77
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