God Saved Israel from Egypt
A maskil of Asaph.
1My people, listen to my teaching.
Listen to what I say.
2I will speak using stories.
I will tell things that have been secret since long ago.
3We have heard them and know them.
Our fathers told them to us.
4We will not keep them from our children.
We will tell those who come later
about the praises of the Lord.
We will tell about his power
and the miracles he has done.
5The Lord made an agreement with Jacob.
He gave the teachings to Israel.
And he commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children.
6Then their children would know them,
even their children not yet born.
And they would tell their children.
7So they would all trust God.
They would not forget what God had done.
Instead, they would obey his commands.
8They would not be like their ancestors
who were stubborn and disobedient.
Their hearts were not loyal to God.
They were not true to him.
9The men of Ephraim had bows for weapons.
But they ran away on the day of battle.
10They didn’t keep their agreement with God.
They refused to live by his teachings.
11They forgot what he had done
and the miracles he had shown them.
12He did miracles while their ancestors watched,
in the fields of Zoan in Egypt.
13He divided the Red Sea and led them through.
He made the water stand up like a wall.
14He led them with a cloud by day.
And he led them at night by the light of a fire.
15He split the rocks in the desert.
And he gave them much water, as if it were from the deep ocean.
16He brought streams out of the rock.
The water flowed down like rivers.
17But the people continued to sin against him.
In the desert they turned against God Most High.
18They decided to test God
by asking for the food they wanted.
19Then they spoke against God.
They said, “Can God prepare food in the desert?
20When he hit the rock, water poured out.
Rivers flowed down.
But can he give us bread also?
Will he provide his people with meat?”
21When the Lord heard them, he was very angry.
His anger was like fire to the people of Jacob.
His anger grew against the people of Israel.
22They had not believed God.
They had not trusted him to save them.
23But he gave a command to the clouds above.
The doors of heaven opened.
24He rained manna down on them to eat.
He gave them grain from heaven.
25So they ate the bread of angels.
He sent them all the food they could eat.
26He sent the east wind from heaven.
He led the south wind by his power.
27He rained meat on them like dust.
The birds were as many as the sand of the sea.
28He made the birds fall inside the camp,
all around the tents.
29So the people ate and became very full.
God had given them what they wanted.
30While they were still eating,
and while the food was still in their mouths,
31God became angry with them.
He killed some of the healthiest of them.
He struck down the best young men of Israel.
32But they kept on sinning.
They did not believe even with the miracles.
33So he ended their days without meaning
and their years in terror.
34Anytime he killed them, some would look to him for help.
They would come back to God and follow him.
35They would remember that God was their Rock,
that God Most High had saved them.
36But their words were false.
Their tongues lied to him.
37Their hearts were not really loyal to God.
They did not keep his agreement.
38Still God was merciful.
He forgave their sins.
He did not destroy them.
Many times he held back his anger.
He did not stir up all his anger.
39He remembered that they were only human.
They were like a wind that blows and does not come back.
40They turned against God so often in the desert!
There they made him very sad.
41Again and again they tested God.
They brought pain to the Holy One of Israel.
42They did not remember his power
or the time he saved them from the enemy.
43They forgot the signs he did in Egypt
and his miracles in the fields of Zoan.
44He turned the rivers to blood.
So no one could drink the water.
45He sent flies that bit the people.
He sent frogs that destroyed them.
46He gave their crops to grasshoppers
and what they worked for to locusts.
47He destroyed their vines with hail
and their sycamore trees with sleet.
48He killed their animals with hail
and their cattle with lightning.
49He showed them his hot anger.
He sent his strong anger against them.
He sent his destroying angels.
50He found a way to show his anger.
He did not keep them from dying.
He let them die by a terrible disease.
51God killed all the firstborn sons in Egypt,
the oldest son of each family of Ham.# The people in Egypt were descendants of Ham, one of Noah’s sons. See Genesis 10:6.
52But God led out his people like sheep.
He guided them like a flock through the desert.
53He led them to safety. They had nothing to fear.
But their enemies drowned in the sea.
54So God brought them to his holy land.
He brought them to the mountain country he took with his own power.
55He forced out the other nations.
And he had his people inherit the land.
He let the tribes of Israel settle there in tents.
56But they tested God
and turned against the Most High.
They did not keep his rules.
57They turned away and sinned just like their ancestors.
They were like a crooked bow that does not shoot straight.
58They made God angry by building places to worship false gods.
They made him jealous with their idols.
59When God heard them, he became very angry.
And he rejected the people of Israel completely.
60He left his dwelling at Shiloh,
the tent where he lived among men.
61He let his Ark of the Covenant be captured.
He let the Ark of the Covenant, which was his glory, be taken by enemies.
62He let his people be killed.
He was very angry with his children.
63The young men died by fire.
The young women had no one to marry.
64Their priests fell by the sword.
But their widows were not allowed to cry.
65Then the Lord got up as if he had been asleep.
He awoke like a man who was drunk with wine.
66He struck down his enemies.
He disgraced them forever.
67But God rejected the family of Joseph.
He did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.
68Instead, he chose the tribe of Judah
and Mount Zion, which he loves.
69And he built his Temple high like the mountains.
Like the earth, he built it to last forever.
70He chose David to be his servant.
He took him from the sheep pens.
71He brought him from tending the sheep
so he could lead the flock, the people of Jacob.
This flock was his own people, the people of Israel.
72And David led them with an innocent heart.
He guided them with skillful hands.