This is Episode #179 and today we’ll read Psalms 78-79 together. A message for fathers from God’s Word.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #179 and today we’ll read Psalms 78-79 together. A message for fathers from God’s Word.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Lessons from Israel’s Past
A Maskil of Asaph.
My people, hear my instruction;
listen to the words from my mouth.
I will declare wise sayings;
I will speak mysteries from the past —
things we have heard and known
and that our ancestors have passed down to us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but will tell a future generation
the praiseworthy acts of the Lord,
his might, and the wondrous works
he has performed.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and set up a law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach to their children
so that a future generation —
children yet to be born — might know.
They were to rise and tell their children
so that they might put their confidence in God
and not forget God’s works,
but keep his commands.
Then they would not be like their ancestors,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not loyal
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
The Ephraimite archers turned back
on the day of battle.
They did not keep God’s covenant
and refused to live by his law.
They forgot what he had done,
the wondrous works he had shown them.
He worked wonders in the sight of their ancestors
in the land of Egypt, the territory of Zoan.
He split the sea and brought them across;
the water stood firm like a wall.
He led them with a cloud by day
and with a fiery light throughout the night.
He split rocks in the wilderness
and gave them drink as abundant as the depths.
He brought streams out of the stone
and made water flow down like rivers.
They Repented and Searched for God
But they continued to sin against him,
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
They deliberately tested God,
demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God, saying,
“Is God able to provide food in the wilderness?
Look! He struck the rock and water gushed out;
But can he also provide bread
or furnish meat for his people?”
Therefore, the Lord heard and became furious;
then fire broke out against Jacob,
and anger flared up against Israel
because they did not believe God
or rely on his salvation.
He gave a command to the clouds above
and opened the doors of heaven.
He rained manna for them to eat;
he gave them grain from heaven.
People ate the bread of angels.
He sent them an abundant supply of food.
He made the east wind blow in the skies
and drove the south wind by his might.
He rained meat on them like dust,
and winged birds like the sand of the seas.
He made them fall in the camp,
all around the tents.
The people ate and were completely satisfied,
for he gave them what they craved.
Before they had turned from what they craved,
while the food was still in their mouths,
God’s anger flared up against them,
and he killed some of their best men.
He struck down Israel’s fit young men.
Despite all this, they kept sinning
and did not believe his wondrous works.
He made their days end in futility,
their years in sudden disaster.
When he killed some of them,
the rest began to seek him;
they repented and searched for God.
They Constantly Tested God
They remembered that God was their rock,
the Most High God, their Redeemer.
But they deceived him with their mouths,
they lied to him with their tongues,
their hearts were insincere toward him,
and they were unfaithful to his covenant.
Yet he was compassionate;
he atoned for their iniquity
and did not destroy them.
He often turned his anger aside
and did not unleash all his wrath.
He remembered that they were only flesh,
a wind that passes and does not return.
How often they rebelled against him
in the wilderness
and grieved him in the desert.
They constantly tested God
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his power shown
on the day he redeemed them from the foe,
when he performed his miraculous signs in Egypt
and his wonders in the territory of Zoan.
He turned their rivers into blood,
and they could not drink from their streams.
He sent among them swarms of flies,
which fed on them,
and frogs, which devastated them.
He gave their crops to the caterpillar
and the fruit of their labor to the locust.
He killed their vines with hail
and their sycamore fig trees with a flood.
He handed over their livestock to hail
and their cattle to lightning bolts.
He sent his burning anger against them:
fury, indignation, and calamity —
a band of deadly messengers.
He cleared a path for his anger.
He did not spare them from death
but delivered their lives to the plague.
He Completely Rejected Israel
He struck all the firstborn in Egypt,
the first progeny of the tents of Ham.
He led his people out like sheep
and guided them like a flock in the wilderness.
He led them safely, and they were not afraid;
but the sea covered their enemies.
He brought them to his holy territory,
to the mountain his right hand acquired.
He drove out nations before them.
He apportioned their inheritance by lot
and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
But they rebelliously tested the Most High God,
for they did not keep his decrees.
They treacherously turned away like their ancestors;
they became warped like a faulty bow.
They enraged him with their high places
and provoked his jealousy with their carved images.
God heard and became furious;
he completely rejected Israel.
He abandoned the tabernacle at Shiloh,
the tent where he resided among mankind.
He gave up his strength to captivity
and his splendor to the hand of a foe.
He surrendered his people to the sword
because he was enraged with his heritage.
Fire consumed his chosen young men,
and his young women had no wedding songs.
His priests fell by the sword,
and the widows could not lament.
The Lord awoke as if from sleep,
like a warrior from the effects of wine.
He beat back his foes;
he gave them lasting disgrace.
He rejected the tent of Joseph
and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.
He chose instead the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion, which he loved.
He built his sanctuary like the heights,
like the earth that he established forever.
He Shepherded Them with a Pure Heart
He chose David his servant
and took him from the sheep pens;
he brought him from tending ewes
to be shepherd over his people Jacob —
over Israel, his inheritance.
He shepherded them with a pure heart
and guided them with his skillful hands.
Faith amid Confusion
A psalm of Asaph.
God, the nations have invaded your inheritance,
desecrated your holy temple,
and turned Jerusalem into ruins.
They gave the corpses of your servants
to the birds of the sky for food,
the flesh of your faithful ones
to the beasts of the earth.
They poured out their blood
like water all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
We have become an object of reproach
to our neighbors,
a source of mockery and ridicule
to those around us.
How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy keep burning like fire?
Pour out your wrath on the nations
that don’t acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms that don’t call on your name,
for they have devoured Jacob
and devastated his homeland.
Do not hold past iniquities against us;
let your compassion come to us quickly,
for we have become very weak.
God of our salvation, help us,
for the glory of your name.
Rescue us and atone for our sins,
for your name’s sake.
Why should the nations ask,
“Where is their God?”
Before our eyes,
let vengeance for the shed blood of your servants
be known among the nations.
Let the groans of the prisoners reach you;
according to your great power,
preserve those condemned to die.
Pay back sevenfold to our neighbors
the reproach they have hurled at you, Lord.
Then we, your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will thank you forever;
we will declare your praise
to generation after generation.
My friend, Matt – who is also our youth pastor, preached the sermon on Father’s Day while Pastor Hans was on sabbatical. Bet you’ll never guess what text he chose. Yep, Psalm 78. And although the message of this psalm is pretty clear, it was made so much more powerful as Matt linked it to how important a present and Godly father is to the success of his children. We must – as families, local congregations, communities, and society as a whole – get serious about raising up the next generation according to God’s standards and ways. I highly recommend going to our church website to listen to Matt’s sermon…it is heartfelt and true. Fathers are key. Don’t ever let a father you know allow himself to think he is nothing more than a paycheck to his kids. He is so much more. And God says so.
Matt also had us read together part of the Shema – Deuteronomy 6:5-9, which reinforces this crucial message. Remember that the Shema is considered by many Jews as the most important prayer in Judaism, required as a part of morning and evening prayers every day. It says this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.
See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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