Study Guide – Psalm 78:40-55

Psalm78-40-55

40 Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland.
41 Again and again they tested God’s patience
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power
and how he rescued them from their enemies.
43 They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt,
his wonders on the plain of Zoan.
44 For he turned their rivers into blood,
so no one could drink from the streams.
45 He sent vast swarms of flies to consume them
and hordes of frogs to ruin them.
46 He gave their crops to caterpillars;
their harvest was consumed by locusts.
47 He destroyed their grapevines with hail
and shattered their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48 He abandoned their cattle to the hail,
their livestock to bolts of lightning.
49 He loosed on them his fierce anger—
all his fury, rage, and hostility.
He dispatched against them
a band of destroying angels.
50 He turned his anger against them;
he did not spare the Egyptians’ lives
but ravaged them with the plague.
51 He killed the oldest son in each Egyptian family,
the flower of youth throughout the land of Egypt.[c]
52 But he led his own people like a flock of sheep,
guiding them safely through the wilderness.
53 He kept them safe so they were not afraid;
but the sea covered their enemies.
54 He brought them to the border of his holy land,
to this land of hills he had won for them.
55 He drove out the nations before them;
he gave them their inheritance by lot.
He settled the tribes of Israel into their homes. NLT

 

Background: The speaker of this psalm is determined to help the next generations avoid the reckless faith of prior generations. Verses 1-7 share a long-term conviction that the truths of God must be shared with the next generations so that they can share them with future generations who aren’t yet even born. Verse 8, then, serves as a measure marker for the stories that will be told throughout the rest of the chapter: These difficult stories are told so that future generations will avoid falling away from the Lord.

 

With this in mind, read verses 40-43. Describe how God’s own people rebelled against him.

 

Read verses 44-55. Describe what the Lord had done for the people of Israel.

 

This psalm was to be spoken to hearers, not just read by readers. Imagine yourself listening to these stories. What feelings would be stirred up within you?

 

::::: 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?

 

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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