78
A psalm written by Asaph
My friends, listen to what I am going to teach you;
pay careful attention [IDM] to what I say.
I am going to give you some sayings that wise people have said.
They will be sayings about things that happened long ago,
things that were difficult to understand [MET],
things that we have heard and known previously,
things that our parents and grandparents told us.
We will tell these things to our children [LIT],
and we will also tell to our grandchildren
about Yahweh's power and the glorious/great things that he has done.
He gave laws and commandments to the Israeli people,
those who are the descendants of Jacob [DOU],
and he told our ancestors to teach them to their children
in order that their children would also know them
and then they would teach them to their children.
In that way, they also would trust in God,
and not forget the things that he has done;
instead, they would obey his commandments.
They would not be like their ancestors,
who were very stubborn and kept rebelling against God;
they did not continue firmly trusting in God,
and they did not worship only him.
 
The soldiers of the tribe of Ephraim had bows and arrows
but they ran away from their enemies on the day that they fought a battle with their enemies.
10 They did not do what they had agreed with God that they would do;
they refused to obey his laws.
11 They forgot what he had done;
they forgot about the miracles that they had seen him perform.
12 While our ancestors were watching,
God performed miracles in the area around Zoan city in Egypt.
13  Then he caused the Red Sea to divide,
causing the water on each side to pile up like a wall,
with the result that our ancestors walked through it on dry ground.
14 He led them by a bright cloud during the day
and by a fiery light during the night.
15 He split rocks open in the desert,
giving to our ancestors plenty of water from deep inside the earth.
16 He caused a stream of water to flow from the rock;
the water flowed like a river [DOU].
 
17 But our ancestors continued to sin against God;
in the desert they rebelled against the one who is greater than any other god.
18 By demanding that God give them the food that they desired,
they tried to find out if he would always do what they requested him to do.
19 They insulted God by saying, “We don't think he can supply food for us here in this desert!
20  It is true that he struck the rock,
with the result that water gushed/flowed out,
but ◄can he also provide bread and meat for us, his people?/we doubt that he can also provide bread and meat for us, his people.►” [RHQ]
21 So, when Yahweh heard that, he became very angry,
and he sent a fire to burn up some of his Israeli people. [MTY, DOU]
22  He did that because they did not trust in him,
and they did not believe that he would rescue them.
23 But God spoke to the sky above them;
he commanded it to open like a door,
24 and then food fell down like rain,
food which they named ❛manna❜;
God gave them grain from ◄heaven/the sky►.
25  So the people ate the food that angels eat,
and God gave to them all the manna that they wanted.
26  Later, he caused the wind to blow from the east,
and by his power he also sent wind from the south,
27 and the wind brought birds
which were as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore.
28 God caused those birds to fall dead in the middle of ◄their camp►/the area where the people had put up their tents.
There were dead birds all around their tents.
29  So the people cooked the birds and ate the meat and their stomachs were full,
because God had given them what they wanted.
30 But before they had eaten all that they wanted,
and while they were still eating it,
31 God was still very angry with them,
and he caused their strongest men to die;
he got rid of many of the finest young Israeli men.
 
32 In spite of all that, the people continued to sin;
in spite of all the miracles that God had performed,
they still did not trust that he would take care of them.
33 So, he caused their lives to end as quickly as a puff of wind ends;
they died when disasters suddenly struck them.
34 When God caused some of them to die,
the others turned to God;
they repented and earnestly asked God to save them.
35 They remembered that God is like a huge rock ledge under which they would be safe [MET],
and that he, who was greater than any other god, is the one who protected/rescued them.
36 But they tried to deceive God by what they said [MTY];
their words [MTY] were all lies.
37 They were not loyal to him;
they disregarded/ignored the agreement that he had made with them.
38 But God was merciful to his people.
He forgave them for having sinned
and did not get rid of them.
Many times he refrained from becoming angry with them
and restrained from furiously/severely punishing them [MTY].
39 He remembered/considered that they were only humans who die;
they disappear quickly [SIM], like a wind that blows by and then is gone.
 
40 Many times our ancestors rebelled against God in the desert
and caused him to become very sad.
41 Many times they did evil things, to find out if they could do those things without God punishing them.
They frequently caused the holy God of Israel to become disgusted/sad.
42 They forgot about his great power,
and they ◄forgot/did not think► about the time when he rescued them from their enemies.
43 They forgot about when he performed many miracles
in the area near Zoan city in Egypt.
44 He caused the Nile River (OR, their sources of water) to become red like blood,
with the result that the people of Egypt had no water to drink.
45 He sent among the people of Egypt swarms of flies that bit them,
and he sent frogs that ate up everything.
46 He sent locusts to eat their crops
and the other things that grew in their fields.
47 He sent hail that destroyed the grapevines,
and sent frost that ruined the figs.
48 He sent hail that killed their cattle
and sent lightning that killed their sheep and cows.
49 Because God was fiercely angry with the people of Egypt,
he caused them to be very distressed.
The disasters that struck them were like a group of angels that destroyed everything.
50 He did not lessen his being angry with them,
and he did not ◄spare their lives/prevent them from dying►;
he sent a ◄plague/serious illness► that killed many of them.
51 He also caused all the firstborn sons of the people of Egypt to die.
52 Then he led his people out of Egypt like a shepherd leads his sheep [SIM],
and he guided them while they walked through the desert.
53 He led them safely, and they were not afraid,
but their enemies were drowned in the sea.
54  Later he brought them to Canaan, his sacred land,
to Zion Hill (OR, the hilly area)
and by his power [MTY] he enabled them to conquer the people who were living there.
55 He expelled the people-groups while his people were advancing;
he allotted part of the land for each tribe to possess,
and he gave to the Israeli people the houses of those people who had been expelled.
 
56 However, the Israeli people rebelled against God, who is greater than any other god,
and they did many evil things to see if they could do those things without God punishing them,
and they did not obey his commandments.
57 Instead, like their ancestors did, they rebelled against God and ◄were not loyal to/did not faithfully obey► him;
they were as unreliable as a crooked arrow that does not go straight [SIM].
58 Because they worshiped carved images of their gods on the tops of hills,
they caused God to become angry [DOU].
59 He saw what they were doing and became very angry,
so he rejected the Israeli people.
60 He no longer appeared to them at Shiloh
in the tent where he had lived among them.
61 He allowed their enemies to capture the sacred chest,
which was the symbol of his power and his glory.
62 Because he was angry with his people,
he allowed them to be killed [MTY] by their enemies.
63 Young men were killed in battles,
with the result that the young women had no one to marry.
64  Many priests were killed by their enemies' swords,
and ◄the people did not allow the priests' widows/the priests' widows were not allowed► to mourn.
 
65 Later, it was as though the Lord awoke from sleeping;
he was like a strong man who ◄became stimulated/felt that he was strong► by (OR, became sober after) drinking a lot of wine [SIM].
66 He pushed their enemies back
and caused them to be very ashamed for a long time [HYP]
because they had been defeated.
67  But he did not set up his tent where the people of the tribe of Ephraim lived;
he did not choose their area to do that.
68 Instead he chose the area where the tribe of Judah lived;
he chose Zion Hill, which he loves.
69 He decided to have his temple built there, high up, like his home in heaven;
he caused it to be firm,
and intended that his temple would last forever, like the earth.
70 He chose David, who served him faithfully,
and took him from the pastures
71 where he was taking care of his father's sheep,
and appointed him to be the leader [MET] of the Israeli people,
the people who belong to God.
72 David took care of the Israeli people sincerely and wholeheartedly,
and guided them skillfully/wisely.