Psalm 78

1 Give heed to my teaching, O my people:
    incline your ears to the words of my mouth;
2 For I will open my mouth in a parable:
    and expound the mysteries of former times.
3 What we have heard and known:
    what our forebears have told us,
4 We will not hide from their children, but declare to a generation yet to come:
    the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, his mighty and wonderful works.
5 He established a law in Jacob and made a decree in Israel:
    which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children,
6 That future generations might know, and those yet unborn:
    that they in turn might teach it to their children;
7 So that they might put their confidence in God:
    and not forget his works, but keep his commandments,
8 And not be as their forebears, a stubborn and rebellious generation:
    a generation that did not set their heart aright, whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9 The children of Ephraim, armed with the bow:
    turned back in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep God's covenant, they refused to walk in his law:
    they forgot what he had done, and the wonders he had shown them.
11 For he did marvellous things in the sight of their ancestors:
    in the land of Egypt, in the country of Zoan.
12 He divided the sea and let them pass through:
    he made the waters stand up in a heap.
13 In the daytime he led them with a cloud:
    and all night long with the light of fire.
14 He cleft rocks in the wilderness:
    and gave them drink in abundance as from springs of water.
15 He brought streams out of the rock:
    and caused the waters to flow down like rivers.
16 But for all this they sinned yet more against him:
    and rebelled against the Most High in the desert.
17 They wilfully put God to the test:
    and demanded food for their appetite.
18 They spoke against God, and said:
    'Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
19 'He indeed struck the rock, so that the waters gushed and the streams overflowed:
    but can he also give bread, or provide meat for his people?'
20 When the Lord heard it he was angry, and a fire was kindled against Jacob:
    his wrath blazed against Israel.
21 For they put no trust in God:
    nor would they believe his power to save.
22 Then he commanded the clouds above:
    and opened the doors of heaven.
23 He rained down manna for them to eat:
    and gave them the grain of heaven.
24 So they ate the bread of angels:
    and he sent them food in abundance.
25 He stirred up the south east wind in the heavens:
    and guided it by his power.
26 He rained down meat upon them thick as dust:
    and winged birds like the sands of the sea.
27 He made them fall into the midst of their camp:
    and all about their tents.
28 So they ate and were well-filled:
    for he had given them what they desired.
29 But before they had satisfied their craving:
    while the food was still in their mouths,
30 The anger of God blazed up against them:
    and he slew their strongest men, and laid low the youth of Israel.
31 But for all this they sinned yet more:
    and put no faith in his wonders.
32 So he ended their days like a breath:
    and their years with sudden terror.
33 When he struck them down, then they sought him:
    they turned, and sought eagerly for God.
34 They remembered that God was their rock:
    that God Most High was their redeemer.
35 But they lied to him with their mouths:
    and dissembled with their tongues;
36 For their hearts were not fixed upon him:
    nor were they true to his covenant.
37 Yet he, being merciful, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them:
    many times he turned his anger aside, and would not wholly arouse his fury.
38 He remembered that they were but flesh:
    like a wind that passes, and does not return.
39 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness:
    and grieved him in the desert!
40 Again and again they put God to the test:
    and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
41 They did not remember his power:
    or the day when he redeemed them from the enemy;
42 How he wrought his signs in Egypt:
    his wonders in the country of Zoan.
43 For he turned their rivers into blood:
    so that they could not drink from the streams.
44 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them:
    and frogs that laid them waste.
45 He gave their crops to the locust:
    and the fruits of their labour to the grasshopper.
46 He struck down their vines with hailstones:
    and their sycomore trees with frost.
47 He gave up their cattle to the hail:
    and their flocks to the flash of the lightning.
48 He loosed on them the fierceness of his anger, his fury, his indignation and distress:
    and these were his messengers of destruction.
49 He opened a path for his fury:
    he would not spare them from death, but gave up their lives to the pestilence.
50 He struck down the firstborn of Egypt:
    the first-fruits of their strength in the dwellings of Ham.
51 As for his own people, he led them out like sheep:
    and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
52 He led them in safety, and they were not afraid:
    but the sea covered their enemies.
53 He brought them to his holy land:
    to the mountains that his own right hand had won.
54 He drove out the nations before them, and apportioned their lands as a possession:
    and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
55 But they rebelled against God Most High and put him to the test:
    they would not obey his commandments.
56 They turned back and dealt treacherously like their parents:
    they turned aside, slack as an unstrung bow.
57 They provoked him to anger with their heathen shrines:
    and moved him to jealousy with their carved images.
58 God heard and was angry, he utterly rejected Israel:
    he forsook the tabernacle at Shiloh, the tent where he had dwelt among us.
59 He gave the ark of his might into captivity:
    and his glory into the hands of the enemy.
60 He delivered his people to the sword:
    and was enraged against his own possession.
61 Fire devoured the young men:
    there was no one to bewail the maidens;
62 Their priests fell by the sword:
    and there was none to mourn for the widows.
63 Then the Lord awoke like a man out of sleep:
    like a warrior that had been overcome with wine.
64 He struck the backs of his enemies as they fled:
    and put them to perpetual shame.
65 He rejected the family of Joseph:
    he refused the tribe of Ephraim.
66 But he chose the tribe of Judah:
    and the hill of Zion which he loved.
67 He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven:
    like the earth which he had founded for ever.
68 He chose David his servant:
    and took him from the sheepfolds;
69 He brought him from following the ewes:
    to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, and of Israel his own possession.
70 So he tended them with upright heart:
    and guided them with skilful hand.