A maskil of Asaph.
1Listen, my people, to my teaching;
tilt your ears toward the words of my mouth.
2I will open my mouth with a proverb.
I’ll declare riddles from days long gone—
3ones that we’ve heard and learned about,
ones that our ancestors told us.
4We won’t hide them from their descendants;
we’ll tell the next generation
all about the praise due the Lord and his strength—
the wondrous works God has done.
5He established a law for Jacob
and set up Instruction for Israel,
ordering our ancestors
to teach them to their children.
6This is so that the next generation
and children not yet born will know these things,
and so they can rise up and tell their children
7to put their hope in God—
never forgetting God’s deeds,
but keeping God’s commandments—
8and so that they won’t become like their ancestors:
a rebellious, stubborn generation,
a generation whose heart wasn’t set firm
and whose spirit wasn’t faithful to God.
9The children of Ephraim, armed with bows,
retreated on the day of battle.
10They didn’t keep God’s covenant;
they refused to walk in his Instruction.
11They forgot God’s deeds
as well as the wondrous works he showed them.
12But God performed wonders in their ancestors’ presence—
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13God split the sea and led them through,
making the waters stand up like a wall.
14God led them with the cloud by day;
by the lightning all through the night.
15God split rocks open in the wilderness,
gave them plenty to drink—
as if from the deep itself!
16God made streams flow from the rock,
made water run like rivers.
17But they continued to sin against God,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18They tested God in their hearts,
demanded food for their stomachs.
19They spoke against God!
"Can God set a dinner table in the wilderness?" they asked.
20"True, God struck the rock
and water gushed and streams flowed,
but can he give bread too?
Can he provide meat for his people?"
21When the Lord heard this, he became furious.
A fire was ignited against Jacob;
wrath also burned against Israel
22because they had no faith in God,
because they didn’t trust his saving power.
23God gave orders to the skies above,
opened heaven’s doors,
24and rained manna on them so they could eat.
He gave them the very grain of heaven!
25Each person ate the bread of the powerful ones;#Or everyone ate the bread from heaven; Heb uncertain
God sent provisions to satisfy them.
26God set the east wind moving across the skies
and drove the south wind by his strength.
27He rained meat on them as if it were dust in the air;
he rained as many birds as the sand on the seashore!
28God brought the birds down in the center of their camp,
all around their dwellings.
29So they ate and were completely satisfied;
God gave them exactly what they had craved.
30But they didn’t stop craving—
even with the food still in their mouths!
31So God’s anger came up against them:
he killed the most hearty of them;
he cut down Israel’s youth in their prime.
32But in spite of all that, they kept sinning
and had no faith in God’s wondrous works.
33So God brought their days to an end,
like a puff of air,
and their years in total ruin.
34But whenever God killed them, they went after him!
They would turn and earnestly search for God.
35They would remember that God was their rock,
that the Most High was their redeemer.
36But they were just flattering him with lip service.
They were lying to him with their tongues.
37Their hearts weren’t firmly set on him;
they weren’t faithful to his covenant.
38But God, being compassionate,
kept forgiving their sins,
kept avoiding destruction;
he took back his anger so many times,
wouldn’t stir up all his wrath!
39God kept remembering that they were just flesh,
just breath that passes and doesn’t come back.
40How often they rebelled against God in the wilderness
and distressed him in the desert!
41Time and time again they tested God,
provoking the holy one of Israel.
42They didn’t remember God’s power—
the day when he saved them from the enemy;
43how God performed his signs in Egypt,
his marvelous works in the field of Zoan.
44God turned their rivers into blood;
they couldn’t drink from their own streams.
45God sent swarms against them to eat them up,
frogs to destroy them.
46God handed over their crops to caterpillars,
their land’s produce to locusts.
47God killed their vines with hail,
their sycamore trees with frost.
48God delivered their cattle over to disease,#Correction; MT to hailstones
their herds to plagues.
49God unleashed his burning anger against them—
fury, indignation, distress,
a troop of evil messengers.
50God blazed a path for his wrath.
He didn’t save them from death,
but delivered their lives over to disease.
51God struck down all of Egypt’s oldest males;
in Ham’s tents, he struck their pride and joy.
52God led his own people out like sheep,
guiding them like a flock in the wilderness.
53God led them in safety—they were not afraid!
But the sea engulfed their enemies!
54God brought them to his holy territory,
to the mountain that his own strong hand had acquired.
55God drove out the nations before them
and apportioned property for them;
he settled Israel’s tribes in their tents.
56But they tested and defied the Most High God;
they didn’t pay attention to his warnings.
57They turned away, became faithless just like their ancestors;
they twisted away like a defective bow.
58They angered God with their many shrines;
they angered him with their idols.
59God heard and became enraged;
he rejected Israel utterly.
60God abandoned the sanctuary at Shiloh,
the tent where he had lived with humans.
61God let his power be held captive,
let his glory go to the enemy’s hand.
62God delivered his people up to the sword;
he was enraged at his own possession.
63Fire devoured his young men,
and his young women had no wedding songs.
64God’s priests were killed by the sword,
and his widows couldn’t even cry.
65But then my Lord woke up—
as if he’d been sleeping!
Like a warrior shaking off wine,
66God beat back his foes;
he made them an everlasting disgrace.
67God rejected the tent of Joseph
and didn’t choose the tribe of Ephraim.
68Instead, he chose the tribe of Judah,
the mountain of Zion, which he loves.
69God built his sanctuary like the highest heaven
and like the earth, which he established forever.
70And God chose David, his servant,
taking him from the sheepfolds.
71God brought him from shepherding nursing ewes
to shepherd his people Jacob,
to shepherd his inheritance, Israel.
72David shepherded them with a heart of integrity;
he led them with the skill of his hands.