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Round about their habitations. 29 So they did eat, and were well filled :
For He gave them their own desire ; 30 They were not estranged from their lust.
But while their meat was yet in their mouths, 31 The wrath of God came upon them,
And slew the fattest of them,
And smote down the chosen men of Israel. 32 For all this they sinned still,
And believed not for His wondrous works. 33 Therefore their days did He consume in vanity,
And their years in troubles. 34 When He slew them, then they sought Him:
And they returned and inquired early after God. 35 And they remembered that God was their Rock,
And the high God their Redeemer. 36 Nevertheless they did flatter Him with their mouth,
And they lied unto Him with their tongues. 37 For their heart was not right with Him,
Neither were they stedfast in His covenant.
38 But He, being full of compassion,
Forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not:
And did not stir up all His wrath. 39 For He remembered that they were but flesh;
A wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
40 How oft did they provoke Him in the wilderness,
And grieve Him in the desert ! 41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel.
42 They remembered not His band,
from the enemy.
And His wonders in the fields of Zoan: 44 And had turned their rivers into blood;
And their floods, that they could not drink. 45 He sent divers sorts of flies among them,
which devoured them; And frogs, which destroyed them. 46 He gave also their increase unto the caterpillar,
And their labour unto the locust. 47 He destroyed their vines with hail,
And their sycamore trees with frost. 48 He gave up their cattle also to the hail,
And their flocks to hot thunderbolts. 49 He cast upon them the fierceness of His anger,
Wrath, and indignation, and trouble,
By sending evil angels among them. 50 He made a way to His anger ; He spared not their soul from death,
their life over to the pestilence; 51 And smote all the first-born of Egypt; The chief of their strength in the tabernacles of
Ham : 52 But made His own people to go forth like sheep,
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock. 53 And He led them on safely, so that they feared
not; But the sea overwhelmed their enemies. 54 And He brought them to the border of His
Even to this mountain,
which His right hand had purchased. 55 And He cast out the heathen also before them,
And divided them an inheritance by line,
And made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents. 56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high
God, And kept not His testimonies: 57 But turned back,
and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers : They were turned aside like a deceitful bow. 58 For they provoked Him to anger,
with their high places, And moved Him to jealousy
with their graven images.
59 When God heard this, He was wroth,
And greatly abhorred Israel : 60 So that He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh,
The tent which he placed among men; 61 And delivered His strength into captivity,
And His glory into the enemy's hand. 62 He gave His people over also unto the sword;
And was wroth with His inheritance. 63 The fire consumed their young men ;
And their maidens were not given to marriage. 64 Their priests fell by the sword;
And their widows made no lamentation.
(III. God's choice of Judah, Zion, and David.) 65 Then the Lord awaked, as one out of sleep, And like a mighty man that shouteth
by reason of wine.
66 And He smote His enemies in the hinder parts :
He put them to a perpetual reproach. 67 Moreover He refused the tabernacle of Joseph,
And chose not the tribe of Ephraim : 68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
The mount Zion which He loved. 69 And He built His sanctuary like high palaces,
Like the earth which He hath established for ever. 70 He chose David also His servant,
And took him from the sheep-folds : 71 From following the ewes great with young,
He brought him to feed Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance. 72 So He fed them according to the integrity
of His heart, And guided them by the skilfulness of His hands.
REFLECTIONS. 1. In the first eight verses we are taught, that it is our duty to attend to divine instruction; to the revelation which God has given us; that it is our duty to instruct our children in the word of God, and to make them acquainted with His works and ways; and that the design of all religious instruction is, to cause men to remember God and His works, to trust in Him and obey Him, and not to follow the example of the obstinate and rebellious.
2, 3. In the remaining part of the Psalm we have a narrative which contains an account of the dealings of God with the Israelites, and of the conduct of the Israelites towards God, in Egypt, in the wilderness, and after their settlement in Canaan, to the days of David.
What do we see in the dealings of God ? Acts of Providence the most wonderful and gracious; miracles of power and of goodness ; various expressions of His displeasure; various proofs of His righteous and awful judgments; and then, we must add, as clear expressions, as signal proofs, of His forbearance, mercy, and compassion. Of all this the Psalm affords the most striking evidence. And what do we see in the conduct of the Israelites ? Violation of the covenant, self-will, forgetfulness, and disobedience; discontent and mourning; idolatry and hypocrisy; these are some of their sins enumerated by the Psalmist. The last verses of the Psalm relate to the goodness of God in the appointment of David to be king; an event most prosperous, whether we think of the Church or of the commonwealth. While we reflect on the dealings of God, shall we not feel wonder, delight, gratitude, and awe? And while we consider the conduct of the Israelites, shall we not be filled with astonishment at the depravity and folly and wickedness of man ? How clearly do we here see, that iniquity is the spring of all our woes, and that true piety is our happiness and glory! Many are our blessings: but what return do we make to God for them? When we are in danger, we tremble : when we think ourselves secure, we rebel. God raised up David for Israel: it becomes us to remember, that He has raised up for us a greater than David, under whose government we ought to live, as His obedient subjects.
PRAYER. O Lord, stir us up to attend to divine instruction,