God’s Guidance of His People in Spite of Their Unfaithfulness.
1Listen, O my people, to my instruction;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
3Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
4We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
5For He established a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should teach them to their children,
6That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
7That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,
8And not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows,
Yet they turned back in the day of battle.
10They did not keep the covenant of God
And refused to walk in His law;
11They forgot His deeds
And His miracles that He had shown them.
12He wrought wonders before their fathers
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13He divided the sea and caused them to pass through,
And He made the waters stand up like a heap.
14Then He led them with the cloud by day
And all the night with a light of fire.
15He split the rocks in the wilderness
And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths.
16He brought forth streams also from the rock
And caused waters to run down like rivers.
17Yet they still continued to sin against Him,
To rebel against the Most High in the desert.
18And in their heart they put God to the test
By asking food according to their desire.
19Then they spoke against God;
They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out,
And streams were overflowing;
Can He give bread also?
Will He provide meat for His people?”
21Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath;
And a fire was kindled against Jacob
And anger also mounted against Israel,
22Because they did not believe in God
And did not trust in His salvation.
23Yet He commanded the clouds above
And opened the doors of heaven;
24He rained down manna upon them to eat
And gave them food from heaven.
25Man did eat the bread of angels;
He sent them food in abundance.
26He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens
And by His power He directed the south wind.
27When He rained meat upon them like the dust,
Even winged fowl like the sand of the seas,
28Then He let them fall in the midst of their camp,
Round about their dwellings.
29So they ate and were well filled,
And their desire He gave to them.
30Before they had satisfied their desire,
While their food was in their mouths,
31The anger of God rose against them
And killed some of their stoutest ones,
And subdued the choice men of Israel.
32In spite of all this they still sinned
And did not believe in His wonderful works.
33So He brought their days to an end in futility
And their years in sudden terror.
34When He killed them, then they sought Him,
And returned and searched diligently for God;
35And they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their Redeemer.
36But they deceived Him with their mouth
And lied to Him with their tongue.
37For their heart was not steadfast toward Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
38But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them;
And often He restrained His anger
And did not arouse all His wrath.
39Thus He remembered that they were but flesh,
A wind that passes and does not return.
40How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness
And grieved Him in the desert!
41Again and again they tempted God,
And pained the Holy One of Israel.
42They did not remember His power,
The day when He redeemed them from the adversary,
43When He performed His signs in Egypt
And His marvels in the field of Zoan,
44And turned their rivers to blood,
And their streams, they could not drink.
45He sent among them swarms of flies which devoured them,
And frogs which destroyed them.
46He gave also their crops to the grasshopper
And the product of their labor to the locust.
47He destroyed their vines with hailstones
And their sycamore trees with frost.
48He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones
And their herds to bolts of lightning.
49He sent upon them His burning anger,
Fury and indignation and trouble,
A band of destroying angels.
50He leveled a path for His anger;
He did not spare their soul from death,
But gave over their life to the plague,
51And smote all the firstborn in Egypt,
The first issue of their virility in the tents of Ham.
52But He led forth His own people like sheep
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock;
53He led them safely, so that they did not fear;
But the sea engulfed their enemies.
54So He brought them to His holy land,
To this hill country which His right hand had gained.
55He also drove out the nations before them
And apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement,
And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.
56Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God
And did not keep His testimonies,
57But turned back and acted treacherously like their fathers;
They turned aside like a treacherous bow.
58For they provoked Him with their high places
And aroused His jealousy with their graven images.
59When God heard, He was filled with wrath
And greatly abhorred Israel;
60So that He abandoned the dwelling place at Shiloh,
The tent which He had pitched among men,
61And gave up His strength to captivity
And His glory into the hand of the adversary.
62He also delivered His people to the sword,
And was filled with wrath at His inheritance.
63Fire devoured His young men,
And His virgins had no wedding songs.
64His priests fell by the sword,
And His widows could not weep.
65Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep,
Like a warrior overcome by wine.
66He drove His adversaries backward;
He put on them an everlasting reproach.
67He also rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which He loved.
69And He built His sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which He has founded forever.
70He also chose David His servant
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71From the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.
72So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them with his skillful hands.