Psalm 78 New Life Version (NLV)
God Is Good to His People
78 O my people, hear my teaching. Listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in picture-stories. I will tell things which have been kept secret from long ago, 3 which we have heard and known because our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children. But we will tell the children-to-come the praises of the Lord, and of His power and the great things He has done.
5 For He has made His will known to Jacob. He made the Law in Israel, which He told our fathers to teach their children. 6 So the children-to-come might know, even the children yet to be born. So they may rise up and tell it to their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and not forget the works of God. And they would keep His Law. 8 They would not be like their fathers, who were not right with God and would not obey Him or be faithful to Him.
9 The sons of Ephraim were ready with their bows. But they turned away in the day of fighting. 10 They did not keep the agreement of God. And they would not walk in His Law. 11 They forgot what He had done and His great works that He had shown them. 12 He did powerful works in front of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. 13 He divided the sea and made them pass through it. He made the water stand up like a wall. 14 He led them with the cloud during the day, and with a light of fire during the night. 15 He broke the rocks in the desert, and gave them water as if it flowed from the sea. 16 He made water come out of the rock. He made the water flow down like rivers.
17 But they still kept on sinning against Him. They did not obey the Most High in the desert. 18 They tested God in their hearts by asking for the food they wanted. 19 Then they spoke against God, saying, “Can God set a table in the desert? 20 See, He hit the rock and water poured out and rivers flowed over. Can He give bread also? Will He give meat to His people?”
21 The Lord was full of anger when He heard them. And a fire was set against Jacob. His anger went up against Israel, 22 because they did not believe in God. They did not trust in Him to save them. 23 Yet He spoke to the clouds above, and opened the doors of heaven. 24 He sent down bread from heaven for them to eat. He gave them food from heaven. 25 Men ate the bread of angels. He sent them all the food they could eat. 26 He made the east wind blow in the heavens. And He brought in the south wind by His power. 27 He sent meat down on them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the sea. 28 He let them fall in the place where they were staying, all around their tents. 29 So they ate until they were full. He gave them what they wanted. 30 But before they had eaten all they wanted, even while it was still in their mouths, 31 the anger of God came upon them. And He killed the strongest of them. He cut down the young men of Israel. 32 But still they kept on sinning. They did not believe in His powerful works. 33 So He made their days come to nothing. He made their years end in fear all at once.
34 When He killed some of them, the others would look for Him. They returned and looked for God. 35 They remembered that God was their rock, and that the Most High God was the One Who set them free. 36 But they gave Him false honor with their mouth. They lied to Him with their tongue. 37 For their heart was not right toward Him. They were not faithful to His agreement. 38 But He showed them loving-kindness and forgave their sins. He did not destroy them. He held back His anger many times. He did not let all of His anger loose. 39 He remembered that they were only flesh, a wind that passes and does not return.
40 How many times they went against Him in the desert, and gave Him sorrow in that empty land! 41 They put God to the test again and again, and troubled the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power and the day He saved them from those who hated them, 43 when He did His powerful works in Egypt and showed His greatness in the field of Zoan. 44 He changed their rivers into blood. They could not drink from their rivers. 45 He sent many flies among them that ate them, and frogs that destroyed them. 46 He gave their fields of food to the grasshopper, and all they worked for to the locust. 47 He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamore trees with cold. 48 He killed their cattle with hail and lightning. 49 He sent them His burning anger and trouble. He sent a group of angels to bring trouble and sorrow to them. 50 He made a straight path for His anger. He did not save their soul from death. But He gave their lives over to all these troubles. 51 He killed all the first-born in Egypt, the first children of their strength in the tents of Ham. 52 But He brought His people out like sheep. And He led them like a flock in the desert. 53 He led them and kept them safe, so they were not afraid. But the sea covered those who hated them.
54 He brought them to His holy land, to the hill country His right hand had taken. 55 He drove out the nations before them. He gave them parts of the land for a gift. And He made the families of Israel live in their tents.
56 But they tempted and went against the Most High God. They did not keep His Law. 57 They turned away and acted without faith like their fathers. They were like a bow that cannot be trusted. 58 They made Him angry with their sinful places of worship. And they made Him jealous with their false gods. 59 God was very angry when He heard them, and He hated Israel. 60 He left the holy tent at Shiloh, the tent He had set up among men. 61 And He let His strength be taken. He put His greatness into the hands of those who hated Israel. 62 He allowed His people to be killed with the sword. And He was very angry with those who belong to Him. 63 Fire burned up their young men. And their young women had no wedding songs. 64 Their religious leaders fell by the sword. And the women who lost their husbands could not cry.
65 Then the Lord woke up as if from sleep, like a strong man wild with wine. 66 He beat back those who hated Him. And He put them to shame forever. 67 He turned away from the tent of Joseph. He did not choose the family of Ephraim, 68 but chose the family of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. 69 He built His holy place like the high mountains, like the earth He has built forever. 70 He chose David, His servant and took him from the flocks of sheep. 71 He brought him from caring for the sheep and their lambs to being the shepherd of Jacob His people, and Israel who belongs to Him. 72 So David was their shepherd with a heart that was right, and led them with good hands and wisdom.