The Fate of the Wicked
73 1 Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. 3 For I was envious of the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For they have no pain; their bodies are sound and sleek. 5 They are not in trouble as others are; they are not plagued like other people. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them like a garment. 7 Their eyes swell out with fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. 8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. 9 They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues range over the earth. 10 Therefore the people turn and praise them, and find no fault in them. 11 And they say, "How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?" 12 Such are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. 13 All in vain I have kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all day long I have been plagued, and am punished every morning.
15 If I had said, "I will talk on in this way," I would have been untrue to the circle of your children. 16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. 18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes; on awaking you despise their phantoms.
21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22 I was stupid and ignorant; I was like a brute beast toward you. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honor. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Indeed, those who are far from you will perish; you put an end to those who are false to you. 28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, to tell of all your works.
Comfort from Recalling God's Mighty Deeds
77 1 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me. 2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. 3 I think of God, and I moan; I meditate, and my spirit faints. Selah 4 You keep my eyelids from closing; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5 I consider the days of old, and remember the years of long ago. 6 I commune with my heart in the night; I meditate and search my spirit: 7 "Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? 8 Has his steadfast love ceased forever? Are his promises at an end for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?" Selah 10 And I say, "It is my grief that the right hand of the Most High has changed."
11 I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; I will remember your wonders of old. 12 I will meditate on all your work, and muse on your mighty deeds. 13 Your way, O God, is holy. What god is so great as our God? 14 You are the God who works wonders; you have displayed your might among the peoples. 15 With your strong arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah 16 When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; the very deep trembled. 17 The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered; your arrows flashed on every side. 18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook. 19 Your way was through the sea, your path, through the mighty waters; yet your footprints were unseen. 20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
God's Faithfulness to His Unfaithful People
78 1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, 3 things that we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. 5 He established a decree in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach to their children; 6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children, 7 so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; 8 and that they should not be like their ancestors, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9 The Ephraimites, armed with the bow, turned back on the day of battle. 10 They did not keep God's covenant, but refused to walk according to his law. 11 They forgot what he had done, and the miracles that he had shown them. 12 In the sight of their ancestors he worked marvels in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan. 13 He divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap. 14 In the daytime he led them with a cloud, and all night long with a fiery light. 15 He split rocks open in the wilderness, and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep. 16 He made streams come out of the rock, and caused waters to flow down like rivers. 17 Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. 18 They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. 19 They spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness? 20 Even though he struck the rock so that water gushed out and torrents overflowed, can he also give bread, or provide meat for his people?" 21 Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of rage; a fire was kindled against Jacob, his anger mounted against Israel, 22 because they had no faith in God, and did not trust his saving power. 23 Yet he commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven; 24 he rained down on them manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven. 25 Mortals ate of the bread of angels; he sent them food in abundance. 26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by his power he led out the south wind; 27 he rained flesh upon them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas; 28 he let them fall within their camp, all around their dwellings. 29 And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved. 30 But before they had satisfied their craving, while the food was still in their mouths, 31 the anger of God rose against them and he killed the strongest of them, and laid low the flower of Israel. 32 In spite of all this they still sinned; they did not believe in his wonders. 33 So he made their days vanish like a breath, and their years in terror. 34 When he killed them, they sought for him; they repented and sought God earnestly. 35 They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer. 36 But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues. 37 Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not true to his covenant. 38 Yet he, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; often he restrained his anger, and did not stir up all his wrath. 39 He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and does not come again.
40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert! 41 They tested God again and again, and provoked the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not keep in mind his power, or the day when he redeemed them from the foe; 43 when he displayed his signs in Egypt, and his miracles in the fields of Zoan. 44 He turned their rivers to blood, so that they could not drink of their streams. 45 He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them. 46 He gave their crops to the caterpillar, and the fruit of their labor to the locust. 47 He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamores with frost. 48 He gave over their cattle to the hail, and their flocks to thunderbolts. 49 He let loose on them his fierce anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels. 50 He made a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death, but gave their lives over to the plague. 51 He struck all the firstborn in Egypt, the first issue of their strength in the tents of Ham. 52 Then he led out his people like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. 53 He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. 54 And he brought them to his holy hill, to the mountain that his right hand had won. 55 He drove out nations before them; he apportioned them for a possession and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents. 56 Yet they tested the Most High God, and rebelled against him. They did not observe his decrees, 57 but turned away and were faithless like their ancestors; they twisted like a treacherous bow. 58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places; they moved him to jealousy with their idols. 59 When God heard, he was full of wrath, and he utterly rejected Israel. 60 He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh, the tent where he dwelt among mortals, 61 and delivered his power to captivity, his glory to the hand of the foe. 62 He gave his people to the sword, and vented his wrath on his heritage. 63 Fire devoured their young men, and their girls had no marriage song. 64 Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation. 65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, like a warrior shouting because of wine. 66 He put his adversaries to rout; he put them to everlasting disgrace. 67 He rejected the tent of Joseph, he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim; 68 but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loves. 69 He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever. 70 He chose his servant David, and took him from the sheepfolds; 71 from tending the nursing ewes he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel, his inheritance. 72 With upright heart he tended them, and guided them with skillful hand.