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Can God Furnish a Table in the Wilderness

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Can God Furnish a Table in the Wilderness

Psalm 78:19 KJV 1900
Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
I. The Faithlessness of the People
A. The People in General - vv. 1-8
The Older are to teach the Younger -
You see David instructing his people
Psalm 78:1–2 KJV 1900
Give ear, O my people, to my law: Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
b. David was able to teach these things because he had been taught.....
Psalm 78:3 KJV 1900
Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.
2. The Parents are to Teach the Children
Psalm 78:4 KJV 1900
We will not hide them from their children, Shewing to the generation to come The praises of the Lord, and his strength, And his wonderful works that he hath done.
Psalm 78:6 KJV 1900
That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; Who should arise and declare them to their children:
Why would he say, “we will not hide them?” Because he will soon reveal the weaknesses of the previous generation. Sometimes we want to remember only the things we want to remember
Ill -
“It wasn’t as good as he made it sound” - A preacher’s wife after listening to him recall the “good old days”
“I don’t remember it that way.” My dad and Bro. Homer’s stories
3. What are they are to teach?
The Interpretive expression of God’s Word - the word as lived out in the life...
Psalm 78:1 KJV 1900
Give ear, O my people, to my law: Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
David was speaking of his authority here as a man who had lived for God and now had wisdom to impart. We must be careful here not to equate experiential authority with divine authority. (We might wind up teaching the doctrines of men for the commandments of God) - But there is something to be said to listening to years of experience.....
The Praises, the strength, and the wonderful works of the LORD
Psalm 78:4 KJV 1900
We will not hide them from their children, Shewing to the generation to come The praises of the Lord, and his strength, And his wonderful works that he hath done.
The experiences of the People of God - so many of them listed in this chapter...
The Word of God - This was God’s Torah....God’s Law
Psalm 78:5 KJV 1900
For he established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which he commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children:
4. The Purpose of the Teaching
That they might know the Word of God
Psalm 78:6 KJV 1900
That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; Who should arise and declare them to their children:
That they might put their trust in God
Psalm 78:7 KJV 1900
That they might set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep his commandments:
That they might Keep God’s Word
7. “But keep his commandments:”
The Breakdown and the faithlessness occur when the above is not done!
B. The Ephraimites in Particular - (Ephraim - Second son of Joseph) vv. 9-16 - Why mention and single out Ephraim? There is something here that is instructive....Here is this one tribe that should have been leading the way in devotion, courage, faith and strength..after all, it was
Joshua, the Ephraimite that challenged the cowardice of the others concerning the land of Canaan…
Shechem and Shiloh that were chosen as centers of the nations worship, because this was land occupied by the children of Joseph.....
...and, now, here are the Ephraimites..... weakening the hands of the people. Thus it sometimes is....The strong falter and fail....Why?
They Got weary and weak-kneed
Psalm 78:9 KJV 1900
The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, Turned back in the day of battle.
They refused to render the services that they were capable of rendering. They proved unstable and fainthearted, and gave up on the cause of God...
To get weary and weak-kneed in the work of God is a dangerous place!
They refused to obey God and walk in his ways
Psalm 78:10 KJV 1900
They kept not the covenant of God, And refused to walk in his law;
(v. 56)
They forgot his works -
Psalm 78:11 KJV 1900
And forgat his works, And his wonders that he had shewed them.
The Egyptian wonders (v. 12). The Red Sea (v. 13). Pillars of cloud and fire (v. 14). Water from the rocks (v. 15, 16). Bread from heaven and the flesh of quail (vv. 24-26)
Egyptian signs and wonders (42-51)
The mighty deliverance of Israel (52-53)
The acquisition of the land of promise (54-55)
And yet.....They were not satisfied with his Provisions
Psalm 78:17–20 KJV 1900
And they sinned yet more against him By provoking the most High in the wilderness. And they tempted God in their heart By asking meat for their lust. Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed; Can he give bread also? Can he provide flesh for his people?
provoking (defying authority) the most High in the wilderness.
Taberah - They complained (about what we do not know).....they were complainers at heart....God sent a burning fire among them....
Massah - Complained about having no water (2 times - Once at the beginning and once at the end of the wilderness wanderings....)....questioned whether the Lord was among them or not....Moses was barred from entering the promised Land!
Kibroth Hattaavah - Complained about the fact that they had no meat - God caused a plague to spread among them…and a bunch of them were buried in the desert!
18 And they
tempted God in their heart By asking meat for their lust. 19 Yea, they
spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? 20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed; Can he give bread also? Can he provide flesh for his people? (Yet he still gave them water, bread and meat (vv. 25-31)
They had no faith in God
Psalm 78:22 KJV 1900
Because they believed not in God, And trusted not in his salvation:
Psalm 78:32 KJV 1900
For all this they sinned still, And believed not for his wondrous works.
6. They were disobedient....duplicitous and self serving (vv. 34-37) - In other words, they became worldly. They refused to be distinct and different....

Yet his mercy endured! - (vv. Psalms 78:38,39)

Psalm 78:38 KJV 1900
But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: Yea, many a time turned he his anger away, And did not stir up all his wrath.
Psalm 78:39 KJV 1900
For he remembered that they were but flesh; A wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
It began with being weak- kneed and look where it ends....
7. They became Idolatrous
The Idolatry - (Psalms 78:57, 58) - They turned their hearts away from God....Something else became more important than God.....
Psalm 78:57 KJV 1900
But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
Psalm 78:58 KJV 1900
For they provoked him to anger with their high places, And moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
C. The Effect of all This
The Tabernacle at Shiloh was forsaken -( v. 60)
Psalm 78:59–60 KJV 1900
When God heard this, he was wroth, And greatly abhorred Israel: So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, The tent which he placed among men;
(From Joshua to Samuel, the Tabernacle had been at Shiloh)
Psalm 78:67 KJV 1900
Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, And chose not the tribe of Ephraim:
His strength and Glory (the Ark of His presence) was taken away
Psalm 78:61 KJV 1900
And delivered his strength into captivity, And his glory into the enemy’s hand.
3. They Limited the Holy One of Israel
Psalm 78:40–41 KJV 1900
How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, And grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.
limited the Holy One (They emotionally grieved him - making it to where he would not intervene on their behalf).
II. The Faithfulness of God - (38-41)
God was faithful.....
A. In Provision
B. In Punishment - (26-31, 32-37)
C. In the Past (42-53)
D. In the Promised Land (56-64)
And then God encourages us not to be like Israel of old but bids us look to the example of one....the faith of one....
III. The Faith of One -
A. One Tribe - Judah instead of Ephraim
Psalm 78:68
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
B. One Place - Zion instead of Shiloh
Psalm 78:68
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
The mount Zion which he loved.
Why did he choose Judah and Zion....? Because he found ONE among them that was after his heart.....that truly sought the Lord!
C. One Mane - David instead of Saul - v. 70
(Why was Saul chosen? Remember he was chosen by the people.....not God. They chose this tall, handsome, Benjaminite....Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin - Benjamin and Joseph were tight..they were brothers...Ephraim was of that royal lineage - they were of Joseph - But remember that Joseph was leader in Egypt....and their was the taint of idolatry all around - IN fact it was the Tribe of Dan that led Israel / Ephraim into idolatry)
David had no taint of idolatry....He was a one God Man!
Psalm 78:70–72 (KJV 1900)
70 He chose David also his servant, And took him from the sheepfolds: 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.
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