God's Guidance of His People in Spite of Their Unfaithfulness.

1 1Listen, O my people, to my instruction; 2Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will 3open my mouth in a parable; I will utter 4dark sayings of old,
3 Which we have heard and known, And 5our fathers have told us.
4 We will 6not conceal them from their children, But 7tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His 8wondrous works that He has done.
5 For He established a 9testimony in Jacob And appointed a 10law in Israel, Which He 11commanded our fathers That they should 12teach them to their children,
6 13That the generation to come might know, even 14the children yet to be born, That they may arise and 15tell them to their children,
7 That they should put their confidence in God And 16not forget the works of God, But 17keep His commandments,
8 And 18not be like their fathers, A 19stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that 20did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not 21faithful to God.
9 The sons of Ephraim were 22archers equipped with bows, Yet 23they turned back in the day of battle.
10 They 24did not keep the covenant of God And refused to 25walk in His law;
11 They 26forgot His deeds And His miracles that He had shown them.
12 27He wrought wonders before their fathers In the land of Egypt, in the 28field of Zoan.
13 He 29divided the sea and caused them to pass through, And He made the waters stand 30up like a heap.
14 Then He led them with the cloud by 31day And all the night with a 32light of fire.
15 He 33split the rocks in the wilderness And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths.
16 He 34brought forth streams also from the rock And caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 Yet they still continued to sin against Him, To 35rebel against the Most High in the desert.
18 And in their heart they 36put God to the test By asking 37food according to their desire.
19 Then they spoke against God; They said, "38Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 "Behold, He 39struck the rock so that waters gushed out, And streams were overflowing; Can He give bread also? Will He provide 40meat for His people?"
21 Therefore the LORD heard and was 41full of wrath; And a fire was kindled against Jacob And anger also mounted against Israel,
22 Because they 42did not believe in God And did not trust in His salvation.
23 Yet He commanded the clouds above * And 43opened the doors of heaven;
24 He 44rained down manna upon them to eat And gave them 45food from heaven.
25 Man did eat the bread of angels; He sent them food 46in abundance.
26 He 47caused the east wind to blow in the heavens And by His power He directed the south wind.
27 When He rained meat upon them like the dust, Even 48winged fowl like the sand of the seas,
28 Then He let them fall in the midst of their camp, Round about their dwellings.
29 So they 49ate and were well filled, And their desire He gave to them.
30 Before they had satisfied their desire, 50While their food was in their mouths,
31 The 51anger of God rose against them And killed some of their 52stoutest ones, And subdued the choice men of Israel.
32 In spite of all this they 53still sinned And 54did not believe in His wonderful works.
33 So He brought 55their days to an end in futility And their years in sudden terror.
34 When He killed them, then they 56sought Him, And returned and searched 57diligently for God;
35 And they remembered that God was their 58rock, And the Most High God their 59Redeemer.
36 But they 60deceived Him with their mouth And 61lied to Him with their tongue.
37 For their heart was not 62steadfast toward Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
38 But He, being 63compassionate, 64forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; And often He 65restrained His anger And did not arouse all His wrath.
39 Thus 66He remembered that they were but 67flesh, A 68wind that passes and does not return.
40 How often they 69rebelled against Him in the wilderness And 70grieved Him in the 71desert!
41 Again and again they 72tempted God, And pained the 73Holy One of Israel.
42 They 74did not remember 75His power, The day when He 76redeemed them from the adversary,
43 When He performed His 77signs in Egypt And His 78marvels in the field of Zoan,
44 And 79turned their rivers to blood, And their streams, they could not drink.
45 He sent among them swarms of 80flies which devoured them, And 81frogs which destroyed them.
46 He gave also their crops to the 82grasshopper And the product of their labor to the 83locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with 84hailstones And their sycamore trees with frost.
48 He gave over their 85cattle also to the hailstones And their herds to bolts of lightning.
49 He 86sent upon them His burning anger, Fury and indignation and trouble, A band of destroying angels.
50 He leveled a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But 87gave over their life to the plague,
51 And 88smote all the firstborn in Egypt, The 89first issue of their virility in the tents of 90Ham.
52 But He 91led forth His own people like sheep And guided them in the wilderness 92like a flock;
53 He led them 93safely, so that they did not fear; But 94the sea engulfed their enemies.
54 So 95He brought them to His holy land, To this 96hill country 97which His right hand had gained.
55 He also 98drove out the nations before * them And 99apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement, And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.
56 Yet they 100tempted and 101rebelled against the Most High God And did not keep His testimonies,
57 But turned back and 102acted treacherously like their fathers; They 103turned aside like a treacherous bow.
58 For they 104provoked Him with their 105high places And 106aroused His jealousy with their 107graven images.
59 When God heard, He was filled with 108wrath And greatly 109abhorred Israel;
60 So that He 110abandoned the 111dwelling place at Shiloh, The tent which He had pitched among men,
61 And gave up His 112strength to captivity And His glory 113into the hand of the adversary.
62 He also 114delivered His people to the sword, And was filled with wrath at His inheritance.
64 His 117priests fell by the sword, And His 118widows could not weep.
65 Then the Lord 119awoke as if from sleep, Like a 120warrior overcome by wine.
66 He 121drove His adversaries backward; He put on them an everlasting reproach.
67 He also 122rejected the tent of Joseph, And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount 123Zion which He loved.
69 And He 124built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has founded forever.
70 He also 125chose David His servant And took him from the sheepfolds *;
71 From 126the care of the ewes 127with suckling lambs He brought him To 128shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel 129His inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them according to the 130integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands.