(A special psalm by Asaph.)
What God Has Done for His People
1 My friends, I beg you
to listen as I teach.
2 I will give instruction
and explain the mystery
of what happened long ago.
3 These are things we learned
from our ancestors,
4 and we will tell them
to the next generation.
We won't keep secret
the glorious deeds
and the mighty miracles
of the Lord.

5 God gave his Law
to Jacob's descendants,
the people of Israel.
And he told our ancestors
to teach their children,
6 so that each new generation
would know his Law
and tell it to the next.
7 Then they would trust God
and obey his teachings,
without forgetting anything
God had done.
8 They would be different
from their ancestors,
who were stubborn, rebellious,
and unfaithful to God.

9 The warriors from Ephraim
were armed with arrows,
but they ran away
when the battle began.
10 They broke their agreement
with God,
and they turned their backs
on his teaching.
11 They forgot all he had done,
even the mighty miracles
12 he did for their ancestors
near Zoan in Egypt.

13 God made a path in the sea
and piled up the water
as he led them across.
14 He guided them during the day
with a cloud,
and each night he led them
with a flaming fire.
15 God made water flow
from rocks he split open
in the desert,
and his people drank freely,
as though from a lake.
16 He made streams gush out
like rivers from rocks.

17 But in the desert,
the people of God Most High
kept sinning and rebelling.
18 They stubbornly tested God
and demanded from him
what they wanted to eat.
19 They challenged God by saying,
“Can God provide food
out here in the desert?
20 It's true God struck the rock
and water gushed out
like a river,
but can he give his people
bread and meat?”

21 When the Lord heard this,
he was angry and furious
with Jacob's descendants,
the people of Israel.
22 They had refused to trust him,
and they had doubted
his saving power.

23 But God gave a command
to the clouds,
and he opened the doors
in the skies.
24 From heaven he sent grain
that they called manna.
25 He gave them more than enough,
and each one of them ate
this special food.

26 God's mighty power
sent a strong wind
from the southeast,
27 and it brought birds
that covered the ground,
like sand on the beach.
28 Then God made the birds fall
in the camp of his people
near their tents.

29 God gave his people
all they wanted,
and each of them ate
until they were full.
30 But before they had swallowed
the last bite,
31 God became angry and killed
the strongest and best
from the families of Israel.

32 But the rest kept on sinning
and would not trust
God's miracles.
33 So he cut their lives short
and made them terrified.
34 After he killed some of them,
the others turned to him
with all their hearts.
35 They remembered God Most High,
the mighty rock
that kept them safe.
36 But they tried to flatter God,
and they told him lies;
37 they were unfaithful
and broke their promises.

38 Yet God was kind.
He kept forgiving their sins
and didn't destroy them.
He often became angry,
but never lost his temper.
39 God remembered that they
were made of flesh
and were like a wind
that blows once
and then dies down.

40 While they were in the desert,
they often rebelled
and made God sad.
41 They kept testing him
and caused terrible pain
for the Holy One of Israel.
42 They forgot about his power
and how he had rescued them
from their enemies.

43 God showed them all kinds
of wonderful miracles
near Zoan in Egypt.
44 He turned the rivers of Egypt
into blood,
and no one could drink
from the streams.
45 He sent swarms of flies
to pester the Egyptians,
and he sent frogs
to cause them trouble.

46 God let worms and grasshoppers
eat their crops.
47 He destroyed their grapevines
and their fig trees
with hail and floods.
48 Then he killed their cattle
with hail
and their other animals
with lightning.

49 God was so angry and furious
that he went into a rage
and caused them great trouble
by sending swarms
of destroying angels.
50 God released his anger
and slaughtered them
in a terrible way.
51 He killed the first-born son
of each Egyptian family.

52 Then God led his people
out of Egypt
and guided them in the desert
like a flock of sheep.
53 He led them safely along,
and they were not afraid,
but their enemies drowned
in the sea.

54 God brought his people
to the sacred mountain
that he had taken
by his own power.
55 He made nations run
from the tribes of Israel,
and he let the tribes
take over their land.

56 But the people tested
God Most High,
and they refused
to obey his laws.
57 They were as unfaithful
as their ancestors,
and they were as crooked
as a twisted arrow.
58 God demanded all their love,
but they made him angry
by worshiping idols.

59 So God became furious
and completely rejected
the people of Israel.
60 Then he deserted his home
at Shiloh, where he lived
here on earth.
61 He let enemies capture
the sacred chest
and let them dishonor him.

62 God took out his anger
on his chosen ones
and let them be killed
by enemy swords.
63 Fire destroyed the young men,
and the young women were left
with no one to marry.
64 Priests died violent deaths,
but their widows
were not allowed to mourn.

65 Finally the Lord woke up,
like a soldier
startled from a drunken sleep.
66 God scattered his enemies
and made them ashamed

67 Then the Lord decided
not to make his home
with Joseph's descendants
in Ephraim.
68 Instead he chose the tribe
of Judah,
and he chose Mount Zion,
the place he loves.
69 There he built his temple
as lofty as the mountains
and as solid as the earth
he made to last forever.

70 The Lord God chose David
to be his servant and took him
from tending sheep
71 and from caring for lambs.
Then God made him the leader
of Israel, his own nation.
72 David treated the people fairly
and guided them with wisdom.