God’s Kindness to Rebellious Israel
A Contemplation78:0 Heb. Maschil of Asaph.
1Give ear, O my people, to my law;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter 78:2 obscure sayings or riddlesdark sayings of old,
3Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
4We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.
5For He established a testimony in Jacob,
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers,
That they should make them known to their children;
6That the generation to come might know them,
The children who would be born,
That they may arise and declare them to their children,
7That they may set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments;
8And may not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not 78:8 Lit. prepare its heartset its heart aright,
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9The children of Ephraim, being armed and 78:9 Lit. bow shooterscarrying bows,
Turned back in the day of battle.
10They did not keep the covenant of God;
They refused to walk in His law,
11And forgot His works
And His wonders that He had shown them.
12Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers,
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13He divided the sea and caused them to pass through;
And He made the waters stand up like a heap.
14In the daytime also He led them with the cloud,
And all the night with a light of fire.
15He split the rocks in the wilderness,
And gave them drink in abundance like the depths.
16He also brought streams out of the rock,
And caused waters to run down like rivers.
17But they sinned even more against Him
By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness.
18And they tested God in their heart
By asking for the food of their fancy.
19Yes, they spoke against God:
They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20Behold, He struck the rock,
So that the waters gushed out,
And the streams overflowed.
Can He give bread also?
Can He provide meat for His people?”
21Therefore the Lord heard this and was furious;
So a fire was kindled against Jacob,
And anger also came up against Israel,
22Because they did not believe in God,
And did not trust in His salvation.
23Yet He had commanded the clouds above,
And opened the doors of heaven,
24Had rained down manna on them to eat,
And given them of the 78:24 Lit. grainbread of heaven.
25Men ate angels’ food;
He sent them food to 78:25 satiationthe full.
26He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens;
And by His power He brought in the south wind.
27He also rained meat on them like the dust,
Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas;
28And He let them fall in the midst of their camp,
All around their dwellings.
29So they ate and were well filled,
For He gave them their own desire.
30They were not 78:30 Lit. separateddeprived of their craving;
But while their food was still in their mouths,
31The wrath of God came against them,
And slew the stoutest of them,
And struck down the choice men of Israel.
32In spite of this they still sinned,
And did not believe in His wondrous works.
33Therefore their days He consumed in futility,
And their years in fear.
34When He slew them, then they sought Him;
And they returned and sought earnestly for God.
35Then they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their Redeemer.
36Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth,
And they lied to Him with their tongue;
37For their heart was not steadfast with Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
38But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity,
And did not destroy them.
Yes, many a time He turned His anger away,
And did not stir up all His wrath;
39For He remembered that they were but flesh,
A breath that passes away and does not come again.
40How often they provoked78:40 rebelled against Him Him in the wilderness,
And grieved Him in the desert!
41Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel.
42They did not remember His 78:42 Lit. handpower:
The day when He redeemed them from the enemy,
43When He worked His signs in Egypt,
And His wonders in the field of Zoan;
44Turned their rivers into blood,
And their streams, that they could not drink.
45He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them,
And frogs, which destroyed them.
46He also gave their crops to the caterpillar,
And their labor to the locust.
47He destroyed their vines with hail,
And their sycamore trees with frost.
48He also gave up their cattle to the hail,
And their flocks to fiery 78:48 lightning boltslightning.
49He cast on them the fierceness of His anger,
Wrath, indignation, and trouble,
By sending angels of destruction among them.
50He made a path for His anger;
He did not spare their soul from death,
But gave 78:50 Or their beaststheir life over to the plague,
51And destroyed all the firstborn in Egypt,
The first of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52But He made His own people go forth like sheep,
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock;
53And He led them on safely, so that they did not fear;
But the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54And He brought them to His holy border,
This mountain which His right hand had acquired.
55He also drove out the nations before them,
Allotted them an inheritance by 78:55 surveyed measurement, lit. measuring cordsurvey,
And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.
56Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God,
And did not keep His testimonies,
57But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers;
They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58For they provoked Him to anger with their high places,
And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images.
59When God heard this, He was furious,
And greatly abhorred Israel,
60So that He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh,
The tent He had placed among men,
61And delivered His strength into captivity,
And His glory into the enemy’s hand.
62He also gave His people over to the sword,
And was furious with His inheritance.
63The fire consumed their young men,
And their maidens were not given in marriage.
64Their priests fell by the sword,
And their widows made no lamentation.
65Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
Like a mighty man who shouts because of wine.
66And He beat back His enemies;
He put them to a perpetual reproach.
67Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which He loved.
69And He built His sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which He has established forever.
70He also chose David His servant,
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71From following the ewes that had young He brought him,
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 skillfulness of his hands.