Psalm 78 - Part One.
Providence of God recorded.
1 Let children hear the mighty deeds,
Which God perform'd of old,
Which in our younger years we saw,
And which our fathers told.
2 He bids us make his glories known,
His works of power and grace;
And we'll convey his wonders down
Thro' every rising race.
3 Our lips shall tell them to our sons,
And they again to theirs,
That generations yet unborn
May teach them to their heirs.
4 Thus shall they learn in God alone
Their hope securely stands,
That they may ne'er forget his works,
But practise his commands.
Psalm 78 - Part Two.
Israel's rebellion and punishment.
1 What a stiff rebellious house
Was Jacob's ancient race!
False to their own most solemn vows,
And to their Maker's grace.
2 They broke the covenant of his love,
And did his laws despise,
Forgot the works he wrought to prove
His power before their eyes.
3 They saw the plagues on Egypt light,
From his revenging hand
What dreadful tokens of his might
Spread o'er the stubborn land!
4 They saw him cleave the mighty sea,
And march'd in safety thro',
With watery walls to guard their way,
Till they had 'scap'd the foe.
5 A wondrous pillar mark'd the road,
Compos'd of shade and light;
By day it prov'd a sheltering cloud,
A leading fire by night.
6 He from the rock their thirst supply'd;
The gushing waters fell,
And ran in rivers by their side,
A constant miracle.
7 Yet they provok'd the Lord most high,
And dar'd distrust his hand;
"Can he with bread our host supply
"Amidst this desert land?"
8 The Lord with indignation heard,
And caus'd his wrath to flame
His terrors ever stand prepar'd
To vindicate his name.
Psalm 78 - Part Three.
The punishment of luxury and intemperance.
1 When Israel sins, the Lord reproves,
And fills their hearts with dread;
Yet he forgives the men he loves,
And sends them heavenly bread.
2 He fed them with a liberal hand,
And made his treasures known;
He gave the midnight clouds command
To pour provision down.
3 The manna, like a morning shower,
Lay thick around their feet;
The corn of heaven, so light, so pure,
As tho' 'twere angels' meat.
4 But they in murmuring language said,
"Manna is all our feast;
"We loathe this light, this airy bread;
"We must have flesh to taste."
5 "Ye shall have flesh to please your lust;"
The Lord in wrath reply'd,
And sent them quails like sand or dust,
Heap'd up from side to side.
6 He gave them all their own desire;
And greedy as they fed,
His vengeance burnt with secret fire,
And smote the rebels dead.
7 When some were slain, the rest return'd,
And sought the Lord with tears;
Under the rod they fear'd and mourn'd,
But soon forgot their fears.
8 Oft he chastis'd and still forgave,
Till by his gracious hand
The nation he resolv'd to save,
Possess'd the promis'd land.
Psalm 78 - Part Four.
Verses 32ff. Backsliding and forgiveness;
or, Sin punished, and saints saved.
1 Great God, how oft did Israel prove
By turns thine anger and thy love!
There in a glass our hearts may see
How fickle and how false they be.
2 How soon the faithless Jews forgot
The dreadful wonders God had wrought!
Then they provoke him to his face,
Nor fear his power, nor trust his grace.
3 The Lord consum'd their years in pain,
And made their travels long and vain;
A tedious march thro' unknown ways
Wore out their strength and spent their days.
4 Oft when they saw their brethren slain,
They mourn'd and sought the Lord again;
Call'd him the Rock of their abode,
Their high Redeemer and their God.
5 Their prayers and vows before him rise
As flattering words or solemn lies,
While their rebellious tempers prove
False to his covenant and his love.
6 Yet did his sovereign grace forgive
The men who not deserv'd to live;
His anger oft away he turn'd,
Or else with gentle flame it burn'd.
7 He saw their flesh was weak and frail,
He saw temptation still prevail
The God of Abraham lov'd them still,
And led them to his holy hill.