The Message

Psalm 78

An Asaph Psalm

11-4 Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth,
    bend your ears to what I tell you.
I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb;
    I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths,
Stories we heard from our fathers,
    counsel we learned at our mother’s knee.
We’re not keeping this to ourselves,
    we’re passing it along to the next generation—
God’s fame and fortune,
    the marvelous things he has done.

5-8 He planted a witness in Jacob,
    set his Word firmly in Israel,
Then commanded our parents
    to teach it to their children
So the next generation would know,
    and all the generations to come—
Know the truth and tell the stories
    so their children can trust in God,
Never forget the works of God
    but keep his commands to the letter.
Heaven forbid they should be like their parents,
    bullheaded and bad,
A fickle and faithless bunch
    who never stayed true to God.

9-16 The Ephraimites, armed to the teeth,
    ran off when the battle began.
They were cowards to God’s Covenant,
    refused to walk by his Word.
They forgot what he had done—
    marvels he’d done right before their eyes.
He performed miracles in plain sight of their parents
    in Egypt, out on the fields of Zoan.
He split the Sea and they walked right through it;
    he piled the waters to the right and the left.
He led them by day with a cloud,
    led them all the night long with a fiery torch.
He split rocks in the wilderness,
    gave them all they could drink from underground springs;
He made creeks flow out from sheer rock,
    and water pour out like a river.

17-20 All they did was sin even more,
    rebel in the desert against the High God.
They tried to get their own way with God,
    clamored for favors, for special attention.
They whined like spoiled children,
    “Why can’t God give us a decent meal in this desert?
Sure, he struck the rock and the water flowed,
    creeks cascaded from the rock.
But how about some fresh-baked bread?
    How about a nice cut of meat?”

21-31 When God heard that, he was furious—
    his anger flared against Jacob,
    he lost his temper with Israel.
It was clear they didn’t believe God,
    had no intention of trusting in his help.
But God helped them anyway, commanded the clouds
    and gave orders that opened the gates of heaven.
He rained down showers of manna to eat,
    he gave them the Bread of Heaven.
They ate the bread of the mighty angels;
    he sent them all the food they could eat.
He let East Wind break loose from the skies,
    gave a strong push to South Wind.
This time it was birds that rained down—
    succulent birds, an abundance of birds.
He aimed them right for the center of their camp;
    all round their tents there were birds.
They ate and had their fill;
    he handed them everything they craved on a platter.
But their greed knew no bounds;
    they stuffed their mouths with more and more.
Finally, God was fed up, his anger erupted—
    he cut down their brightest and best,
    he laid low Israel’s finest young men.

32-37 And—can you believe it?—they kept right on sinning;
    all those wonders and they still wouldn’t believe!
So their lives dribbled off to nothing—
    nothing to show for their lives but a ghost town.
When he cut them down, they came running for help;
    they turned and pled for mercy.
They gave witness that God was their rock,
    that High God was their redeemer,
But they didn’t mean a word of it;
    they lied through their teeth the whole time.
They could not have cared less about him,
    wanted nothing to do with his Covenant.

38-55 And God? Compassionate!
    Forgave the sin! Didn’t destroy!
Over and over he reined in his anger,
    restrained his considerable wrath.
He knew what they were made of;
    he knew there wasn’t much to them,
How often in the desert they had spurned him,
    tried his patience in those wilderness years.
Time and again they pushed him to the limit,
    provoked Israel’s Holy God.
How quickly they forgot what he’d done,
    forgot their day of rescue from the enemy,
When he did miracles in Egypt,
    wonders on the plain of Zoan.
He turned the River and its streams to blood—
    not a drop of water fit to drink.
He sent flies, which ate them alive,
    and frogs, which bedeviled them.
He turned their harvest over to caterpillars,
    everything they had worked for to the locusts.
He flattened their grapevines with hail;
    a killing frost ruined their orchards.
He pounded their cattle with hail,
    let thunderbolts loose on their herds.
His anger flared,
    a wild firestorm of havoc,
An advance guard of disease-carrying angels
    to clear the ground, preparing the way before him.
He didn’t spare those people,
    he let the plague rage through their lives.
He killed all the Egyptian firstborns,
    lusty infants, offspring of Ham’s virility.
Then he led his people out like sheep,
    took his flock safely through the wilderness.
He took good care of them; they had nothing to fear.
    The Sea took care of their enemies for good.
He brought them into his holy land,
    this mountain he claimed for his own.
He scattered everyone who got in their way;
    he staked out an inheritance for them—
    the tribes of Israel all had their own places.

56-64 But they kept on giving him a hard time,
    rebelled against God, the High God,
    refused to do anything he told them.
They were worse, if that’s possible, than their parents:
    traitors—crooked as a corkscrew.
Their pagan orgies provoked God’s anger,
    their obscene idolatries broke his heart.
When God heard their carryings-on, he was furious;
    he posted a huge No over Israel.
He walked off and left Shiloh empty,
    abandoned the shrine where he had met with Israel.
He let his pride and joy go to the dogs,
    turned his back on the pride of his life.
He turned them loose on fields of battle;
    angry, he let them fend for themselves.
Their young men went to war and never came back;
    their young women waited in vain.
Their priests were massacred,
    and their widows never shed a tear.

65-72 Suddenly the Lord was up on his feet
    like someone roused from deep sleep,
    shouting like a drunken warrior.
He hit his enemies hard, sent them running,
    yelping, not daring to look back.
He disqualified Joseph as leader,
    told Ephraim he didn’t have what it takes,
And chose the Tribe of Judah instead,
    Mount Zion, which he loves so much.
He built his sanctuary there, resplendent,
    solid and lasting as the earth itself.
Then he chose David, his servant,
    handpicked him from his work in the sheep pens.
One day he was caring for the ewes and their lambs,
    the next day God had him shepherding Jacob,
    his people Israel, his prize possession.
His good heart made him a good shepherd;
    he guided the people wisely and well.

Bibelen på hverdagsdansk

Salme 78

Israels Gud—historiens Gud

1En visdomssang af Asaf.

Mit folk, lyt til min belæring,
    hør nøje efter, hvad jeg siger.
Jeg vil tale i billeder,
    fortælle om det, der har været skjult fra verdens begyndelse.
Det er vore forfædres historier,
    som er fortalt gennem mange generationer.
Vi vil fortælle dem til vore børn,
    som igen skal give dem videre til nye generationer.
De skal også høre om Herrens magt,
    om de forunderlige ting, han har gjort.

Han gav sine love til Jakobs slægt,
    åbenbarede sin vilje for sit folk, Israel.
Han befalede vore forfædre
    at undervise deres børn derom,
så den næste generation ville vide besked,
    så selv de børn, som endnu ikke var født,
        til sin tid kunne belære deres børn,
for at hvert slægtled må have tillid til Gud,
    huske hans vældige gerninger
        og adlyde hans befalinger,
så de ikke bliver som deres forfædre,
    der var stædige og oprørske,
som ikke vendte deres hjerte til Gud,
    men var troløse og ulydige mod ham.

Efraims krigere var udrustet med buer,
    men flygtede alligevel i kampens hede.
10 De overholdt ikke pagten med Gud,
    og de nægtede at følge hans lov.
11 De glemte, hvad Gud havde gjort,
    alle de store undere, han havde udført.
12 Han gjorde mirakler for deres forfædre,
    da de kom fra Zoans slette i Egypten.
13 Han delte havet og førte dem igennem,
    vandet stod som en vold på begge sider.
14 Om dagen ledte han dem ved en sky,
    om natten var der en søjle af ild.

15 Han kløvede ørkenens klipper
    og skaffede masser af vand.

16 En kilde sprang frem fra klippen,
    så vandet flød som en flod.
17 Men de fortsatte deres oprør mod Gud,
    de vakte den Almægtiges vrede i ørkenen.
18 De provokerede Gud med vilje,
    forlangte deres egyptiske livretter.
19 De fornærmede Gud ved at sige:
    „Kan Gud dække bord i ørkenen?
20 Han slog ganske vist på klippen,
    så vandet strømmede ud.
Men kan han give os brød?
    Kan han skaffe kød til sit folk?”
21 Da Gud hørte det, blev han vred.
    Hans vrede blussede op imod Israel,
22 for de havde ikke tillid til deres Gud.
    De troede ikke på, at han kunne tage sig af dem.
23 Men han gav befaling til skyerne
    og åbnede himlens sluser.
24 Han lod det regne ned over dem med manna,
    han gav dem brød fra himlen at spise.
25 Han gav dem englemad,
    så de havde rigeligt at spise.
26 Han lod østenvinden fare hen over himlen,
    styrede søndenvinden med sin mægtige hånd,
27 lod kød hagle ned over dem,
    fugle så talrige som sandkornene på stranden.
28 Han lod dem falde ned midt i lejren,
    de lå rundt omkring imellem teltene.
29 Folket spiste sig overmætte,
    Gud tilfredsstillede deres grådighed.
30 Men mens de endnu havde munden fuld,
    blev deres grådighed straffet.
31 De blev ramt af Herrens vrede,
    han dræbte deres stærkeste mænd,
        gjorde det af med de bedste krigere.
32 Alligevel blev de ved med at synde,
    til trods for hans mægtige undere.
33 Derfor dræbte han folk i deres bedste alder,
    de blev alle grebet af rædsel.
34 Når han dræbte en stor del af dem,
    søgte resten tilbage til ham.
        De angrede og vendte sig igen til Gud.
35 Så huskede de, at Gud var deres redning,
    den almægtige Gud var deres befrier.
36 Men de dyrkede kun Gud med deres ord,
    deres lovprisning var ikke andet end løgn.
37 Deres hjerter var langt fra Gud,
    de holdt ikke fast ved hans pagt.
38 Alligevel var Gud barmhjertig,
    han tilgav deres synd og udslettede dem ikke.
Ofte holdt han sin vrede tilbage,
    lod ikke sit raseri få frit løb.
39 Han vidste jo, at de kun var mennesker,
    de var som et vindpust, der farer forbi.
40 Hvor ofte gjorde de ikke oprør i ørkenen?
    De vakte hans vrede og voldte ham sorg.
41 De provokerede deres Gud gang på gang,
    de var ulydige mod Israels Herre.
42 De glemte hans underfulde kraft,
    som befriede dem fra fjendens tyranni.
43 De glemte, hvordan han sendte plager over egypterne,
    gjorde mægtige undere på Zoans slette.
44 Han forvandlede floderne til blod,
    så vandet ikke kunne drikkes.
45 Han sendte insekter, som stak dem,
    et mylder af frøer, som ødelagde deres land.
46 Han gav deres afgrøde til græshopperne,
    hele deres høst blev ædt op.
47 Han ødelagde deres vinstokke med hagl,
    deres figentræer med den iskolde regn.
48 Deres kvæg bukkede under for haglene,
    deres får blev ramt af lynene.
49 Han udøste sin vrede over dem,
    sendte ødelæggelsen ind over dem.
50 Han gav sin vrede frit løb
    og sparede ikke egypternes liv,
        men gjorde dem til ofre for de mange plager.
51 Han dræbte alle Egyptens førstefødte,
    symbolet på hver eneste families frugtbarhed.

52 Men han førte sit eget folk i frihed,
    ledte dem som en fåreflok gennem ørkenen.
53 Han ledte dem frem i sikkerhed,
    mens deres fjender blev begravet i havet.
54 Han førte dem til det forjættede land,
    det bjergland, han havde lovet at give dem.
55 Han drev folkeslag bort foran dem,
    han uddelte landet til dem ved lodkastning,
        så Israels stammer kunne bosætte sig der.

56 Men de trodsede igen den almægtige Gud,
    de adlød ikke hans befalinger.
57 De var troløse som deres forfædre og vendte sig bort,
    de svigtede deres Gud som en bue, der er skæv.
58 De krænkede ham med deres afgudsbilleder,
    æggede ham med deres offerhøje.
59 Gud så deres opførsel og blev meget vred,
    han følte en stærk lede ved sit folk.
60 Han forlod sin helligdom i Shilo,
    hvor han havde lovet at bo blandt sit folk.
61 Han tillod, at arken blev taget som bytte,
    overgav symbolet på sin herlighed til fjenden.
62 Han lod mange blive dræbt i krig,
    for han var vred på sit udvalgte folk.
63 De tapre krigere døde i deres ungdom,
    de unge piger havde ingen at gifte sig med.
64 Præsterne blev myrdet af fjendens soldater,
    enkerne fik ikke lov at synge klagesange.

65 Da rejste Herren sig som af søvne,
    som en rasende kriger, der har fået for meget at drikke.
66 Han drev fjenderne på flugt,
    voldte dem et nederlag, der aldrig blev glemt.
67 Men han forkastede Efraims krigere,
    de der var efterkommere af Josef.
68 I stedet valgte han Judas stamme,
    og besluttede sig for Zions bjerg.
69 Dér byggede han sin prægtige helligdom
    på et fundament, som varer til evig tid.
70 Han udvalgte sin tjener David,
    som ikke var andet end en fårehyrde.
71 Han fjernede ham fra faderens får
    og gjorde ham til konge i Israel,
        til hyrde for sit udvalgte folk.
72 David blev en god og retfærdig konge,
    han ledte folket med kyndig hånd.