Psalm 78 (77)
21How many times did they tempt God! This psalm draws a lesson from the history of Israel: Godís blessings and the ingratitude of his people.
21 Give heed, O my people, to my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth!
2 I will speak in parables, I will talk of old mysteries 3 which we have heard and known, which our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not keep them hid den from our children; we will announce them to the coming generation: the glorious deeds of the Lord, his might and the wonders he has done.
5 He issued decrees for Jacob and set up a law in Is rael, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would learn and teach their own children.
7 They would then put their trust in God, and not forget his deeds and his commands.
8 And not be like their ancestors, stubborn and rebellious people, a peo ple of inconstant heart whose spirit was fickle.
9 Well-armed with bow, the Ephrai mites took flight when the time came to do battle.
10 It is because they did not keep Godís covenant and refused to live by his law.
11 They forgot the marvels he had done, 12 what their ancestors had seen in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and led them across; he made the water stand like a wall.
14 By day he led them with a cloud, and by night with a fiery light.
15 In the desert he split rocks to give them abundant drink.
16 He made streams come out of a rock and caused water to flow like a river.
17 Yet they sinned even more against him and rebelled against the Most High in the desert. 18 They tested God, demanding the food they craved.
19 They blasphemed against God, saying: ďCan God spread a table in the desert?
20 He made water flow out of the rock; can he also give his people bread or meat?Ē
21 When the Lord heard this he was enraged; a fire raged against Jacob, his anger flared against Israel, 22 for they had no faith in God nor trust in his deliverance.
23 Yet he commanded the skies above and opened the doors of hea ven; 24 he rained down manna upon them and fed them with the heavenly grain.
25 They ate and had more than their fill of the bread of angels.
26 Then from heaven he stirred the east wind, and by his power let loose the south wind, 27 to rain down meat on them like dust.
27 Birds as thick as the sand on the seashore 28 fell inside their camp, lying all around their tents.
29 They ate till they were satisfied, for he had given them what they craved.
30 But even before they were finished, while the food was still in their mouths,
31 Godís anger rose against them; he slew the strongest among them and laid low the flower of Israel.
32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning and did not believe,
33 so he swept away their days suddenly as a storm, and their years in terror. 34 When he slew them, they repented and sought him earnestly.
35 They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High, their re deemer.
36 But they flattered him with their mouths, they lied to him with their tongues, 37 while their hearts were unfaithful; they were untrue to his covenant.
38 Even then, in his compassion, he forgave their offenses and did not destroy them.
38 Many a time he restrained his anger and did not fully stir up his wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh, a breeze that passes and never returns.
40 How often did they rebel against him in the wilderness, how often did they grieve him in the desert!
41 Again and again they tested him, and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power in re deeming them from the oppressor; 43 neither his marvels shown in Egypt nor his wonders in the fields of Zoan, 44 when he turned the rivers to blood and the oppressors had nothing to drink.
45 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them, frogs that devastated them.
46 He gave their crops to the caterpillar and their produce to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamores with frost.
48 He struck their herds with plague and their flocks with thunderbolts.
49 He unleashed his fury against them, his wrath, indignation and strife Ė a band of destroying angels.
50 Giving vent to his anger, he did not spare them from death, but gave them over to the plague.
51 He struck down Egyptís firstborn, man hoodís firstfruits in the tents of Ham.
52 Then he led forth his people like a flock, and guided them like sheep through the desert.
53 He led them safely, they did not fear, but the sea engulfed their enemies.
54 He brought them to his holy land, to the mountain his right hand had won.
55 He drove out peoples before them and gave them the land as their inheritance; they pitched their tents in it.
56 But they challenged and rebelled against God the Most High, and disobeyed his decrees.
57 They were unfaithful like their ancestors, deceitful and crooked as a twisted bow.
58 They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols.
59 Filled with wrath, God rejected Israel.
60 He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh, the tent where he dwelt among humans.
61 He lead his glory into captivity, his ark into the hand of the enemy.
62 He gave his people over to the sword, so furious was he at his inheritance.
63 Fire devoured their young men; their maidens were deprived of wedding songs.
64 As their priests fell by the sword, no lament was heard from their widows.
65 Then the Lord awoke, shouting, as from sleep induced by wine; 66 he struck his enemies on their back and put them to everlasting shame.
67 He rejected the house of Jo seph, and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, 68 but the tribe of Judah and Zion, his beloved mountain.
69 He built his sanctuary like heav en, like the earth he founded forever.
70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds; 71 from tending the sheep and their young, he brought him to shepherd Jacob, the people of Israel, his inheritance.
72 And with upright heart David pastured them; with skillful hands he led them.