Psalm 78

Words: Isaac Watts


  Providences of God recorded
   1  Let children hear the mighty deeds
         Which God performed of old,
      Which in our younger years we saw,
         And which our fathers told.

   2  He bids us make his glories known,
         His works of power and grace;
      And we'll convey his wonders down
         Through ev'ry rising race.

   3  Our lips shall tell them to our sons,
         And they again to theirs;
      That generations yet unborn
         May teach them to their heirs.

   4  Thus shall they learn in God alone
         Their hope securely stands;
      That they may ne'er forget his works,
         But practice his commands.

   PART 2.
Israel's rebellion and punishment.

   1  O what a stiff rebellious house
         Was Jacob's ancient race!
      False to their own most solemn vows,
         And to their Maker's grace.

   2  They broke the cov'nant of his love,
         And did his laws despise;
      Forgot the works he wrought to prove
         His power before their eyes.

   3  They saw the plagues on Egypt light
         From his revenging hand;
      What dreadful tokens of his might
         Spread o'er the stubborn land!

   4  They saw him cleave the mighty sea,
         And marched in safety through,
      With wat'ry walls to guard their way,
         Till they had 'scaped the foe.

   5  A wondrous pillar marked the road,
         Composed of shade and light;
      By day it proved a shelt'ring cloud,
         A leading fire by night.

   6  He from the rock their thirst supplied;
         The gushing waters fell,
      And ran in rivers by their side,
         A constant miracle.

   7  Yet they provoked the Lord most High,
         And dared distrust his hand:
      "Can he with bread our host supply
         Amidst this desert land?"

   8  The Lord with indignation heard,
         And caused his wrath to flame;
      His terrors ever stand prepared
         To vindicate his name.

   PART 3.
   The punishment of luxury and intemperance.

   1  When Isr'el sins, the Lord reproves
         And fills their hearts with dread;
      Yet he forgives the men he loves,
         And sends them heav'nly bread.
   2  He fed them with a lib'ral hand,
         And made his treasures known;
      He gave the midnight clouds command
         To pour provision down.

   3  The manna, like a morning shower,
         Lay thick around their feet;
      The corn of heav'n, so light, so pure,
         As though 'twere angels' meat.

   4  But they in murm'ring language said,
         "Manna is all our feast;
      We loathe this light, this airy bread;
         We must have flesh to taste."

   5  "Ye shall have flesh to please your lust,"
         The Lord in wrath replied,
      And sent them quails like sand or dust,
         Heaped up from side to side.

   6  He gave them all their own desire,
         And greedy as they fed,
      His vengeance burnt with secret fire,
         And smote the rebels dead.

   7  When some were slain, the rest returned
         And sought the Lord with tears;
      Under the rod they feared and mourned,
         But soon forgot their fears.

   8  Oft he chastised and still forgave,
         Till, by his gracious hand,
      The nation he resolved to save
         Possessed the promised land.

   v. 8, &c. PART 4.
   Backsliding and forgiveness; or, Sin punished and saints saved,


   1  Great God, how oft did Isr'el prove
      By turns thine anger and thy love!
      There in a glass our hearts may see
      How fickle and how false they be.

   2  How soon the faithless Jews forgot
      The dreadful wonders God had wrought!
      Then they provoke him to his face,
      Nor fear his power, nor trust his grace.

   3  The Lord consumed their years in pain,
      And made their travels long and vain;
      A tedious march through unknown ways
      Wore out their strength, and spent their days.

   4  Oft when they saw their brethren slain
      They mourned, and sought the Lord again;
      Called him the Rock of their abode,
      Their high Redeemer, and their God.

   5  Their prayers and vows before him rise
      As flatt'ring words or solemn lies,
      While their rebellious tempers prove
      False to his cov'nant and his love.

   6  Yet did his sov'reign grace forgive
      The men who not deserved to live;
      His anger oft away he turned,
      Or else with gentle flame it burned.

   7  He saw their flesh was weak and frail,
      He saw temptations still prevail;
      The God of Abr'am loved them still,
      And led them to his holy hill.

Page Copyright 2001, Music for the Church of God
e-mail us at:
Page last modified on: 07/29/2004