Psalm 78

1My people, listen to my teachings. Listen to the things I say. 2I will tell you this story. I will tell you this old story. 3We heard the story, and we know it well. Our fathers told this story. 4And we will not forget the story. Our people will be telling the story to the last generation. We will all praise the Lord, and tell about the amazing things he did. 5The Lord made an Agreement with Jacob. God gave the Law to Israel. God gave the commands to our ancestors. He told our ancestors to teach the Law to their descendants. 6New children will be born. They will grow to become adults. And they will tell the stories to their children. Then people will know the Law, even to the last generation. 7So all those people will trust God. They will not forget what God did. They will carefully obey his commands. 8If the people teach their God’s commands to their children, then the children will not be like their ancestors. Their ancestors turned against God. They refused to obey him. Those people were stubborn. They were not loyal to God’s Spirit. 9The men from Ephraim had their weapons, but they ran away from the battle. 10They didn’t keep their Agreement with God. They refused to obey his teachings. 11Those men from Ephraim forgot the great things God did. They forgot the amazing things he showed them. 12God showed their fathers his great power at Zoan in Egypt. 13God split the Red Sea and led the people across. The water stood like a solid wall on both sides of them. 14Each day God led them with the tall cloud. And each night God led them with the light from the column of fire. 15God split the rock in the desert. He gave those people water from deep in the ground. 16God brought the water streaming from the rock like a river! 17But the people continued to sin against God. They turned against God Most-High even in the desert. 18Then those people decided to test God. They asked God for food, just to satisfy their appetites. 19They complained about God and said, “Can God give us food in the desert? 20He hit the rock and a flood of water came out. Surely he can give us some bread and meat!” 21The Lord heard what those people said. God was very angry at Jacob. God was very angry at Israel. 22Why? Because the people did not trust him. They did not believe God could save them. 23- 24But then God opened the clouds above, and manna rained down on them for food. It was like doors in the sky opened, and grain poured down from a storehouse in the sky. 25People ate the food of angels. God sent plenty of food to satisfy them. 26- 27God sent a strong wind from the east, and quail fell on them like rain. God made the wind blow from Teman, and the blue sky became dark because there were so many birds. 28The birds fell right in the middle of camp, all around those people’s tents. 29They had plenty to eat, but they let their appetites make them sin. 30But they were not satisfied. The meat was still in their mouth 31when God became very angry at those people, and he killed many of them. God caused many healthy young people to die. 32But the people still sinned again! They didn’t depend on the amazing things that God could do. 33So God ended their worthless lives with some disaster. 34Whenever God killed some of them, the others would turn back to him. They would come running back to God. 35Those people would remember that God was their Rock, They would remember that God Most-High saved them. 36˻They said they loved him,˼ but they lied. Those people were not serious. 37Their hearts were not really with God. They were not faithful to the Agreement. 38But God was merciful. He forgave them for their sins. And he did not destroy them. Many times God controlled his anger. He didn't let himself become too angry. 39God remembered they were only people. People are like a wind that blows, and then it is gone. 40Oh, those people caused God so many troubles in the desert! They made him so sad! 41Again and again those people tested God’s patience. They really hurt the Holy One of Israel. 42Those people forgot about God’s power. They forgot the many times that God saved them from the enemy. 43They forgot the miracles in Egypt, the miracles in the fields of Zoan. 44God turned the rivers to blood! The Egyptians could not drink the water. 45God sent swarms of flies that bit the people of Egypt. God sent the frogs that ruined the Egyptians’ lives. 46God gave their crops to the grasshoppers, and their other plants to the locusts. 47God used hail to destroy their vines. And he used sleet to destroy their trees. 48God killed their animals with hail, and their cattle with lightning. 49God showed the Egyptian people his anger. He sent his destroying angels against them. 50God found a way to show his anger. He did not let any of those people live. He let them die with a deadly disease. 51God killed all the firstborn sons in Egypt. He killed every firstborn in Ham’s family. 52Then God led Israel like a shepherd. He led his people like sheep into the desert. 53He guided his people safely. His people had nothing to be afraid of. He drowned their enemies in the Red Sea. 54God led his people to his holy land, to the mountain he took with his power. 55God forced the other nations to leave that land. God gave each family its share of the land. God gave each family group of Israel its home to live in. 56But they tested God Most-High and made him very sad. Those people didn't obey God’s commands. 57The people of Israel turned away from God. They turned against him just like their fathers did. They changed directions like a boomerang. 58The people of Israel built high places and made God angry. They built statues of false gods and made God very jealous. 59God heard this and became very angry. And He rejected Israel completely! 60God abandoned the Holy Tent at Shiloh. God lived in that tent among the people. 61God let other nations capture his people. Enemies took God’s “beautiful jewel.” 62God showed his anger against his people. He let them be killed in war. 63The young men were burned to death, and the girls they were to marry sang no wedding songs. 64The priests were killed, but the widows did not cry for them. 65Finally, our Master got up like a man waking from his sleep, like a soldier after drinking too much wine. 66God forced his enemy back and defeated them. God defeated his enemies and disgraced them forever. 67But God rejected Joseph’s family. God did not accept Ephraim’s family. 68No, God chose Judah’s family group. God chose Zion, the mountain he loves. 69God built his holy temple high on that mountain. God built his holy temple to last forever, just like the earth. 70God chose David to be his special servant. David was guarding the sheep pens, but God took him away from that job. 71David was caring for sheep, but God took him away from that job. God gave David the job of caring for his people, the people of Jacob, the people of Israel, God’s property. 72And David led them with a pure heart. He led them very wisely.

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