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God's Goodness and Israel's Ingratitude
A Maskil of Asaph.
1Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
2I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
4We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders which he has wrought.
5He established a testimony in Jacob,
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children;
6that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
7so that they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
8and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9The E'phraimites, armed witha the bow,
turned back on the day of battle.
10They did not keep God's covenant,
but refused to walk according to his law.
11They forgot what he had done,
and the miracles that he had shown them.
12In the sight of their fathers he wrought marvels
in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zo'an.
13He divided the sea and let them pass through it,
and made the waters stand like a heap.
14In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
and all the night with a fiery light.
15He cleft rocks in the wilderness,
and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
16He made streams come out of the rock,
and caused waters to flow down like rivers.
17Yet they sinned still more against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18They tested God in their heart
by demanding the food they craved.
19They spoke against God, saying,
"Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
20He smote the rock so that water gushed out
and streams overflowed.
Can he also give bread,
or provide meat for his people?"
21Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of wrath;
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
his anger mounted against Israel;
22because they had no faith in God,
and did not trust his saving power.
23Yet he commanded the skies above,
and opened the doors of heaven;
24and he rained down upon them manna to eat,
and gave them the grain of heaven.
25Man ate of the bread of the angels;
he sent them food in abundance.
26He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
and by his power he led out the south wind;
27he rained flesh upon them like dust,
winged birds like the sand of the seas;
28he let them fall in the midst of their camp,
all around their habitations.
29And they ate and were well filled,
for he gave them what they craved.
30But before they had sated their craving,
while the food was still in their mouths,
31the anger of God rose against them
and he slew the strongest of them,
and laid low the picked men of Israel.
32In spite of all this they still sinned;
despite his wonders they did not believe.
33So he made their days vanish like a breath,
and their years in terror.
34When he slew them, they sought for him;
they repented and sought God earnestly.
35They remembered that God was their rock,
the Most High God their redeemer.
36But they flattered him with their mouths;
they lied to him with their tongues.
37Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
they were not true to his covenant.
38Yet he, being compassionate,
forgave their iniquity,
and did not destroy them;
he restrained his anger often,
and did not stir up all his wrath.
39He remembered that they were but flesh,
a wind that passes and comes not again.
40How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved him in the desert!
41They tested him again and again,
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42They did not keep in mind his power,
or the day when he redeemed them from the foe;
43when he wrought his signs in Egypt,
and his miracles in the fields of Zo'an.
44He turned their rivers to blood,
so that they could not drink of their streams.
45He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them,
and frogs, which destroyed them.
46He gave their crops to the caterpillar,
and the fruit of their labor to the locust.
47He destroyed their vines with hail,
and their sycamores with frost.
48He gave over their cattle to the hail,
and their flocks to thunderbolts.
49He let loose on them his fierce anger,
wrath, indignation, and distress,
a company of destroying angels.
50He made a path for his anger;
he did not spare them from death,
but gave their lives over to the plague.
51He smote all the first-born in Egypt,
the first issue of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52Then he led forth his people like sheep,
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid;
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountain which his right hand had won.
55He drove out nations before them;
he apportioned them for a possession
and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
56Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God,
and did not observe his testimonies,
57but turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers;
they twisted like a deceitful bow.
58For they provoked him to anger with their high places;
they moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
59When God heard, he was full of wrath,
and he utterly rejected Israel.
60He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh,
the tent where he dwelt among men,
61and delivered his power to captivity,
his glory to the hand of the foe.
62He gave his people over to the sword,
and vented his wrath on his heritage.
63Fire devoured their young men,
and their maidens had no marriage song.
64Their priests fell by the sword,
and their widows made no lamentation.
65Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
like a strong man shouting because of wine.
66And he put his adversaries to rout;
he put them to everlasting shame.
67He rejected the tent of Joseph,
he did not choose the tribe of E'phraim;
68but he chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion, which he loves.
69He built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
like the earth, which he has founded for ever.
70He chose David his servant,
and took him from the sheepfolds;
71from tending the ewes that had young he brought him
to be the shepherd of Jacob his people,
of Israel his inheritance.
72With upright heart he tended them,
and guided them with skilful hand.