World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
78. Psalm 78
1An Instruction of Asaph. Give ear, O my people, to my law, Incline your ear to sayings of my mouth. 2I open with a simile my mouth, I bring forth hidden things of old, 3That we have heard and do know, And our fathers have recounted to us. 4We do not hide from their sons, To a later generation recounting praises of Jehovah, And His strength, and His wonders that He hath done. 5And He raiseth up a testimony in Jacob, And a law hath placed in Israel, That He commanded our fathers, To make them known to their sons. 6So that a later generation doth know, Sons who are born, do rise and recount to their sons, 7And place in God their confidence, And forget not the doings of God, But keep His commands. 8And they are not like their fathers, A generation apostate and rebellious, A generation! it hath not prepared its heart, Nor stedfast with God [is] its spirit. 9Sons of Ephraim -- armed bearers of bow, Have turned in a day of conflict. 10They have not kept the covenant of God, And in His law they have refused to walk, 11And they forget His doings, And His wonders that He shewed them. 12Before their fathers He hath done wonders, In the land of Egypt -- the field of Zoan. 13He cleft a sea, and causeth them to pass over, Yea, He causeth waters to stand as a heap. 14And leadeth them with a cloud by day, And all the night with a light of fire. 15He cleaveth rocks in a wilderness, And giveth drink -- as the great deep. 16And bringeth out streams from a rock, And causeth waters to come down as rivers. 17And they add still to sin against Him, To provoke the Most High in the dry place. 18And they try God in their heart, To ask food for their lust. 19And they speak against God -- they said: `Is God able to array a table in a wilderness?` 20Lo, He hath smitten a rock, And waters flow, yea, streams overflow. `Also -- bread [is] He able to give? Doth He prepare flesh for His people?` 21Therefore hath Jehovah heard, And He sheweth Himself wroth, And fire hath been kindled against Jacob, And anger also hath gone up against Israel, 22For they have not believed in God, Nor have they trusted in His salvation. 23And He commandeth clouds from above, Yea, doors of the heavens He hath opened. 24And He raineth on them manna to eat, Yea, corn of heaven He hath given to them. 25Food of the mighty hath each eaten, Venison He sent to them to satiety. 26He causeth an east wind to journey in the heavens, And leadeth by His strength a south wind, 27And He raineth on them flesh as dust, And as sand of the seas -- winged fowl, 28And causeth [it] to fall in the midst of His camp, Round about His tabernacles. 29And they eat, and are greatly satisfied, And their desire He bringeth to them. 30They have not been estranged from their desire, Yet [is] their food in their mouth, 31And the anger of God hath gone up against them, And He slayeth among their fat ones, And youths of Israel He caused to bend. 32With all this they have sinned again, And have not believed in His wonders. 33And He consumeth in vanity their days, And their years in trouble. 34If He slew them, then they sought Him, And turned back, and sought God earnestly, 35And they remember that God [is] their rock, And God Most High their redeemer. 36And -- they deceive Him with their mouth, And with their tongue do lie to Him, 37And their heart hath not been right with Him, And they have not been stedfast in His covenant. 38And He -- the Merciful One, Pardoneth iniquity, and destroyeth not, And hath often turned back His anger, And waketh not up all His fury. 39And He remembereth that they [are] flesh, A wind going on -- and it returneth not. 40How often do they provoke Him in the wilderness, Grieve Him in the desolate place? 41Yea, they turn back, and try God, And the Holy One of Israel have limited. 42They have not remembered His hand The day He ransomed them from the adversary. 43When He set His signs in Egypt, And His wonders in the field of Zoan, 44And He turneth to blood their streams, And their floods they drink not. 45He sendeth among them the beetle, and it consumeth them, And the frog, and it destroyeth them, 46And giveth to the caterpillar their increase, And their labour to the locust. 47He destroyeth with hail their vine, And their sycamores with frost, 48And delivereth up to the hail their beasts, And their cattle to the burning flames. 49He sendeth on them the fury of His anger, Wrath, and indignation, and distress -- A discharge of evil messengers. 50He pondereth a path for His anger, He kept not back their soul from death, Yea, their life to the pestilence He delivered up. 51And He smiteth every first-born in Egypt, The first-fruit of the strong in tents of Ham. 52And causeth His people to journey as a flock, And guideth them as a drove in a wilderness, 53And He leadeth them confidently, And they have not been afraid, And their enemies hath the sea covered. 54And He bringeth them in unto the border of His sanctuary, This mountain His right hand had got, 55And casteth out nations from before them, And causeth them to fall in the line of inheritance, And causeth the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents, 56And they tempt and provoke God Most High, And His testimonies have not kept. 57And they turn back, And deal treacherously like their fathers, They have been turned like a deceitful bow, 58And make Him angry with their high places, And with their graven images make Him zealous, 59God hath heard, and sheweth Himself wroth. And kicketh exceedingly against Israel. 60And He leaveth the tabernacle of Shiloh, The tent He had placed among men, 61And He giveth His strength to captivity, And His beauty into the hand of an adversary, 62And delivereth up to the sword His people, And with His inheritance shewed Himself angry. 63His young men hath fire consumed, And His virgins have not been praised. 64His priests by the sword have fallen, And their widows weep not. 65And the Lord waketh as a sleeper, As a mighty one crying aloud from wine. 66And He smiteth His adversaries backward, A reproach age-during He hath put on them, 67And He kicketh against the tent of Joseph, And on the tribe of Ephraim hath not fixed. 68And He chooseth the tribe of Judah, With mount Zion that He loved, 69And buildeth His sanctuary as a high place, Like the earth, He founded it to the age. 70And He fixeth on David His servant, And taketh him from the folds of a flock, 71From behind suckling ones He hath brought him in, To rule over Jacob His people, And over Israel His inheritance. 72And he ruleth them according to the integrity of his heart, And by the skilfulness of his hands leadeth them!
Sin dispirits men, and takes away the heart. Forgetfulness of God's works is the cause of disobedience to his laws. This narrative relates a struggle between God's goodness and man's badness. The Lord hears all our murmurings and distrusts, and is much displeased. Those that will not believe the power of God's mercy, shall feel the fire of his indignation. Those cannot be said to trust in God's salvation as their happiness at last, who can not trust his providence in the way to it. To all that by faith and prayer, ask, seek, and knock, these doors of heaven shall at any time be opened; and our distrust of God is a great aggravation of our sins. He expressed his resentment of their provocation; not in denying what they sinfully lusted after, but in granting it to them. Lust is contented with nothing. Those that indulge their lust, will never be estranged from it. Those hearts are hard indeed, that will neither be melted by the mercies of the Lord, nor broken by his judgments. Those that sin still, must expect to be in trouble still. And the reason why we live with so little comfort, and to so little purpose, is, because we do not live by faith. Under these rebukes they professed repentance, but they were not sincere, for they were not constant. In Israel's history we have a picture of our own hearts and lives. God's patience, and warnings, and mercies, imbolden them to harden their hearts against his word. And the history of kingdoms is much the same. Judgments and mercies have been little attended to, until the measure of their sins has been full. And higher advantages have not kept churches from declining from the commandments of God. Even true believers recollect, that for many a year they abused the kindness of Providence. When they come to heaven, how will they admire the Lord's patience and mercy in bringing them to his kingdom!