8 Then they will not be like their ancestors—
stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,
refusing to give their hearts to God.
9 The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
turned their backs and fled on the day of battle.
10 They did not keep God’s covenant
and refused to live by his instructions.
11 They forgot what he had done—
the great wonders he had shown them,
12 the miracles he did for their ancestors
on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt.
13 For he divided the sea and led them through,
making the water stand up like walls!
14 In the daytime he led them by a cloud,
and all night by a pillar of fire.
15 He split open the rocks in the wilderness
to give them water, as from a gushing spring.
16 He made streams pour from the rock,
making the waters flow down like a river!
17 Yet they kept on sinning against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18 They stubbornly tested God in their hearts,
demanding the foods they craved.
19 They even spoke against God himself, saying,
“God can’t give us food in the wilderness.
20 Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out,
but he can’t give his people bread and meat.”
21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious.
The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob.
Yes, his anger rose against Israel,
22 for they did not believe God
or trust him to care for them. NLT
Background: The determination in verses 1-7 to share the truths of God with the next generations came out of a concern for how easily people walk away from God. With this in mind, verse 8 sets the tone for the stories that will be told throughout the rest of the chapter.
In verse 8, what is it that the speaker of this psalm wants to avoid?
Read verses 9-16. Describe what the Lord had done for the people of Israel.
Read verses 17-20. Describe how God’s own people rebelled against him.
Read verses 21-22. Describe the outcome of the people’s rebellious actions.
::::: DIGGING DEEPER :::::
If you have time, read the stories of Exodus to familiarize yourself with the actions of God and the people of Israel.
::::: APPLICATION CHALLENGE :::::
How does hearing this specific story encourage people to continue to follow the Lord?