Reflections from the Psalms

Psalm 78

“With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”

~ Psalm 78:72

This psalm of Asaph is a great pedagogical (teaching) psalm that takes an historical journey through God’s dealings with the Israelite people. This psalmist uses the Israelites as a negative example of a forgetful and ungrateful people that became fearful, brazen and foolish, fickle and faithless, idolatrous and forsaken. Lest we become too judgmental, this psalm is a picture of mankind in general as well, applicable to us as the Church. God has revealed himself to us in his Word, in his wonders and works, in his loving kindness; and yet how we too reject, rebel, disobey, forget, are ungrateful and unfaithful. Still, God persistently works for redemption through it all. 

God’s words and teaching should have our rapt attention (v.1).  His words and works should ever be on our lips (v.2-3).  These things should be made known to our children; we must be faithful in this matter (v.4).  How easily and quickly we can turn, drift, twist, rebel, forsake and so provoke God’s righteous anger (v.56-58). Praise God for his grace and compassion, so that we can be delivered from our sin, sustained in vindication and persevere in humble, grateful, heartfelt obedience (v.38-39, 52-53, 72).