Psalm 78

From Scottish Metrical Psalms 1650

Meter: 8,6,8,6

1    Attend, my people, to my law;
       thereto give thou an ear;
     The words that from my mouth proceed
       attentively do hear.
2    My mouth shall speak a parable,
       and sayings dark of old;
3    The same which we have heard and known,
       and us our fathers told.

4    We also will them not conceal
       from their posterity;
     Them to the generation
       to come declare will we:
     The praises of the Lord our God,
       and his almighty strength,
     The wondrous works that he hath done,
       we will shew forth at length.

5    His testimony and his law
       in Isr'el he did place,
     And charg'd our fathers it to show
       to their succeeding race;
6    That so the race which was to come
       might well them learn and know;
     And sons unborn, who should arise,
       might to their sons them show:

7    That they might set their hope in God,
       and suffer not to fall
     His mighty works out of their mind,
       but keep his precepts all:
8    And might not, like their fathers, be
       a stiff rebellious race;
     A race not right in heart; with God
       whose sp'rit not stedfast was.

9    The sons of Ephraim, who nor bows
       nor other arms did lack,
     When as the day of battle was,
       they faintly turned back.
10   They brake God's cov'nant, and refus'd
       in his commands to go;
11   His works and wonders they forgot,
       which he to them did show.

12   Things marvellous he brought to pass;
       their fathers them beheld
     Within the land of Egypt done,
       yea, ev'n in Zoan's field.
13   By him divided was the sea,
       he caus'd them through to pass;
     And made the waters so to stand,
       as like an heap it was.

14   With cloud by day, with light of fire
       all night, he did them guide.
15   In desert rocks he clave, and drink,
       as from great depths, supply'd.
16   He from the rock brought streams, like floods
       made waters to run down.
17   Yet sinning more, in desert they
       provok'd the Highest One.

18   For in their heart they tempted God,
       and, speaking with mistrust,
     They greedily did meat require
       to satisfy their lust.
19   Against the Lord himself they spake,
       and, murmuring, said thus,
     A table in the wilderness
       can God prepare for us?

20   Behold, he smote the rock, and thence
       came streams and waters great;
     But can he give his people bread?
       and send them flesh to eat?
21   The Lord did hear, and waxed wroth;
       so kindled was a flame
     'Gainst Jacob, and `gainst Israel
       up indignation came.

22   For they believ'd not God, nor trust
       in his salvation had;
23   Though clouds above he did command,
       and heav'n's doors open made,
24   And manna rain'd on them, and gave
       them corn of heav'n to eat.
25   Man angels' food did eat; to them
       he to the full sent meat.

26   And in the heaven he did cause
       an eastern wind to blow;
     And by his power he let out
       the southern wind to go.
27   Then flesh as thick as dust he made
       to rain down them among;
     And feather'd fowls, like as the sand
       which li'th the shore along.

28   At his command amidst their camp
       these show'rs of flesh down fell,
     All round about the tabernacles
       and tents where they did dwell.
29   So they did eat abundantly,
       and had of meat their fill;
     For he did give to them what was
       their own desire and will.

30   They from their lust had not estrang'd
       their heart and their desire;
     But while the meat was in their mouths,
       which they did so require,
31   God's wrath upon them came, and slew
       the fattest of them all;
     So that the choice of Israel,
       o'erthrown by death, did fall.

32   Yet, notwithstanding of all this,
       they sinned still the more;
     And though he had great wonders wrought,
       believ'd him not therefore:
33   Wherefore their days in vanity
       he did consume and waste;
     And by his wrath their wretched years
       away in trouble past.

34   But when he slew them, then they did
       to seek him shew desire;
     Yea, they return'd, and after God
       right early did enquire.
35   And that the Lord had been their Rock,
       they did remember then;
     Ev'n that the high almighty God
       had their Redeemer been.

36   Yet with their mouth they flatter'd him,
       and spake but feignedly;
     And they unto the God of truth
       with their false tongues did lie.
37   For though their words were good, their heart
       with him was not sincere;
     Unstedfast and perfidious
       they in his cov'nant were.

38   But, full of pity, he forgave
       their sin, them did not slay;
     Nor stirr'd up all his wrath, but oft
       his anger turn'd away.
39   For that they were but fading flesh
       to mind he did recall;
     A wind that passeth soon away,
       and not returns at all.

40   How often did they him provoke
       within the wilderness!
     And in the desert did him grieve
       with their rebelliousness!
41   Yea, turning back, they tempted God,
       and limits set upon
     Him, who in midst of Isr'el is
       the only Holy One.

42   They did not call to mind his pow'r,
       nor yet the day when he
     Deliver'd them out of the hand
       of their fierce enemy;
43   Nor how great signs in Egypt land
       he openly had wrought;
     What miracles in Zoan's field
       his hand to pass had brought.

44   How lakes and rivers ev'ry where
       he turned into blood;
     So that nor man nor beast could drink
       of standing lake or flood.
45   He brought among them swarms of flies,
       which did them sore annoy;
     And divers kinds of filthy frogs
       he sent them to destroy.

46   He to the caterpillar gave
       the fruits of all their soil;
     Their labours he deliver'd up
       unto the locusts' spoil.
47   Their vines with hail, their sycamores
       he with the frost did blast:
48   Their beasts to hail he gave; their flocks
       hot thunderbolts did waste.

49   Fierce burning wrath he on them cast,
       and indignation strong,
     And troubles sore, by sending forth
       ill angels them among.
50   He to his wrath made way; their soul
       from death he did not save;
     But over to the pestilence
       the lives of them he gave.

51   In Egypt land the first-born all
       he smote down ev'ry where;
     Among the tents of Ham, ev'n these
       chief of their strength that were.
52   But his own people, like to sheep,
       thence to go forth he made;
     And he, amidst the wilderness,
       them, as a flock, did lead.

53   And he them safely on did lead,
       so that they did not fear;
     Whereas their en'mies by the sea
       quite overwhelmed were.
54   To borders of his sanctuary
       the Lord his people led,
     Ev'n to the mount which his right hand
       for them had purchased.

55   The nations of Canaan,
       by his almighty hand,
     Before their face he did expel
       out of their native land;
     Which for inheritance to them
       by line he did divide,
     And made the tribes of Israel
       within their tents abide.

56   Yet God most high they did provoke,
       and tempted ever still;
     And to observe his testimonies
       did not incline their will:
57   But, like their fathers, turned back,
       and dealt unfaithfully:
     Aside they turned, like a bow
       that shoots deceitfully.

58   For they to anger did provoke
       him with their places high;
     And with their graven images
       mov'd him to jealousy.
59   When God heard this, he waxed wroth,
       and much loath'd Isr'el then:
60   So Shiloh's tent he left, the tent
       which he had plac'd with men.

61   And he his strength delivered
       into captivity;
     He left his glory in the hand
       of his proud enemy.
62   His people also he gave o'er
       unto the sword's fierce rage:
     So sore his wrath inflamed was
       against his heritage.

63   The fire consum'd their choice young men;
       their maids no marriage had;
64   And when their priests fell by the sword,
       their wives no mourning made.
65   But then the Lord arose, as one
       that doth from sleep awake;
     And like a giant that, by wine
       refresh'd, a shout doth make:

66   Upon his en'mies' hinder parts
       he made his stroke to fall;
     And so upon them he did put
       a shame perpetual.
67   Moreover, he the tabernacle
       of Joseph did refuse;
     The mighty tribe of Ephraim
       he would in no wise chuse:

68   But he did chuse Jehudah's tribe
       to be the rest above;
     And of mount Sion he made choice,
       which he so much did love.
69   And he his sanctuary built
       like to a palace high,
     Like to the earth which he did found
       to perpetuity.

70   Of David, that his servant was,
       he also choice did make,
     And even from the folds of sheep
       was pleased him to take:
71   From waiting on the ewes with young,
       he brought him forth to feed
     Israel, his inheritance,
       his people, Jacob's seed.

72   So after the integrity
       he of his heart them fed;
     And by the good skill of his hands
       them wisely governed.

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