Psalm 80 – Asaph

A mournful psalm of lamentation and complaint.

Psalm 80
For the Chief Musician. To the tune of The Lilies of the Covenant

1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock,
you who sit above the cherubim, shine out.
2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might!
Come to save us!
3 Turn us again, God.
Cause your face to shine,
and we will be saved.
4 Yahweh God of Armies,
How long will you be angry against the prayer of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears,
and given them tears to drink in large measure.
6 You make us a source of contention to our neighbors.
Our enemies laugh among themselves.
7 Turn us again, God of Armies.
Cause your face to shine,
and we will be saved.
8 You brought a vine out of Egypt.
You drove out the nations, and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it.
It took deep root, and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shadow.
Its boughs were like God’s cedars.
11 It sent out its branches to the sea,
Its shoots to the River.
12 Why have you broken down its walls,
so that all those who pass by the way pluck it?
13 The boar out of the wood ravages it.
The wild animals of the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, we beg you, God of Armies.
Look down from heaven, and see, and visit this vine,
15 the stock which your right hand planted,
the branch that you made strong for yourself.
16 It’s burned with fire.
It’s cut down.
They perish at your rebuke.
17 Let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
on the son of man whom you made strong for yourself.
18 So we will not turn away from you.
Revive us, and we will call on your name.
19 Turn us again, Yahweh God of Armies.
Cause your face to shine, and we will be saved.


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Psalm 79 – Asaph

Complaint, prayer, and praise are the emphasis of this psalm that is patriotic in tone.

Psalm 79
A contemplation.

1 God, the nations have come into your inheritance.
They have defiled your holy temple.
They have laid Jerusalem in heaps.
2 They have given the dead bodies of your servants to be food for the birds of the sky,
the flesh of your saints to the animals of the earth.
3 Their blood they have shed like water around Jerusalem.
There was no one to bury them.
4 We have become a reproach to our neighbors,
a scoffing and derision to those who are around us.
5 How long, Yahweh?
Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out your wrath on the nations that don’t know you;
on the kingdoms that don’t call on your name;
7 For they have devoured Jacob,
and destroyed his homeland.
8 Don’t hold the iniquities of our forefathers against us.
Let your tender mercies speedily meet us,
for we are in desperate need.
9 Help us, God of our salvation, for the glory of your name.
Deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake.
10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Let it be known among the nations, before our eyes,
that vengeance for your servants’ blood is being poured out.
11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before you.
According to the greatness of your power, preserve those who are sentenced to death.
12 Pay back to our neighbors seven times into their bosom
their reproach with which they have reproached you, Lord.
13 So we, your people and sheep of your pasture,
will give you thanks forever.
We will praise you forever, to all generations.


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Psalm 78 – Asaph

When we recount the mighty works of God from the past, it honors Him. It demonstrates gratitude, that we do not take Him for granted. And it paves the way of faith for his ever-present help.


Psalm 78

A contemplation.
1 Hear my teaching, my people.
Turn your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable.
I will utter dark sayings of old,
3 Which we have heard and known,
and our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children,
telling to the generation to come the praises of Yahweh,
his strength, and his wondrous deeds that he has done.
5 For he established a testimony in Jacob,
and appointed a teaching in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers,
that they should make them known to their children;
6 that the generation to come might know, even the children who should be born;
who should arise and tell their children,
7 that they might set their hope in God,
and not forget God’s deeds,
but keep his commandments,
8 and might not be as their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation that didn’t make their hearts loyal,
whose spirit was not steadfast with God.
9 The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows,
turned back in the day of battle.
10 They didn’t keep God’s covenant,
and refused to walk in his law.
11 They forgot his doings,
his wondrous deeds that he had shown them.
12 He did marvelous things in the sight of their fathers,
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He split the sea, and caused them to pass through.
He made the waters stand as a heap.
14 In the daytime he also led them with a cloud,
and all night with a light of fire.
15 He split rocks in the wilderness,
and gave them drink abundantly as out of the depths.
16 He brought streams also out of the rock,
and caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 Yet they still went on to sin against him,
to rebel against the Most High in the desert.
18 They tempted God in their heart
by asking food according to their desire.
19 Yes, they spoke against God.
They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 Behold, he struck the rock, so that waters gushed out,
and streams overflowed.
Can he give bread also?
Will he provide flesh for his people?”
21 Therefore Yahweh heard, and was angry.
A fire was kindled against Jacob,
anger also went up against Israel,
22 because they didn’t believe in God,
and didn’t trust in his salvation.
23 Yet he commanded the skies above,
and opened the doors of heaven.
24 He rained down manna on them to eat,
and gave them food from the sky.
25 Man ate the bread of angels.
He sent them food to the full.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the sky.
By his power he guided the south wind.
27 He rained also flesh on them as the dust;
winged birds as the sand of the seas.
28 He let them fall in the middle of their camp,
around their habitations.
29 So they ate, and were well filled.
He gave them their own desire.
30 They didn’t turn from their cravings.
Their food was yet in their mouths,
31 when the anger of God went up against them,
killed some of their fattest,
and struck down the young men of Israel.
32 For all this they still sinned,
and didn’t believe in his wondrous works.
33 Therefore he consumed their days in vanity,
and their years in terror.
34 When he killed them, then they inquired after him.
They returned and sought God earnestly.
35 They remembered that God was their rock,
the Most High God, their redeemer.
36 But they flattered him with their mouth,
and lied to him with their tongue.
37 For their heart was not right with him,
neither were they faithful in his covenant.
38 But he, being merciful, forgave iniquity, and didn’t destroy them.
Yes, many times he turned his anger away,
and didn’t stir up all his wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh,
a wind that passes away, and doesn’t come again.
40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness,
and grieved him in the desert!
41 They turned again and tempted God,
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 They didn’t remember his hand,
nor the day when he redeemed them from the adversary;
43 how he set his signs in Egypt,
his wonders in the field of Zoan,
44 he turned their rivers into blood,
and their streams, so that they could not drink.
45 He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them;
and frogs, which destroyed them.
46 He gave also their increase to the caterpillar,
and their labor to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail,
their sycamore fig trees with frost.
48 He gave over their livestock also to the hail,
and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.
49 He threw on them the fierceness of his anger,
wrath, indignation, and trouble,
and a band of angels of evil.
50 He made a path for his anger.
He didn’t spare their soul from death,
but gave their life over to the pestilence,
51 and struck all the firstborn in Egypt,
the chief of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52 But he led out his own people like sheep,
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53 He led them safely, so that they weren’t afraid,
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 He brought them to the border of his sanctuary,
to this mountain, which his right hand had taken.
55 He also drove out the nations before them,
allotted them for an inheritance by line,
and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
56 Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God,
and didn’t keep his testimonies;
57 but turned back, and dealt treacherously like their fathers.
They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places,
and moved him to jealousy with their engraved images.
59 When God heard this, he was angry,
and greatly abhorred Israel;
60 So that he abandoned the tent of Shiloh,
the tent which he placed among men;
61 and delivered his strength into captivity,
his glory into the adversary’s hand.
62 He also gave his people over to the sword,
and was angry with his inheritance.
63 Fire devoured their young men.
Their virgins had no wedding song.
64 Their priests fell by the sword,
and their widows couldn’t weep.
65 Then the Lord awakened as one out of sleep,
like a mighty man who shouts by reason of wine.
66 He struck his adversaries backward.
He put them to a perpetual reproach.
67 Moreover he rejected the tent of Joseph,
and didn’t choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which he loved.
69 He built his sanctuary like the heights,
like the earth which he has established forever.
70 He also chose David his servant,
and took him from the sheepfolds;
71 from following the ewes that have their young,
he brought him to be the shepherd of Jacob, his people,
and Israel, his inheritance.
72 So he was their shepherd according to the integrity of his heart,
and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

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Psalm 77 – Asaph

Remembering the works of God serves to anchor our faith. It is encouragement that his help is sure.

Psalm 77
For the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun.

1 My cry goes to God!
Indeed, I cry to God for help,
and for him to listen to me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord.
My hand was stretched out in the night, and didn’t get tired.
My soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remember God, and I groan.
I complain, and my spirit is overwhelmed.
Selah.

4 You hold my eyelids open.
I am so troubled that I can’t speak.
5 I have considered the days of old,
the years of ancient times.
6 I remember my song in the night.
I consider in my own heart;
my spirit diligently inquires:
7 “Will the Lord reject us forever?
Will he be favorable no more?
8 Has his loving kindness vanished forever?
Does his promise fail for generations?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he, in anger, withheld his compassion?”
Selah.

10 Then I thought, “I will appeal to this:
the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember Yah’s deeds;
for I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will also meditate on all your work,
and consider your doings.
13 Your way, God, is in the sanctuary.
What god is great like God?
14 You are the God who does wonders.
You have made your strength known among the peoples.
15 You have redeemed your people with your arm,
the sons of Jacob and Joseph.
Selah.

16 The waters saw you, God.
The waters saw you, and they writhed.
The depths also convulsed.
17 The clouds poured out water.
The skies resounded with thunder.
Your arrows also flashed around.
18 The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind.
The lightnings lit up the world.
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea;
your paths through the great waters.
Your footsteps were not known.
20 You led your people like a flock,
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.


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Psalm 76 – Asaph

This composition takes us into the second half of reading through the Psalms. It is a jubilant song of triumph in war.

Psalm 76
For the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A song.

1 In Judah, God is known.
His name is great in Israel.
2 His tabernacle is also in Salem;
His dwelling place in Zion.
3 There he broke the flaming arrows of the bow,
the shield, and the sword, and the weapons of war.
Selah.

4 Glorious are you, and excellent,
more than mountains of game.
5 Valiant men lie plundered,
they have slept their last sleep.
None of the men of war can lift their hands.
6 At your rebuke, God of Jacob,
both chariot and horse are cast into a deep sleep.
7 You, even you, are to be feared.
Who can stand in your sight when you are angry?
8 You pronounced judgment from heaven.
The earth feared, and was silent,
9 when God arose to judgment,
to save all the afflicted ones of the earth.
Selah.

10 Surely the wrath of man praises you.
The survivors of your wrath are restrained.
11 Make vows to Yahweh your God, and fulfill them!
Let all of his neighbors bring presents to him who is to be feared.
12 He will cut off the spirit of princes.
He is feared by the kings of the earth.


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