Psalms 78 to 79 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Psalm 78

One of Asaph’s maskils.*

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. In this is the way, 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. 30They did not control their appetites, so they ate the quail before draining the blood from the birds. 31God 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.

maskils The exact meaning of “maskil” is not clear. It might mean “a poem of meditation,” “a poem of instruction,” or “a skillfully-written poem.” Jacob Another name for Israel. See Gen. 32:22–28. ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from.  Jacob Another name for Israel. See Gen. 32:22–28. manna The special food God sent to the people of Israel while they wandered through the desert for 40 years. quail A kind of bird. ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. descendants A person’s children and their future families. Rock A name for God to show he is a strong place of safety. Agreement Literally, “Proof.” The flat stones with the Ten Commandments written on them were proof of the Agreement between God and Israel. firstborn The first child born into a family. The firstborn son was very important in ancient times. Ham The Egyptians were Ham’s descendants. See Gen. 10:6–10. boomerang A curved stick used in hunting birds. When thrown properly, it will fly straight and low to the ground and then suddenly curve up into the air, sometimes even coming back to the thrower. Literally, “a throwing bow” or “deceptive bow.” high places Places for worshiping God or false gods. These places were often on the hills and mountains. Holy Tent at Shiloh See 1 Sam. 4:10–11; Jer. 7:17.

Psalm 79

One of Asaph’s songs of praise.

1God, some people from other nations came to fight your people. Those people ruined your holy temple. They left Jerusalem in ruins. 2The enemy left the bodies of your servants for the wild birds to eat. They left the bodies of your followers for wild animals to eat. 3God, the enemy killed your people until the blood flowed like water. No person is left to bury the dead bodies. 4The countries around us insulted us. The people around us laughed at us and made fun of us. 5God, will you be angry at us forever? Will your strong feelings* continue to burn like a fire? 6God, turn your anger against the nations that don’t know you. Turn your anger against nations that don’t worship your name. 7Those nations destroyed Jacob.* They destroyed Jacob’s country. 8God, please don’t punish us for the sins of our ancestors.* Hurry, show us your mercy! We need you so much! 9Our God and Savior, help us! Help us! Save us! That will bring glory to your name. Erase our sins for the good of your name. 10Don’t let other nations say to us, “Where is your God? Can’t he help you?” God, punish those people so we can see it. Punish them for killing your servants. 11Please listen to the prisoners’ groan! God, use your great power and save the people who were chosen to die. 12God, punish the people around us seven times for what they did to us. Punish those people for insulting you. 13We are your people. We are the sheep in your flock. We will praise you forever. God, we will praise you forever and ever.

strong feelings The Hebrew word can mean any strong feeling such as zeal, jealousy, or love. Jacob Another name for Israel. See Gen. 32:22–28. ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from.

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