In The Word
Read: Psalm 78:1-39
God’s Guidance of His People in Spite of Their Unfaithfulness.
A Maskil of Asaph.
78 Listen, O my people, to my instruction;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
3 Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
4 We 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.
5 For 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,
6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
7 That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,
8 And 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.
9 The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows,
Yet they turned back in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep the covenant of God
And refused to walk in His law;
11 They forgot His deeds
And His miracles that He had shown them.
12 He wrought wonders before their fathers
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and caused them to pass through,
And He made the waters stand up like a heap.
14 Then He led them with the cloud by day
And all the night with a light of fire.
15 He split the rocks in the wilderness
And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths.
16 He brought forth streams also from the rock
And caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 Yet they still continued to sin against Him,
To rebel against the Most High in the desert.
18 And in their heart they put God to the test
By asking food according to their desire.
19 Then they spoke against God;
They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 “Behold, 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?”
21 Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath;
And a fire was kindled against Jacob
And anger also mounted against Israel,
22 Because they did not believe in God
And did not trust in His salvation.
23 Yet He commanded the clouds above
And opened the doors of heaven;
24 He rained down manna upon them to eat
And gave them food from heaven.
25 Man did eat the bread of angels;
He sent them food in abundance.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens
And by His power He directed the south wind.
27 When He rained meat upon them like the dust,
Even winged fowl like the sand of the seas,
28 Then He let them fall in the midst of their camp,
Round about their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were well filled,
And their desire He gave to them.
30 Before they had satisfied their desire,
While their food was in their mouths,
31 The anger of God rose against them
And killed some of their stoutest ones,
And subdued the choice men of Israel.
32 In spite of all this they still sinned
And did not believe in His wonderful works.
33 So He brought their days to an end in futility
And their years in sudden terror.
34 When He killed them, then they sought Him,
And returned and searched diligently for God;
35 And they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their Redeemer.
36 But they deceived Him with their mouth
And lied to Him with their tongue.
37 For their heart was not steadfast toward Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
38 But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them;
And often He restrained His anger
And did not arouse all His wrath.
39 Thus He remembered that they were but flesh,
A wind that passes and does not return.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
God commanded the Israelite parents to teach their children His Law and His wonderful acts in their nation’s history. Each generation was to pass the teachings on to the next generation. In this way, each generation would learn to obey God’s commands, to set their hope and confidence in God, and to remember His mighty works. Further, they would learn to not repeat the mistakes of their ancestors who had proven to be stubborn and rebellious. One example of misbehavior that the psalmist cited was the Israelite nation of Ephraim.
God has laid out the best path for us to travel on life’s journey. His Spirit uses the written Word containing truths, commands, and precepts to guide us in the way we should go. God’s Word also recorded the history of His people and the early church so that we can learn from their experiences. Some rightly chose to follow God and were blessed. Others had mistakenly decided to follow their sinful desires and had negative consequences. It has been said that experience is the greatest teacher. However, many people choose not to listen to the wise teachings of God and the experiences of others. Thus, they only learn from their own mistakes.
You are to learn God’s ways for your own life and to be able to teach others. Be able to teach your natural children as well as your spiritual children. In doing so, you will have a godly heritage that will continue for generations to come.