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Psalms 78

Psalm 78

Tell the Coming Generation

A Maskil of Asaph.

[1] Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
[2] I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
[3] things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
[4] We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.

[5] He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
[6] that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
[7] so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
[8] and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.

[9] The Ephraimites, armed with the bow,
turned back on the day of battle.
[10] They did not keep God’s covenant,
but refused to walk according to his law.
[11] They forgot his works
and the wonders that he had shown them.
[12] In the sight of their fathers he performed wonders
in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
[13] He divided the sea and let them pass through it,
and made the waters stand like a heap.
[14] In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
and all the night with a fiery light.
[15] He split rocks in the wilderness
and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
[16] He made streams come out of the rock
and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

[17] Yet they sinned still more against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
[18] They tested God in their heart
by demanding the food they craved.
[19] They spoke against God, saying,
“Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
[20] He struck the rock so that water gushed out
and streams overflowed.
Can he also give bread
or provide meat for his people?”

[21] Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of wrath;
a fire was kindled against Jacob;
his anger rose against Israel,
[22] because they did not believe in God
and did not trust his saving power.
[23] Yet he commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven,
[24] and he rained down on them manna to eat
and gave them the grain of heaven.
[25] Man ate of the bread of the angels;
he sent them food in abundance.
[26] He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
and by his power he led out the south wind;
[27] he rained meat on them like dust,
winged birds like the sand of the seas;
[28] he let them fall in the midst of their camp,
all around their dwellings.
[29] And they ate and were well filled,
for he gave them what they craved.
[30] But before they had satisfied their craving,
while the food was still in their mouths,
[31] the anger of God rose against them,
and he killed the strongest of them
and laid low the young men of Israel.

[32] In spite of all this, they still sinned;
despite his wonders, they did not believe.
[33] So he made their days vanish like a breath,
and their years in terror.
[34] When he killed them, they sought him;
they repented and sought God earnestly.
[35] They remembered that God was their rock,
the Most High God their redeemer.
[36] But they flattered him with their mouths;
they lied to him with their tongues.
[37] Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
they were not faithful to his covenant.
[38] Yet he, being compassionate,
atoned for their iniquity
and did not destroy them;
he restrained his anger often
and did not stir up all his wrath.
[39] He remembered that they were but flesh,
a wind that passes and comes not again.
[40] How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved him in the desert!
[41] They tested God again and again
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
[42] They did not remember his power
or the day when he redeemed them from the foe,
[43] when he performed his signs in Egypt
and his marvels in the fields of Zoan.
[44] He turned their rivers to blood,
so that they could not drink of their streams.
[45] He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them,
and frogs, which destroyed them.
[46] He gave their crops to the destroying locust
and the fruit of their labor to the locust.
[47] He destroyed their vines with hail
and their sycamores with frost.
[48] He gave over their cattle to the hail
and their flocks to thunderbolts.
[49] He let loose on them his burning anger,
wrath, indignation, and distress,
a company of destroying angels.
[50] He made a path for his anger;
he did not spare them from death,
but gave their lives over to the plague.
[51] He struck down every firstborn in Egypt,
the firstfruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.
[52] Then he led out his people like sheep
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
[53] He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid,
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
[54] And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountain which his right hand had won.
[55] He drove out nations before them;
he apportioned them for a possession
and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.

[56] Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God
and did not keep his testimonies,
[57] but turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers;
they twisted like a deceitful bow.
[58] For they provoked him to anger with their high places;
they moved him to jealousy with their idols.
[59] When God heard, he was full of wrath,
and he utterly rejected Israel.
[60] He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh,
the tent where he dwelt among mankind,
[61] and delivered his power to captivity,
his glory to the hand of the foe.
[62] He gave his people over to the sword
and vented his wrath on his heritage.
[63] Fire devoured their young men,
and their young women had no marriage song.
[64] Their priests fell by the sword,
and their widows made no lamentation.
[65] Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
like a strong man shouting because of wine.
[66] And he put his adversaries to rout;
he put them to everlasting shame.

[67] He rejected the tent of Joseph;
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
[68] but he chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion, which he loves.
[69] He built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
like the earth, which he has founded forever.
[70] He chose David his servant
and took him from the sheepfolds;
[71] from following the nursing ewes he brought him
to shepherd Jacob his people,
Israel his inheritance.
[72] With upright heart he shepherded them
and guided them with his skillful hand. (ESV)