Learning To Trust God - The One Year Book of Psalms

Learning To Trust God

Psalm 78:17-33

17Yet they kept on with their sin,

rebelling against the Most High in the desert.

18They willfully tested God in their hearts,

demanding the foods they craved.

19They even spoke against God himself, saying,

“God can’t give us food in the desert.

20Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out,

but he can’t give his people bread and meat.”

21When the LORD heard them, he was angry.

The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob.

Yes, his anger rose against Israel,

22for they did not believe God

or trust him to care for them.

23But he commanded the skies to open—

he opened the doors of heaven—

24and rained down manna for them to eat.

He gave them bread from heaven.

25They ate the food of angels!

God gave them all they could hold.

26He released the east wind in the heavens

and guided the south wind by his mighty power.

27He rained down meat as thick as dust—

birds as plentiful as the sands along the seashore!

28He caused the birds to fall within their camp

and all around their tents.

29The people ate their fill.

He gave them what they wanted.

30But before they finished eating this food they had craved,

while the meat was yet in their mouths,

31the anger of God rose against them,

and he killed their strongest men;

he struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.

32But in spite of this, the people kept sinning.

Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him.

33So he ended their lives in failure,

their years in terror.

There you are in the desert. You’ve just escaped from Egypt and tromped through the Red Sea, with God’s convenient parting of the sea to let you through. But now you’re getting hungry. “Are we going to starve out here, Moses?’

Well, God himself is taking care of the eating arrangements. The next morning you see white stuff all over the ground. “What is it?” you ask. (In Hebrew, that question is Man-na?) Moses tells you to eat it, and you find it’s sweet and filling.

A few years go by, and you’re getting sick of manna from heaven. You want meat, something substantial. People bring their complaint to Moses, and God sends a wind to blow a flock of quail in from the sea. Now you’re eating quail meat to your heart’s content, but the worst complainers get sick and die—God’s judgment for sin.

Such was the story of Israel after the Exodus. It could be the story of all humanity. God gives and gives and gives, and we still don’t trust him to provide for us. Take a moment to thank God for all he has done for you.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee,

Surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.

Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,

If with his love he befriend thee.


The terrible but just anger of God that is alluded to in verse 21 of this psalm can be read about in Numbers 11:1.

“There is no if with God; there is no limit to his almightiness but thy unbelief.”


From the Book:

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The One Year Book of Psalms
By William Petersen, Randy Petersen, and Tyndale

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