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Psalm 78

June 4, 2009

This is a psalm of historical significance, the history of Israel receiving God’s blessings but refusing to obey God’s laws.

The purpose of this psalm is stated in verses 1-8. It is a psalm to be memorized and taught to the Israelites so they would remember God and His goodness toward Israel so as to place their trust in God and obey His commands. It is a psalm pointing out Israel’s past disobedience and their bent on rebelling against God.

The history lesson begins with present Israel, the northern kingdom, in verse 9 and their refusal to obey God. They forgot about God’s wonders and miracles and returned to idol worship.

Beginning in verse 12, the history of Israel’s Exodus is condensed from Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. It tells of God’s blessings and care contrasted with Israel’s lack of faith; God’s mercy contrasted with Israel’s iniquity; and God’s miracles contrasted with Israel’s stubbornness.

Beginning with verse 56, the current history of Israel [the psalmist’s time period], particularly the northern tribes, is chronicled. They rejected God and turned to idols. They abandoned God so God was forced to abandon them. As a result, God focused His attention on Judah and Jerusalem beginning with His choice of David to rule His people. Even though David and Solomon ruled over a united kingdom, there was evidently a different mind-set toward God between the northern and southern tribes. David ruled with integrity but Godly hearts require one to be humble before the Lord which brings us back to the original purpose of this psalm.

Simply stated, remember what God has done, put your trust in Him, worship Him, and obey Him. Verify you have removed all idols from your life. God has given His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sin. Remember His sacrifice, put your trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection, worship Him, and follow Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

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