An exhortation both to learn and to preach the Law of God.
Psalms 78:1 Understanding for Asaph. Attend, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. Psalms 78:2 I will open my mouth in parables: I will utter propositions from the beginning. Psalms 78:3 How great things have we heard and known, and our fathers have told us. Psalms 78:4 They have not been hidden from their children, in another generation. Declaring the praises of the Lord, and his powers, and his wonders which he hath done. Psalms 78:5 And he set up a testimony in Jacob: and made a law in Israel. How great things he commanded our fathers, that they should make the same known to their children: Psalms 78:6 That another generation might know them. The children that should be born and should rise up, and declare them to their children. Psalms 78:7 That they may put their hope in God and may not forget the works of God: and may seek his commandments. Psalms 78:8 That they may not become like their fathers, a perverse and exasperating generation. A generation that set not their heart aright: and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
The story of God's wrath against the incredulous and disobedient.
Psalms 78:9 The sons of Ephraim who bend and shoot with the bow: they have turned back in the day of battle. Psalms 78:10 They kept not the covenant of God: and in his law they would not walk. Psalms 78:11 And they forgot his benefits, and his wonders that he had shewn them. Psalms 78:12 Wonderful things did he do in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Tanis. Psalms 78:13 He divided the sea and brought them through: and he made the waters to stand as in a vessel. Psalms 78:14 And he conducted them with a cloud by day: and all the night with a light of fire. Psalms 78:15 He struck the rock in the wilderness: and gave them to drink, as out of the great deep. Psalms 78:16 He brought forth water out of the rock: and made streams run down as rivers. Psalms 78:17 And they added yet more sin against him: they provoked the most High to wrath in the place without water. Psalms 78:18 And they tempted God in their hearts, by asking meat for their desires. Psalms 78:19 And they spoke ill of God: they said: Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Psalms 78:20 Because he struck the rock, and the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed. Can he also give bread, or provide a table for his people? Psalms 78:21 Therefore the Lord heard, and was angry: and a fire was kindled against Jacob, and wrath came up against Israel. Psalms 78:22 Because they believed not in God: and trusted not in his salvation. Psalms 78:23 And he had commanded the clouds from above, and had opened the doors of heaven. Psalms 78:24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them the bread of heaven. Psalms 78:25 Man ate the bread of angels: he sent them provisions in abundance. Psalms 78:26 He removed the south wind from heaven: and by his power brought in the southwest wind. Psalms 78:27 And he rained upon them flesh as dust: and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea. Psalms 78:28 And they fell in the midst of their camp, round about their pavilions. Psalms 78:29 So they did eat, and were filled exceedingly, and he gave them their desire: Psalms 78:30 they were not defrauded of that which they craved. As yet their meat was in their mouth: Psalms 78:31 And the wrath of God came upon them. And he slew the fat ones amongst them, and brought down the chosen men of Israel. Psalms 78:32 In all these things they sinned still: and they behaved not for his wondrous works. Psalms 78:33 And their days were consumed in vanity, and their years in haste. Psalms 78:34 When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned, and came to him early in the morning. Psalms 78:35 And they remembered that God was their helper: and the most high God their redeemer. Psalms 78:36 And they loved him with their mouth: and with their tongue they lied unto him: Psalms 78:37 But their heart was not right with him: nor were they counted faithful in his covenant. Psalms 78:38 But he is merciful, and will forgive their sins: and will not destroy them. And many a time did he turn away his anger: and did not kindle all his wrath. Psalms 78:39 And he remembered that they are flesh: a wind that goeth and returneth not. Psalms 78:40 How often did they provoke him in the desert: and move him to wrath in the place without water? Psalms 78:41 And they turned back and tempted God: and grieved the holy one of Israel. Psalms 78:42 They remembered not his hand, in the day that he redeemed them from the hand of him that afflicted them: Psalms 78:43 How he wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Tanis. Psalms 78:44 And he turned their rivers into blood, and their showers that they might not drink. Psalms 78:45 He sent amongst them divers sorts of flies, which devoured them: and frogs which destroyed them. Psalms 78:46 And he gave up their fruits to the blast, and their labours to the locust. Psalms 78:47 And he destroyed their vineyards with hail, and their mulberry trees with hoarfrost. Psalms 78:48 And he gave up their cattle to the hail, and their stock to the fire. Psalms 78:49 And he sent upon them the wrath of his indignation: indignation and wrath and trouble, which he sent by evil angels. Psalms 78:50 He made a way for a path to his anger: he spared not their souls from death, and their cattle he shut up in death. Psalms 78:51 And he killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt: the firstfruits of all their labour in the tabernacles of Cham. Psalms 78:52 And he took away his own people as sheep: and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. Psalms 78:53 And he brought them out in hope and they feared not: and the sea overwhelmed their enemies. Psalms 78:54 And he brought them into the mountain of his sanctuary: the mountain which his right hand had purchased. And he cast out the Gentiles before them: and by lot divided to them their land by a line of distribution. Psalms 78:55 And he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tabernacles. Psalms 78:56 Yet they tempted, and provoked the most high God: and they kept not his testimonies. Psalms 78:57 And they turned away, and kept not the covenant: even like their fathers they were turned aside as a crooked bow. Psalms 78:58 They provoked him to anger on their hills: and moved him to jealousy with their graven things. Psalms 78:59 God heard, and despised them, and he reduced Israel exceedingly as it were to nothing. Psalms 78:60 And he put away the tabernacle of Silo, his tabernacle where he dwelt among men. Psalms 78:61 And he delivered their strength into captivity: and their beauty into the hands of the enemy. Psalms 78:62 And he shut up his people under the sword: and he despised his inheritance. Psalms 78:63 Fire consumed their young men: and their maidens were not lamented. Psalms 78:64 Their priests fell by the sword: and their widows did not mourn. Psalms 78:65 And the Lord was awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that hath been surfeited with wine. Psalms 78:66 And he smote his enemies on the hinder parts: he put them to an everlasting reproach.
The Israelites being rejected, God chose Judah, Zion, and David.
Psalms 78:67 And he rejected the tabernacle of Joseph: and chose not the tribe of Ephraim: Psalms 78:68 But he chose the tribe of Juda, mount Sion which he loved. Psalms 78:69 And he built his sanctuary as of unicorns, in the land which he founded for ever. Psalms 78:70 And he chose his servant David, and took him from the flocks of sheep: he brought him from following the ewes great with young, Psalms 78:71 To feed Jacob his servant and Israel his inheritance. Psalms 78:72 And he fed them in the innocence of his heart: and conducted them by the skilfulness of his hands.