Psalm 78

1650 psalter

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: Old 44th

Old 44th

Psalm 78

¹Attend, my people, to my law;
Thereto give thou an ear;
The words that from my mouth proceed
Attentively do hear.

²My mouth shall speak a parable,
And sayings dark of old;
³The same which we have heard and known,
And us our fathers told.

⁴We also will them not conceal
From their posterity;
Them to the generation
To come declare will we:

The praises of the LORD our God,
And his almighty strength,
The wondrous works that he hath done,
We will show forth at length.

⁵His testimony and his law
In Isr’el he did place,
And charg’d our fathers it to show
To their succeeding race;

⁶That so the race which was to come
Might well them learn and know;
And sons unborn, who should arise,
Might to their sons them show:

⁷That they might set their hope in God,
And suffer not to fall
His mighty works out of their mind,
But keep his precepts all:

⁸And might not, like their fathers, be
A stiff rebellious race;
A race not right in heart; with God
Whose sp’rit not steadfast was.

⁹The sons of Ephraim, who nor bows
Nor other arms did lack,
When as the day of battle was,
They faintly turned back.

¹⁰They brake God’s cov’nant, and refus’d
In his commands to go;
¹¹His works and wonders they forgot,
Which he to them did show.

¹²Things marvellous he brought to pass;
Their fathers them beheld
Within the land of Egypt done,
Yea, ev’n in Zoan’s field.

¹³By him divided was the sea,
He caus’d them through to pass;
And made the waters so to stand,
As like an heap it was.

¹⁴With cloud by day, with light of fire
All night, he did them guide.
¹⁵In desert rocks he clave, and drink,
As from great depths, supplied.

¹⁶He from the rock brought streams, like floods
Made waters to run down.
¹⁷Yet sinning more, in desert they
Provok’d the Highest One.

¹⁸For in their heart they tempted God,
And, speaking with mistrust,
They greedily did meat require
To satisfy their lust.

¹⁹Against the Lord himself they spake,
And, murmuring, said thus,
A table in the wilderness
Can God prepare for us?

²⁰Behold, he smote the rock, and thence
Came streams and waters great;
But can he give his people bread?
And send them flesh to eat?

²¹The LORD did hear, and waxed wroth;
So kindled was a flame
‘Gainst Jacob, and ‘gainst Isra el
Up indignation came.

²²For they believ’d not God, nor trust
In his salvation had;
²³Though clouds above he did command,
And heav’n’s doors open made,

²⁴And manna rain’d on them, and gave
Them corn of heav’n to eat.
²⁵Man angels’ food did eat; to them
He to the full sent meat.

²⁶And in the heaven he did cause
An eastern wind to blow;
And by his power he let out
The southern wind to go.

²⁷Then flesh as thick as dust he made
To rain down them among;
And feather’d fowls, like as the sand
Which lieth the shore along.

²⁸At his command amidst their camp
These show’rs of flesh down fell,
All round about the tabernacles
And tents where they did dwell.

²⁹So they did eat abundantly,
And had of meat their fill;
For he did give to them what was
Their own desire and will.

³⁰They from their lust had not estrang’d
Their heart and their desire;
But while the meat was in their mouths,
Which they did so require,

³¹God’s wrath upon them came, and slew
The fattest of them all;
So that the choice of Israel,
O’erthrown by death, did fall.

³²Yet, notwithstanding of all this,
They sinned still the more;
And though he had great wonders wrought,
Believ’d him not therefore:

³³Wherefore their days in vanity
He did consume and waste;
And by his wrath their wretched years
Away in trouble past.

³⁴But when he slew them, then they did
To seek him show desire;
Yea, they return’d, and after God
Right early did enquire.

³⁵And that the Lord had been their Rock,
They did remember then;
Ev’n that the high almighty God
Had their Redeemer been.

³⁶Yet with their mouth they flatter’d him,
And spake but feignedly;
And they unto the God of truth
With their false tongues did lie.

³⁷For though their words were good, their heart
With him was not sincere;
Unsteadfast and perfidious
They in his cov’nant were.

³⁸But, full of pity, he forgave
Their sin, them did not slay;
Nor stirr’d up all his wrath, but oft
His anger turn’d away.

³⁹For that they were but fading flesh
To mind he did recall;
A wind that passeth soon away,
And not returns at all.

⁴⁰How often did they him provoke
Within the wilderness!
And in the desert did him grieve
With their rebelliousness!

⁴¹Yea, turning back, they tempted God,
And limits set upon
Him, who in midst of Isr’el is
The only Holy One.

⁴²They did not call to mind his pow’r,
Nor yet the day when he
Deliver’d them out of the hand
Of their fierce enemy;

⁴³Nor how great signs in Egypt land
He openly had wrought;
What miracles in Zoan’s field
His hand to pass had brought.

⁴⁴How lakes and rivers ev’ry where
He turned into blood;
So that nor man nor beast could drink
Of standing lake or flood.

⁴⁵He brought among them swarms of flies,
Which did them sore annoy;
And divers kinds of filthy frogs
He sent them to destroy.

⁴⁶He to the caterpillar gave
The fruits of all their soil;
Their labours he deliver’d up
Unto the locusts’ spoil.

⁴⁷Their vines with hail, their sycamores
He with the frost did blast:
⁴⁸Their beasts to hail he gave; their flocks
Hot thunderbolts did waste.

⁴⁹Fierce burning wrath he on them cast,
And indignation strong,
And troubles sore, by sending forth
Ill angels them among.

⁵⁰He to his wrath made way; their soul
From death he did not save;
But over to the pestilence
The lives of them he gave.

⁵¹In Egypt land the first–born all
He smote down ev’ry where;
Among the tents of Ham, ev’n these
Chief of their strength that were.

⁵²But his own people, like to sheep,
Thence to go forth he made;
And he, amidst the wilderness,
Them, as a flock, did lead.

⁵³And he them safely on did lead,
So that they did not fear;
Whereas their en’mies by the sea
Quite overwhelmed were.

⁵⁴To borders of his sanctuary
The Lord his people led,
Ev’n to the mount which his right hand
For them had purchased.

⁵⁵The nations of Canaan,
By his almighty hand,
Before their face he did expel
Out of their native land;

Which for inheritance to them
By line he did divide,
And made the tribes of Israel
Within their tents abide.

⁵⁶Yet God most high they did provoke,
And tempted ever still;
And to observe his testimonies
Did not incline their will:

⁵⁷But, like their fathers, turned back,
And dealt unfaithfully:
Aside they turned, like a bow
That shoots deceitfully.

⁵⁸For they to anger did provoke
Him with their places high;
And with their graven images
Mov’d him to jealousy.

⁵⁹When God heard this, he waxed wroth,
And much loath’d Isr’el then:
⁶⁰So Shiloh’s tent he left, the tent
Which he had plac’d with men.

⁶¹And he his strength delivered
Into captivity;
He left his glory in the hand
Of his proud enemy.

⁶²His people also he gave o’er
Unto the sword’s fierce rage:
So sore his wrath inflamed was
Against his heritage.

⁶³The fire consum’d their choice young men;
Their maids no marriage had;
⁶⁴And when their priests fell by the sword,
Their wives no mourning made.

⁶⁵But then the Lord arose, as one
That doth from sleep awake;
And like a giant that, by wine
Refresh’d, a shout doth make:

⁶⁶Upon his en’mies’ hinder parts
He made his stroke to fall;
And so upon them he did put
A shame perpetual.

⁶⁷Moreover, he the tabernacle
Of Joseph did refuse;
The mighty tribe of Ephraim
He would in no wise choose:

⁶⁸But he did choose Jehudah’s tribe
To be the rest above;
And of mount Zion he made choice,
Which he so much did love.

⁶⁹And he his sanctuary built
Like to a palace high,
Like to the earth which he did found
To perpetuity.

⁷⁰Of David, that his servant was,
He also choice did make,
And even from the folds of sheep
Was pleased him to take:

⁷¹From waiting on the ewes with young,
He brought him forth to feed
Israel, his inheritance,
His people, Jacob’s seed.

⁷²So after the integrity
He of his heart them fed;
And by the good skill of his hands
Them wisely governed.