Psalm 78: Teaching the Miracle Stories

What reasons do we have for wanting people to listen to us?

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Psalm 78:1 A song of Asaph.
My people, turn your ears my way and listen to the teaching that comes from my mouth.
King James
Psalm 78:1 <Maschil of Asaph.> Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

How can we get people to care about what we think is most important?

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Psalm 78:2–4 I will open my mouth with a parable and explain mysteries kept secret from the beginning. We learned these things from our ancestors and must tell the next generation. The Lord’s wonderful works and mighty miracles should not be kept secret.
King James
Psalm 78:2–4 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, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

How much initiative should parents take in what their children learn?

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Psalm 78:5–7 God gave his life-changing story through Jacob and delivered instruction to his people, Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach their children, who were to teach those who were yet to be born. When they were grown, they were to declare the truth to the next generation so they too would trust God, remember his miraculous works, and keep his commandments.
King James
Psalm 78:5–7 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: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

What effect can education have upon people’s desires?

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Psalm 78:8 They would be different from their stubborn, rebellious ancestors whose hearts were not with God, but their desires took them another way.
King James
Psalm 78:8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

Why are some people courageous but others are not?

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Psalm 78:9–11 The men of Ephraim were well-equipped, armed with bows and arrows, yet they turned and ran when the battle began. They broke their agreement with God and wouldn’t follow his guidance. They forgot about his marvelous works and the extraordinary miracles they had once known.
King James
Psalm 78:9–11 The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.

After seeing the Red Sea part and the Egyptian army drowned, how did the Israelites feel about God?

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Psalm 78:12–13 God did amazing things before our ancestors in the fields of Zoan in Egypt. He piled up the waters on each side, made a path through the Red Sea, and brought his people across.
King James
Psalm 78:12–13 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.

Why might the Israelites have objected to following a cloud and a flaming light?

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Psalm 78:14 He guided his people with a cloud by day and a flaming light by night.
King James
Psalm 78:14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.

When given water to drink, how did the Israelites feel?

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Psalm 78:15–16 In the wilderness, he split the rocks and gave them drinking water from deep in the earth, streams that gushed out and flowed down in rivers.
King James
Psalm 78:15–16 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths. He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.

What makes sin attractive enough to rebel against God?

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Psalm 78:17 There in the wilderness where our Most High God was meeting their needs, they rebelled and continued to sin.
King James
Psalm 78:17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.

Why was hunger for meat a problem for the Israelites?

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Psalm 78:18–20 They tested God by demanding satisfaction for their craving for meat. Challenging him, they said, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness? When the rock was struck, water gushed into streams that overflowed, but can he give us bread and meat? Surely not.”
King James
Psalm 78:18–20 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?

Why does God take issue with people’s unbelief?

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Psalm 78:21–23 When the Lord heard them, he was furious. A fire was kindled against the children of Jacob. God’s wrath came against the people of Israel.
They didn’t trust God or believe he would answer, even though he had already commanded the clouds and opened the doors above.
King James
Psalm 78:21–23 Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,

Why didn’t all the Israelites follow God’s instructions about gathering the manna?

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Exodus 16:19–20 Don’t keep the manna overnight,” Moses said, “thinking you will eat it in the morning.”
Some of them didn’t heed the warning. The next morning, the manna was infested with worms and smelled terrible. So Moses was angry with them.
Psalm 78:24–25 Manna came in showers for the people to eat, bread falling from the sky. They ate the food of angels, filling their stomachs with all they could eat.
King James
Exodus 16:19–20 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.
Psalm 78:24–25 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.

Why weren’t the Israelites satisfied with the meat that God provided?

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Psalm 78:26–31 God’s mighty power brought wind from the southeast and rained meat upon them like a dust storm, birds as numerous as the sand on the seashore. The birds fell everywhere in their camp, all around their tents. God stuffed their stomachs with what they asked for, but they weren’t satisfied. While they were still chewing the meat, God’s anger came upon them. He killed the fattest and most highly regarded among the people of Israel.
King James
Psalm 78:26–31 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea: And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations. So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire; They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.

After seeing God’s miracles, what makes it difficult to believe?

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Psalm 78:32 In spite of these amazing miracles, the people wouldn’t believe and kept on sinning.
King James
Psalm 78:32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.

How far will God go in turning people’s hearts toward him?

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Psalm 78:33–34 Therefore, he concluded their days in emptiness, their years in terror.
When God slew some of them, the others quickly turned back to God.
Luke 8:10 Jesus said, “I have given you insights into the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but others have only the stories. With open eyes, they choose to see nothing. They hear with their ears but do not want to understand.”
Romans 1:28 Since they don’t want to admit God’s existence, they develop perverted beliefs so they can do whatever indecency feels good to them.
King James
Psalm 78:33–34 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble. When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God.
Luke 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

How far will people go in responding to God’s favor?

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Psalm 78:35–37 Then they remembered that God was their mighty rock of safety. The Most High was their defender. But their praise was not sincere. Actually, they were lying, for they were unfaithful and didn’t keep their promises.
King James
Psalm 78:35–37 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.

When will God lose patience with our human frailty?

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Psalm 78:38–39 But God was compassionate, forgave their iniquities, and did not destroy them. He repeatedly restrained his anger and did not express his displeasure with them. He was aware of their human frailty, like a wind that blows and then dies.
Matthew 12:31 Understand this: all kinds of sin and evil speaking may be forgiven, but speaking evil of the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven.
Acts 17:29–30 Since we are his children, we should not think our Father is fashioned by human hands from gold, silver, or stone. God has overlooked our ignorance in the past, but now that we know, it’s time to repent,
King James
Psalm 78:38–39 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Acts 17:29–30 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

Why do people ask for proof?

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Psalm 78:40–41 While in the wilderness, they often rebelled and caused God to grieve. They turned their backs on God and kept wanting proof, which brought the Holy One of Israel great pain.
King James
Psalm 78:40–41 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

How easily do people forget God’s miracles? Why?

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Psalm 78:42–44 They forgot God’s mighty work performed when they were delivered from their enemies, when the miracles before Pharaoh in the land of Zoan in Egypt should have led them to trust God, when the rivers and streams turned into blood and made it undrinkable.
King James
Psalm 78:42–44 They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan: And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink.

In the plagues brought upon Egypt, how might the perspective of the Israelites have differed from the Egyptians?

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Psalm 78:45–49 God sent swarms of insects to afflict the Egyptians. Frogs made their lives miserable. Their crops were eaten by the caterpillars and locusts.
Hail destroyed the grapevines, and the ice stripped the fig trees of their fruit. God sent the hail and lightning to kill their livestock.
The Egyptians were greatly distressed when the destructive angels brought the fierceness of God’s anger.
King James
Psalm 78:45–49 He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them. He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller, and their labour unto the locust. He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore trees with frost. He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts. He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.

How could God who proclaims love and condemns murder kill the firstborn sons of every Egyptian family?

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Psalm 78:50–51 God cut a road for his wrath, a straight path through plagues unto death. He killed the firstborn sons of every Egyptian family.
King James
Psalm 78:50–51 He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:

In what ways do God’s people compare to sheep?

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Psalm 78:52–53 God brought his people out of Egypt like sheep. He led his flock through the wilderness. He guided his people to safety. When the sea swallowed up their enemies, they knew they didn’t have to fear.
King James
Psalm 78:52–53 But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.

What gave the Israelites the right to take the Promised Land?

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Psalm 78:54–55 They were led to the territory that God had reserved for them. By his mighty hand they took the mountain. God drove out the foreigners as his people advanced. The land was divided among the tribes of Israel for a dwelling place.
King James
Psalm 78:54–55 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased. 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.

Why were the people dissatisfied, rebelling against God?

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Psalm 78:56–57 Despite all this, the people weren’t satisfied. They rebelled against God Almighty and would not obey his commandments. Like their ancestors, they turned their backs on God and were unfaithful, like a twisted bow that couldn’t shoot straight.
King James
Psalm 78:56–57 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies: But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.

What causes people to direct their worship away from God?

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Psalm 78:58 They angered God with their idolatry and made him jealous when they sought guidance and placed their worship elsewhere.
King James
Psalm 78:58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.

If the Jews are God’s people, how can he completely reject them?

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Psalm 78:59–64 After hearing and seeing all this, God was so furious that he completely rejected the people of Israel. He abandoned the Tabernacle at Shiloh, where he had lived among the people. He let enemies capture the Ark of the Covenant and dishonor him. He was angry with those who belonged to him and let them die by the sword.
Fire consumed the young men, so the virgins had no one to marry. When Israel’s priest fell by the sword, their widows didn’t mourn.
King James
Psalm 78:59–64 When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand. He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance. The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage. Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.

Why did God favor Mount Zion?

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Psalm 78:65–68 Finally the Lord woke up and shouted like a drunken warrior. He gave his enemies a strong kick in the rear and put them to shame.
He refused to dwell with Joseph’s descendants in Ephraim but chose Mount Zion in the land of Judah, which he loved.
King James
Psalm 78:65–68 Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach. Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim: But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.

If the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, how is God sanctuary there everlasting?

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Psalm 78:69 He built his sanctuary there, as exalted and everlasting as Earth itself.
King James
Psalm 78:69 And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.

Why did God choose David to be king?

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Psalm 78:70–72 Out of the sheepfold, David was chosen to be God’s servant. He was brought from tending the ewes nursing their lambs to shepherding the descendants of Jacob, the people who belonged to the Lord. So David cared deeply for the people and led them by the hand.
King James
Psalm 78:70–72 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.