Psalm Chapter 78:Verses 56-70 Our past will catch up with us

Part 4 of Psalms 78: (Unless otherwise stated all Scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible.)

For the rest of the chapter see:

God became angry because of their actions

Lord, the second generation is sinning now, just like their fathers.

56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies: 57 But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. We are no longer talking about food, water, and shelter.  They are  now in the promised land and look at what they are doing.

58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places: [The high places could have been dedicated to God, but they were strictly forbidden. See Deut 12 ” Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.” Read the entire chapter here.  and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. 

Deuteronomy 5:7 N(NIV)You shall have no other gods before me.  They are worshipping false God. Their personal idols. You see, leadership does count. Joshua died. They had judges now – let’s say, Presidents. Look at what the judges led them to do.  Judges 2:11  (NIV) “Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals.” What happened? The men who trusted in the God of Israel. The men who believed that he would lead them into the promised land were not around anymore.  Exodus 34:14 made it clear what the should not do. “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God:”

Again Israel reaped what it sowed. Sometimes I am sure that God felt that He would have been better off if He had not chosen Israel. But Christians better not point the finger at them, because we will have 4 fingers pointing back at ourselves as well. Faith in God is a marvelous thing, but to know God in His fullness, and then to be unfaithful to Him is a reckless thing. Hebrews 6 is my faith chapter. It tells us a lot about how faith is demonstrated. It tells us that we should not allow other things to become to us than God. 59 When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: In this particular instance, abhorred means despised. Despised means to “feel contempt or a deep repugnance for.” WOW!

Israel committed spiritual adultery. They have sinned against God most egregiously. Christians, we must worship God’s in a manner that is pleasing to him. We were called followers of “The Way,” not our way, but Jesus’ way. To worship God in any other way than the way He chose is spiritual adultery.

Disobedience of Israel’s part results in God having to take the appropriate action. 


60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; 61 And delivered his strength [chosen people – Israel ]  into captivity and his glory into the enemy’s hand. Tabernacle of Shiloh”: Shiloh was an early location of worship in the Promised Land. It was the place where the people were directed to worship YHWH. The capture and removal of the Ark from Shiloh, by the Philistines, symbolized God’s judgment  upon his people (Just take a loot at there examples and compare the scriptural referemces Joshua 18:1; 1 Sam. 1:9; 3:1; 4:1-22).

62 He gave his people over also unto the sword, and was wroth with his inheritance.  When YHWH removed his presence from his people they were no longer victorious. I Samuel 4:10-11“And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.” “And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.” The unbeatable, and unconquerorable Children of Israel were wouted by the Philistines.

63 The fire [or destruction] consumed their young men, and their maidens were not given to marriage. 64 Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation. It does not mean that the women did not care about the fallen soldiers. I Samuel 4 describes the battle and the death of Eli – the priest’s sons. 1 Samuel 4 tells us that 2 sons of Eli died. It appears that the widows did not grieve for them because they had no bodies to bury. The bodies were left on the battlefield.”Verse 17 The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” The Ark of God was gone. The light of Israel was no longer with them.

David and Zion are chosen by God

Remember that there were two segments to Israel. The northern Tribes [Saul was the king from the Northern Tribe.] The Southern tribe of Judah had a person who was chosen to be the king after God’s presence left Saul – who was disobedient to God. David; the Shepherd was chosen by God -as the king from the Southern Tribe -who united the nation- to lead his people. 

NB: 10 of the original 12 Hebrew tribes, which, under the leadership of Joshua, took possession of Canaan, the Promised Land, after the death of Moses. They were named AsherDanEphraimGadIssacharManassehNaphtaliReubenSimeon, and Zebulun—all sons or grandsons of Jacob. In 930 BC, the 10 tribes formed the independent Kingdom of Israel in the north.  Judah and Benjamin set up the Kingdom of Judah in the south. (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica: Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Encyclopædia Britannica.)


65 Then the Lord awoke as one out of sleep and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.Verse 65 is not saying that God was caught unawares by the people. God never completely turns His back ond ignroes his people, or forgets about them. He simply said, “Enough is enough my children.”  66 And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach. But in his infinite mercy he will fight for them again.67 Moreover, he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim: However, the battle with the Philistines raged on for a long time. Remember Goliath (the giant)! He was a Philistine. When David was chosen as king, as well as his descendants – of whom Christ was one- God fought for them again. They still had hope.  They were not going to be taken in to captivity, yet!

He chooses Zion

68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved. The Ark needed a final resting place.  Mount Zion was chosen by God, not the people, as the location of the temple, as the place where God makes his presence known among his people. See Joel 3.  God fulfilled his promise to Abraham through David (See the full story here).

How was it fulfilled? Jesus Christ is an ancestor of David (- read about it here).

69 And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established forever. This is speaking about the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem. This beautiful temple was the envy of the whole world. No other temple was ever built anywhere in the world that even matched it’s splendor.

David was only a lowly shepherd boy when Samuel anointed him King of Israel.

1 Samuel 16:13 “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.”

What a beautiful metaphor to show how God wanted David/rulers/leaders to rule over, or govern, his people. He expected David/kings/leaders to guide like a shepherd. Shepherds lead and feed the sheep. In other words, the sheep’s welfare was the primary concern of the Shepherd.  David also signifies Christ, who reigns on the throne of his Father. And who will reign over the house of Jacob forever? Luke 1:32 He [Jesus] shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his Father David: Jesus is the great Shepherd. John 10:11 N (NIV) “I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Back to David: God made David king because he knew that David was humble enough to allow God to show him how to lead His people. 

72 So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.

The anointing and the Spirit of God came upon David. David listen to the guidance of the Holy SPirit and was successful at everything that God had given him to do. Even though David sinned, he loved God with his whole his heart. He repented and God forgave him. Can God say that about us, my friends?

Prayer: Lord, lead me as my Shepherd. Protect, guide, feed, and direct my path each and every day. Not my will, but yours be done. Now according to my desires but according to your wishes.

You Are Not The Only One

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