PSALM 78 … it’s a long Psalm, consisting of 72 verses. In fact, I just looked and it is the second longest chapter in the whole Book of Psalms!
It tells a large slice of the history of the Nation of Israel.
From the time she she left Egypt all the way to the time David reigns as her King. About a 500 year period of time, in round figures.
Verses 1-8 are a Sermon on “teaching your children” the mighty Works of God!
Verses 9-17 tell about God’s miraculous Power displayed at the Exodus, when Israel left slavery behind to travel to her “Promised Land.”
Verses 18-31 talk about God’s Plan to give Israel (then around 2 million people) food in the wilderness, in the desert! Yet the people did not appreciate God’s Bounty, complaining about their miraculous diet!
Verses 32-39 show how the Nation “acted” like they loved God, but their hearts were “far from Him.” Here God’s Grace is particularly magnified.
How soon we forget! Verses 40-55 remind a people to whom God has been so good … about her neglect and lack of gratefulness. Verse 42 is typical: “They remembered not His Hand, nor the day when He delivered them from the enemy.” So sad.
Verses 55-64, with the Jews now safely in the Land, in Canaan, they still blatantly disobey God! And the Lord removes the Tabernacle (His Holy Tent) from a place called Shiloh. A place riddled with apostasy.
Then finally in Verses 65-72 God refuses the old leadership of Israel (Ephraim) and transfers power to the Tribe of Judah, thus highlighting the Davidic Monarchy. David is a “hero” in this Psalm, for sure.
This beautiful Poem (Psalm 78) starts with “teach your children God’s Ways” and ends with a godly leader “like a shepherd,” caring for his little lambs.
It is truly a didactic Chapter, one designed to “teach” us the things of God!
Oh, it ought to be preached more than it is.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell