Psalm Chapter 78: Verses 32-55 Even though they sinned God was merciful

Psalms Chapter 78 Part 3

(Unless otherwise cited, the scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. It is not chosen for is veracity, but only because it is a public domain version of scripture.)

Israel’s sins were egregious and destructive.  It was as if they were on a sinful treadmill, and they would not get off. They were enjoying the ride. Have you found yourself caught in a deeply embedded sin, and no matter what you tried to do, you just could not stop it?  Well, Israel was in that same place.  It takes belief and obedience to the power of the Holy Spirit to change what is going on in your life for change to come.

32 For all this, they sinned still and believed not for his wondrous works. 33 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble. 34 When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God. 

God punished them for their disobedience to him by causing fire to come down from heaven. They also suffered because they gorged themselves with excessive eating. He also sent a plague among them (Num. 11:33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.) Eating the birds was not an issue. It was breaking the laws for killing and preparing meat that was the issue.  As they traveled on, they refused to trust in the saving grace of God when the time came for them to enter into the promised land. They reaped the consequences of their behavior. “And their years in trouble” this literally means  “in terror.” The terror of living for years in the gloomy, desolate, and cheerless hot desert. They did not enter into the promised land.

35 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. The spies never forgot God’s mercies. Num. 14:37 3Nevertheless, they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.  They continued their rebellion against him until the end of their lives. See Numbers 25    Today, we find children of “The Way” who are the very same. I sometimes wonder that will it take God to do to us for us to stop being ugly to each other. There are times when I truly believe that wars, famines, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, are means that YHWH uses get people to think about they are behaving. Many times it takes natural disasters for people even recognize that there is a God.  37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.  Our actions will always speak louder than our words. But, some time in the future we may well hear the words that are written in Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” I don’t want to hear those words do you?  Even though the people refused to obey God, he never stepped outside of his character.  38 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. Why did he forgive them?  39 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. They were relentless in their sin but God was even more relentless in his love for them. He knew that they were only flesh and did not have the “comforter/helping Holy Spirit inside of them.

Egypt: The history of their sins continues: the plagues


The ten plagues that God brought on Egypt to showed the uselessness of the Egyptian gods and to get Pharoah release of Israel.  One may not understand how they could have forgotten, but they did.  Asaph is reminding that they acted as if God had nothing to do with getting them released from Egypt.

  • 43 How he had wrought 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 (Exodus 7:20). 45 He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs (Exodus 5:8), which destroyed them (Exodus 8:24). 46 He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller and their labor unto the locust (Exodus 10:12-14). 47 He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore trees (Exodus 9:23) with frost. 48 He gave up their cattle also to the hail and their flocks to hot thunderbolts (Exodus 9:22). 49 He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them. 

The angels only appeared evil to the Egyptians; however, these frightening beings were acting upon direct orders from God. God ordered them to kill the firstborn child of every Egyptian family during the tenth plague. This was the climax of God’s anger against Pharaoh.  Passover (Exodus 11:1-12:36) commemorates this event for Jews, but it also the death of God’s firstborn and only son who died for the sins of the world.

God uses his Shepherd Moses to guide his people through the wilderness

50 He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death but gave their life over to the pestilence; 51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:  Everyone and every living thing that produced a first born experienced this death toll. From the prince to the servant; and not only the firstborn of men, but of  animals too (Exodus 12:29).

I am the God of Israel: His special children were spared. Remember?

52 But made his own people go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.53 And he led them on safely so that they feared not:but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. 

Pharoah and his armies ended up in the Red Sea, but the people of Israel walked on dry land to the other side of the sea. By the hands of Moses and Aaron ( See Psalm 77:20). He [God] also went before them like the Shepherd of the flock, in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21). He kept them together as a flock from scattering, straying, and being lost. And directed their way in the wilderness, through all the windings and turnings of it uncharted land, and protected them from all dangers seen and unseen and enemies.

54 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.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.

The seven nations, the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites (Deut. 7:1). They all lived in the land that God gave to Israel. Today people want Israel to live on a sliver of land. But God gave it ALL to them. Did they appreciate it? No, they continued to sin.

CYcle of SIn

The next devotional will conclude this chapter.


You Are Not The Only One

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