PSALM 78 [8 7 8 7 7 7] Sing Psalms
1-2 O my people, hear my teaching;
parables I will unfold.
Give attention as I utter
dark and hidden things of old—
3 things that we have heard and known;
by our fathers they were shown.
4 We will tell them to our children,
generations yet to come;
We will show the LORD’s great power
and the wonders he has done.
5 Laws for Israèl he made,
statutes firm to be obeyed.
These he ordered our forefathers
to their families to tell,
6 So the coming generation,
not yet born, would know them well,
and their children, in their turn,
God’s commands and laws would learn.
7 Then to God they would be faithful,
mindful of what he had done—
8 Not like their disloyal fathers,
stubborn rebels every one;
for God’s word they had denied
and his precepts they defied.
9 Such were those of Ephraim’s army
who, though strong and armed with bows,
10 To the cov’nant were disloyal,
turned their back upon their foes.
11 They forgot what God had done,
and the wonders he had shown.
12 He showed wonders to their fathers
while they were in Egypt’s land—
13 Split the sea and led them through it,
waters heaped on either hand.
14 With the cloud he led by day;
fire by night revealed their way.
15 In the desert God brought water
from the rock to quench their thirst—
Waters brimming like the ocean,
16 streams from rocky crags that burst.
17 But they always would defy
and reject him, God Most High.
18-19 In the desert God they challenged:
“Can he satisfy our taste?
20 When he struck the rock, it opened,
down the crag the waters raced.
Now our thirst is satisfied,
can he food for us provide?”
21 When the LORD heard, he was angry,
and his wrath broke out like fire;
Jacob knew his fierce displeasure,
Israèl his righteous ire.
22 Faith in God they cast aside
and his saving power denied.
23 To the skies he gave the order;
heaven’s doors he opened wide.
24 Manna rained down for his people;
grain of heaven he supplied.
25 Angels’ bread lay at their feet;
they had all that they could eat.
26 From the heav’ns he loosed the east wind,
led the south wind forth with power.
27 Meat, like dust, he rained upon them,
birds like sand upon the shore.
28 In the camp came down the quail,
all around their tents like hail.
29 Thus in gluttony they feasted,
for he gave them their desire.
30 But before they finished eating
31 God’s displeasure blazed like fire.
So their stoutest warriors fell,
and the youth of Israèl.
32 Still they disbelieved his wonders,
kept on sinning nonetheless.
33 So he closed their days in terror
and their years in emptiness.
34 When he punished them, they turned,
and with zeal for him they burned.
35 God their Rock they then remembered,
their Redeemer, God Most High;
36 But their words were meant to flatter,
what they told him was a lie.
37 In their hearts they were untrue;
from his cov’nant they withdrew.
38 Yet in mercy he forgave them;
from destruction he refrained.
Many times he curbed his anger
and his utmost wrath restrained.
39 That they were but flesh, he knew—
like a passing breeze that blew.
40 How they grieved him in the desert,
ever ready to rebel—
41 Vexed the Holy One and tested
the great God of Israèl!
42-43 They forgot his wonders shown
to them in the fields of Zoan.
They forgot his signs in Egypt,
when from hardship they were saved,
44 When to blood he turned its river,
making foul the drink they craved.
45 God sent swarms of flies to bite,
hordes of frogs their land to blight.
46 He gave Egypt’s crops to locusts,
and the swarms ate all their store.
47 Freezing rain destroyed their fig trees,
and the hail their vineyards tore.
48 Hailstones battered all their stock;
lightning bolts their cattle struck.
49 Egypt felt his indignation,
dread hostility and wrath.
By his angels of destruction
50 for his rage he made a path.
Ev’n from death he did not spare;
mortal plague he made them bear.
51 All the firstborn sons of Egypt
in the tents of Ham he struck.
52 But from there he led his people
through the desert like a flock.
53 Fearless, they were safely led;
in the sea their foes lay dead.
54 To his holy land he brought them,
to the hills seized by his hand;
55 He drove nations out before them,
and assigned to them their land,
where, as their inheritance,
Isr’el’s tribes found residence.
56 But once more their God they tested,
spurning the Most High anew.
57 They were faithless like their fathers;
like a faulty bow, untrue.
58 Their high places stirred his ire;
their false gods, his jealous fire.
59 When God heard them, he was angry;
he abandoned Israèl.
60 He forsook the tent of Shiloh,
where he vowed with them to dwell;
61 sent his glory far away,
gave his ark with foes to stay.
62 Angry, he forsook his people,
slew his own inheritance.
63 Fire consumed their choice young manhood;
maidens had no wedding dance.
64 Priests lay slaughtered by the sword;
widows could not speak a word.
65 Then the Lord awoke from slumber,
as a man with wine replete
Wakes recovered from his stupor.
66 Then he made his foes retreat;
like a rabble they became,
put to everlasting shame.
67 He passed by the tents of Joseph,
and the tribe of Ephraim;
68 But he chose the tribe of Judah,
and Mount Zion, loved by him.
69 There he built his dwelling sure,
like the earth, to stand secure.
70 So he chose his servant David,
71 bringing him from tending sheep,
To be shepherd of his people,
God’s inheritance to keep.
72 Faithfully by David fed,
they with skilful hands were led.