0 An instructive poem of Asaph. 1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: lean your ears to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: 3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he has done. 5 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: 6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children that would be born; who would rise and declare them to their children: 7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: 8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that did not set their heart right, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God. 9 The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. 10 They did not keep the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; 11 And forgot his works, and his wonders that he had showed them. 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 to stand as an heap.
The Lord led them in a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night
14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire. 15 He split the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths. 16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers. 17 And they still sinned more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness. 18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. 19 Yes, they spoke against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? 20 Behold, he struck the rock so that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? Can he provide flesh for his people? 21 Therefore the LORD heard this, and was furious: a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; 22 Because they did not believe in God, and did not trust in his salvation:
- God heard their doubts and became angry.
- They had seen God control all the forces of nature in their deliverance from Egypt yet they doubted that God could feed them.
- 2Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, 24 And had rained down manna on them to eat, and had given them of the grain of heaven. 25 Man ate angels’ food: he sent them food to the full.
- God rained angel’s food on them.
26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. 27 He rained flesh on them as dust, and winged fowl like the sand of the sea: 28 And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their dwellings. 29 So they ate, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire; 30 They were still not separated from their lust. But while their food was still in their mouths, 31The wrath of God came on them, and killed the fattest of them, and struck down the chosen men of Israel.
- Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
32 After all this they still sinned, and did not believe for his wondrous works. 33 Therefore he consumed their days in vanity, and their years in trouble. 34 When he killed them, then they sought him: and they returned and inquired early after God. 35 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.
- Only threat of death brought them back to God.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
- 1Peter 1:18 you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your self-centered life received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot:
36 Nevertheless they flattered him with their mouth, and they lied to him with their tongues. 37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his covenant. 38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them: yes, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.
- The word forgave in Hebrew is ‘atoned.’
- He didn’t just forgive. He Himself took the whole, the full punishment in our place.
- Then, when His infinite holiness was fully satisfied, He forgave.
39 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passes away, and does not come again. 40 How often they grieved him in the wilderness, and grieved him in the desert! 41 Yes, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
- God is limited by our unbelief.
- Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
42 They did not remember his hand or the day when he delivered them from the enemy. 43 How he had set his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan: 44 And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink. 45 He sent various kinds of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them. 46 He also gave their increase to the caterpiller, and their labor to the locust. 47 He killed their vines with hail, and their sycamore trees with frost. 48 He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts. 49 He cast on them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.
- Remember who brought the trouble in Job.
50 He made a way to his anger; he did not spare their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; 51 And struck all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:
- God created us and gives us life. He holds up our
- Revelation 1:18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
52 But made his own people go out like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
He led them on safely
53 And he led them safely, so that they did not fear: but the sea covered their enemies. 54 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.
- Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you are to go: I will guide you with my eye.
55 He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents. 56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and did not keep his testimonies: 57 But turned back, and dealt 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.
- God alone is gives life.
- All other gods are false and lead to death.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations will not be able to abide his indignation.
59 When God heard this, he was furious, and greatly abhorred Israel: 60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent that he placed among men; 61 And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand. 62 He gave his people over also to the sword; and was furious with his inheritance.
- God greatly hates idolatry and those who lead others to eternal death.
- He is not unreasonable to be angry about idolatry.
- Think of the blessing of what He originally made and then look at the world and the pain and suffering that man’s choices have caused.
63 The fire consumed his young men; and his virgins had no wedding songs. 64 Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no funeral dirge. 65 Then the Lord awoke as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouts because of wine. 66 And he struck his enemies in the hind parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach. 67 Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim: 68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion that he loved.
- Zion is the place of faith in overcoming all our enemies by faith.
- God loves Zion and lives there.
- Psalm 132:13 For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation.
69 And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth that he has established forever. 70 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: 71 From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. 72 So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
0 A Psalm of Asaph. 1 O God, the heathen have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in heaps. 2 They have given the dead bodies of your servants to be food to the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of your saints to the beasts of the earth. 3 They have shed their blood like water around Jerusalem; and there was no one to bury them. 4 We have become a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to those that are around us.
- In 722 BC God allowed the Assyrians to conquer the northern kingdom of Israel because for eight centuries they refused to listen and obey Him.
- In 586 God allowed the Babylonians to conquer the southern kingdom called Judah for the same reason.
- This Psalm is a prayer for such times as this.
5 How long, LORD? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealousy burn like fire? 6 Pour out your wrath on the heathen that have not known you, and on the kingdoms that have not called on your name. 7 For they have devoured Jacob, and wasted his dwelling place. 8 Do not hold our former iniquities against us: let your tender mercies quickly meet us: for we are brought very low.
- God is right to be jealous because He made us in His image and loves us so much that He died for us.
- He hates to see us following empty things and bringing misery on ourselves.
- When we follow false things we lead those around us to eternal death.
- Exodus 34:14 For you will worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
God is glorious
9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your person: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for your name’s sake.
- God is infinite and eternal and infinitely exquisite knowledge, power, righteousness, and love. That’s glory.
- His visible form is described in Ezekiel 1:26-28. The fiery amber gemstone form of a man flashing forth rainbows.
10 Why should the heathen say, Where is their God? Let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of your servants that was shed. 11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before you; according to the greatness of your power preserve those that are appointed to die; 12 And render to our neighbors seven times into their bosom their reproach with which they have reproached you, O Lord. 13 So we, your people and sheep of your pasture, will give you thanks forever: we will show your praise to all generations.
- God alone made all things.
- He made us in His image. He sustains us.
- He sent his Son to die for our sins. No one else can compare.
- Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 9 For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
God dwells between the cherubim
0 To the chief Musician on trumpet, A Psalm of Asaph. 1 Give ear,
O Shepherd of Israel, you that lead Joseph like a flock; you that dwell between the cherubim, shine forth.
- Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I will not lack anything. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul:
2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up your strength, and come and save us. 3 Turn us again, O God, and cause your face to shine; and we will be saved. 4 O LORD God of hosts, how long will your anger smoke against the prayer of your people?
- The title ‘LORD God of hosts’ means the complete ruler and controller of all the countless angels of heaven.
- God becomes angry with His people for following and worshipping false things.
- As rocks fall downward, following evil bring suffering where God
only wants to bless.
- He cannot bless what is wrong; He has to discipline it to bring good. He alone is the source and sustainer of life and blessing.
- Exodus 34:14 For you will worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
5 You feed them with the bread of tears; and give them tears to drink in great measure. 6 You make us a strife to our neighbors: and our enemies laugh among themselves. 7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause your face to shine; and we will be saved.
- Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
- Isaiah 30:15 For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest you will be saved; in quietness and in confidence will be your strength…
8 You have brought a vine out of Egypt: You have cast the heathen out, and planted it. 9 You prepared room before it, and caused it to take deep root, and it filled the land. 10 The hills were covered with its shadow, and its boughs were like the cedars of God. 11 She sent out her boughs to the sea, and her branches to the river. 12 Why have you broken down her hedges, so that all those that pass by the way pluck at her? 13 The boar out of the woods wastes it, and the wild beast of the field devours it. 14 Return, we beg you, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and see, and visit this vine; 15 the vineyard that your right hand has planted, and the branch that you made strong for yourself. 16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of your countenance. 17 Let your hand be on the man of your right hand, on the son of man whom you made strong for yourself. 18 So we will not slide backward from you: quicken us, and we will call on your name. 19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause your face to shine; and we will be saved.
- ‘Quicken’ means to make alive or make live.
- Countenance is appearance or face.
- His face shines as the sun.
- Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength.
- 1Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.
0 To the chief Musician on a Gittite harp, A Psalm of Asaph. 1 Sing aloud to God our strength: make a joyful noise to the God of Jacob. 2 Raise a Psalm, strike the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. 3 Blow the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our feast day. 4 For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. 5 He ordained this in Joseph for a testimony when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I did not understand. 6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots. 7 You called in trouble, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder: I tested you at the waters of Meribah/strife. Rest.
- 1Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.
- Psalm 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
The LORD will fill us
8 Hear, O my people, and I will
to you: O Israel, if you will listen to
me; 9 No strange god is to be with you; you are not to worship any foreign
god.10 I am the LORD your God
you out of the land of Egypt: open your
mouth wide, and I
- Jeremiah 10:10 the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to abide his indignation.
- John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst.
- Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
11 But my people did not listen to my voice; and Israel would not obey me. 12 So I gave them up to their own hearts lust: and they walked in their own counsels. 13 Oh that my people had listened to me, and Israel had walked in my ways! 14 I would soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. 15 The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves to him: and their time would have endured forever. 16 He would have fed them with the fat of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock I would have satisfied you.
- The Lord longs for us to listen to Him so that He can bless us. God wants those that hate Him to return to Him. He wants to save them. He wants them to live forever.
God judges among the nations
0 A Psalm of Asaph. 1 God stands in the congregation of the mighty; he judges among the gods. 2 How long will you judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Rest on it. 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 5 They do not know, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are moved/out of course.
- The mighty are the unseen forces of the universe.
- God created them; He gave them freewill; and He rules among them though some do not follow Him.
- In Job 1 and 2 Satan had to come to God for permission to touch Job.
- God allowed it to help Job get over his self-centeredness and
prove that Satan does not rule earth.
- These would not be in darkness if they would listen to God’s word.
- Ephesians 6:12 we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
- Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
He will inherit the nations
6 I have said, You are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. 7 But you will die like men, and fall like one of the princes. 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for you will inherit all nations.
- Psalm 2:6 Yet have I set my king on my holy hill of Zion. 7 I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession. 9 You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 10 Be wise now, O kings: be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, so that He is not angry with you, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those that put their trust in him.
- Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he will reign forever and ever.
SUMMARY: Psalms 78-82
- The LORD led them in a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night
- He led them on safely
- God is jealous because He loves us greatly
- God is infinitely glorious
- He dwells between the Cherubim
- The LORD fills us
- The LORD judges among the gods
- He will inherit the nations