Psalm 78 – God’s Kindness to Rebellious Israel

Published June 7, 2023 by Rev. Pete Van't Hoff in Devotions

Why do we set a day aside, once a week to come before the LORD God, to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, to pray, and to hear the word of God expounded around the work of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit? Because we need a constant reminder that God is good. Psalm 78 reminds us.

1 Give ear, O my people, to my law;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.

Psalm 78 is a long psalm. some 72 verses. It is long because it not only contemplates the glory of God, but over and over again, in light of His people’s failures to cling to Him. Read here of some of His graces:

For He established a testimony in Jacob,
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers,
That they should make them known to their children;

12 Marvelous things He did in the sight of 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

24 Had rained down manna on them to eat,
And given them of the bread of heaven.
25 Men ate angels’ food;
He sent them food to the full.

55 He also drove out the nations before them,
Allotted them an inheritance by survey,
And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.

These are only but a few examples of Gods goodness in this psalm and yet, in the face of each blessing,

56 Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God,
And did not keep His testimonies,
57 But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers;
They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58 For they provoked Him to anger with their high places,
And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images.

And still, throughout, although He rightfully punishes, still, salvation is proclaimed.

67 Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which He loved.
69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which He has established forever.
70 He also chose David His servant,
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From following the ewes that had young He brought him,
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

Dear reader, we humans may easily and repeatedly give up on God. But He doesn’t give up on us. With Jesus in your heart, be part of His chosen, and rest from all wickedness, in His strength. Let us pray.

Dear Lord and heavenly Father,

Blessed be your holy name. Thank you that in spite of my constant wandering You relentlessly and gracefully and mercifully seek me out. Your Son has worked all things that I may return to You. The Holy Spirit continued to draw me closer. Help me to fulfill Your call. In Christ, Amen.

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