Psalm 78

CM (86.86)
From The Book of Psalms for Worship, © Crown and Covenant, used with permission

1O come, my people, to my law; attentively give ear;
The words that from my mouth proceed, incline yourselves to hear.
2My mouth will speak a parable, the sayings dark of old,
3Which we have listened to and known as by our fathers told.

4We’ll from their children hide them not, but tell the age to come
the praises of the Lord, His strength, the wonders He has done.
5His word He unto Jacob gave; His law to Israel,
Which He our fathers did command, to teach their children well,

6That children yet unborn might know, and their descendants lead,
7To trust in God, recall God’s works, and His commandments heed;
8And not be what their fathers were – rebellious through and through,
For they would not correct their hearts, nor unto God stay true.

9For Ephraim’s sons, though armed with bows, in battle did retreat;
10They in God’s law refused to walk, His cov’nant would not keep.
11All of His deeds they soon forgot, His miracles of might;
12In Egypt’s land, in Zoan’s field, before their fathers’ sight.

13He split the sea to let them pass, the waters stood aside;
14By day He led them with a cloud, and fire at night to guide.
15He split the rocks and gave them drink, as from great deeps below;
16He from the rock brought running streams; like rivers, waters flowed.

17Yet in the desert still they sinned, and from the Most High turned.
18They tested God, demanding food, and all for which they yearned.
19They spoke against their God and said, “Can even God provide,
A table in the wilderness, that we may be supplied?”

20“Behold, He struck the rock, and out gushed streams of water sweet;
But can He give His people bread, and furnish them with meat?”
21Because the Lord heard this, His wrath was kindled into flame;
On Jacob, and on Israel, His indignation came.

22For they did not believe in God, nor trust His saving love.
23But still He opened heaven’s doors; commanded skies above;
24And rained His manna down on them; from heaven gave them bread.
25And man partook of angels’ food, abundantly was fed.

26In heav’n He made the east wind blow, the south wind did command;
27He rained down meat on them like dust, and birds like ocean sand.
28He let them fall inside their camp by tents on every side;
29And so they ate till they were filled; Their greed He satisfied.

30But while their mouths were crammed with food, God’s wrath upon them fell;
31He killed their strong young men, cut down the best of Israel.
32And yet despite His miracles, they sinned in unbelief;
33So He cut off their futile lives, their years with sudden grief.

34They’d turn and seek God eagerly when He had made some die;
35Then they remembered God, their Rock, Their Savior, God Most High.
36But Him they served with empty words, and with their tongue they lied;
37Their heart was not sincere toward Him; His cov’nant they denied.

38Yet He, instead of killing them, forgave iniquity,
And in compassion He restrained His wrath repeatedly.
39His anger He does not stir up; That they are flesh He knows –
A wind that never does return when once it comes and goes.

40These rebels in the wilderness kept grieving Him again;
41Kept testing Isr’el’s Holy One, and so to God brought pain.
42His pow’r in freeing them from foes, they would not keep in mind;
43The miracles in Zoan’s field, in Egypt, mighty signs.

44He turned their rivers into blood, which could not quench their thirst;
45He sent devouring swarms of flies, with frogs their land He cursed.
46Their crops by insects were destroyed, to locusts, all was lost;
47He killed their tender vines with hail, their sycamores with frost.

48He struck their flocks with lightning bolts, with hail their herds destroyed;
49In anger, wrath, and hostile rage, death’s angels He deployed.
50He for His anger smoothed a path, they were not spared from death;
But striking with a deadly plague, he took away their breath.

51Then He struck down in Egypt’s land their first-born sons, their pride,
Until in all the tents of Ham, their heirs of strength had died.
52But His own people forth like sheep, He brought with guiding hand;
And led His people like a flock across the desert land.

53He led them safely, unafraid; the sea engulfed their foes.
54He brought them to his holy land, the hills His right hand chose.
55Before them He drove nations out, from lands and from their tents;
Allotted these to Isr’el’s tribes for their inheritance.

56Yet they rebelled and tested God; The Most High’s law they spurned.
57As faithless as their fathers were, like treach’rous bow, they turned.
58Their shrines and idols angered Him, provoked His jealousy.
59God heard and turned from Israel, He spurned them angrily.

60His place in Shiloh He has left; The tent He made with men.
61To exile He gave up His strength, to foes His glory then.
62He gave His people to the sword; allowed them to be killed.
Against His own inheritance, with anger He was filled.

63Their young men were devoured by fire; their maidens left unwed;
64And when their priests fell by the sword, no tears their widows shed.
65As when wine makes the soldier bold, as one wakes with a start;
66The Lord drove back his enemies, whose shame shall not depart.

67Then He rejected Joseph’s tent, the tribe of Ephraim;
68But He the tribe of Judah chose, Mount Zion, loved by Him.
69Like heights He built His holy place, forever firm to keep;
70He for His servant David chose, took him from guarding sheep.

71From tending ewes, He brought him out to shepherd Jacob well;
To care for His inheritance, His chosen Israel.
72So with integrity of heart, them faithfully he fed;
And with his understanding hands, he guided as he led.


The Psalms are the hymnbook of the people of God, and they are meant to be sung. Join us on this exciting journey as we learn to sing the Word!