Psalm 78. Attendite, popule.
From the Book of Divine Worship
- The Psalter or Psalms of David - Contemporary - Fifteenth Day - Evening Prayer.
Part I: Attendite, popule
- Hear my teaching, O my people; *
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
- I will open my mouth in a parable; *
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
- That which we have heard and known, and what our forefathers have told us, *
we will not hide from their children.
- We will recount to generations to come the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord, *
and the wonderful works he has done.
- He gave his decrees to Jacob and established a law for Israel, *
which he commanded them to teach their children;
- That the generations to come might know, and the children yet unborn; *
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
- So that they might put their trust in God, *
and not forget the deeds of God, but keep his commandments;
- And not be like their forefathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, *
a generation whose heart was not steadfast, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
- The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow, *
turned back in the day of battle;
- They did not keep the covenant of God, *
and refused to walk in his law;
- They forgot what he had done, *
and the wonders he had shown them.
- He worked marvels in the sight of their forefathers, *
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
- He split open the sea and let them pass through; *
he made the waters stand up like walls.
- He led them with a cloud by day, *
and all the night through with a glow of fire.
- He split the hard rocks in the wilderness *
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
- He brought streams out of the cliff, *
and the waters gushed out like rivers.
- But they went on sinning against him, *
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
- They tested God in their hearts, *
demanding food for their craving.
- They railed against God and said, *
"Can God set a table in the wilderness?
- True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the gullies overflowed; *
but is he able to give bread or to provide meat for his people?"
- When the Lord heard this, he was full of wrath; *
a fire was kindled against Jacob, and his anger mounted against Israel;
- For they had no faith in God, *
nor did they put their trust in his saving power.
- So he commanded the clouds above *
and opened the doors of heaven.
- He rained down manna upon them to eat *
and gave them grain from heaven.
- So mortals ate the bread of angels; *
he provided for them food enough.
- He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens *
and led out the south wind by his might.
- He rained down flesh upon them like dust *
and winged birds like the sand of the sea.
- He let it fall in the midst of their camp *
and round about their dwellings.
- So they ate and were well filled, *
for he gave them what they craved.
- But they did not stop their craving, *
though the food was still in their mouths.
- So God's anger mounted against them; *
he slew their strongest men and laid low the youth of Israel.
- In spite of all this, they went on sinning *
and had no faith in his wonderful works.
- So he brought their days to an end like a breath *
and their years in sudden terror.
- Whenever he slew them, they would seek him, *
and repent, and diligently search for God.
- They would remember that God was their rock, *
and the Most High God their redeemer.
- But they flattered him with their mouths *
and lied to him with their tongues.
- Their heart was not steadfast toward him, *
and they were not faithful to his covenant.
- But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins and did not destroy them; *
many times he held back his anger and did not permit his wrath to be roused.
- For he remembered that they were but flesh, *
a breath that goes forth and does not return.
Part II: Quoties exacerbaverunt
- How often the people disobeyed him in the wilderness *
and offended him in the desert!
- Again and again they tempted God *
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
- They did not remember his power *
in the day when he ransomed them from the enemy;
- How he wrought his signs in Egypt *
and his omens in the field of Zoan.
- He turned their rivers into blood, *
so that they could not drink of their streams.
- He sent swarms of flies among them, which ate them up, *
and frogs, which destroyed them.
- He gave their crops to the caterpillar, *
the fruit of their toil to the locust.
- He killed their vines with hail *
and their sycamores with frost.
- He delivered their cattle to hailstones *
and their livestock to hot thunderbolts.
- He poured out upon them his blazing anger: *
fury, indignation, and distress, a troop of destroying angels.
- He gave full rein to his anger; he did not spare their souls from death; *
but delivered their lives to the plague.
- He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, *
the flower of manhood in the dwellings of Ham.
- He led out his people like sheep *
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
- He led them to safety, and they were not afraid; *
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
- He brought them to his holy land, *
the mountain his right hand had won.
- He drove out the Canaanites before them and apportioned an inheritance to them by lot; *
he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
- But they tested the Most High God, and defied him, *
and did not keep his commandments.
- They turned away and were disloyal like their fathers; *
they were undependable like a warped bow.
- They grieved him with their hill-altars *
and provoked his displeasure with their idols.
- When God heard this, he was angry *
and utterly rejected Israel.
- He forsook the shrine at Shiloh, *
the tabernacle where he had lived among his people.
- He delivered the ark into captivity, *
his glory into the adversary's hand.
- He gave his people to the sword *
and was angered against his inheritance.
- The fire consumed their young men; *
there were no wedding songs for their maidens.
- Their priests fell by the sword, *
and their widows made no lamentation.
- Then the Lord woke as though from sleep, *
like a warrior refreshed with wine.
- He struck his enemies on the backside *
and put them to perpetual shame.
- He rejected the tent of Joseph *
and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
- He chose instead the tribe of Judah *
and Mount Zion, which he loved.
- He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven, *
like the earth which he founded for ever.
- He chose David his servant, *
and took him away from the sheepfolds.
- He brought him from following the ewes, *
to be a shepherd over Jacob his people and over Israel his inheritance.
- So he shepherded them with a faithful and true heart *
and guided them with the skillfulness of his hands.
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