Psalms 78:15-38 “For He Established A Testimony in Jacob”

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Psa 78:15-38 – “For he established a testimony in Jacob”

Part of this testimony that is being established in Jacob is the witness of God’s great longsuffering and kindness toward Israel as He creates the circumstances needed to bring them (us) to their wits’ end and show them the need for deliverance from their carnal ways.

These types of us throughout the old covenant are there for our learning, and they remind us of how steadily God has been building up the body of Christ and doing this great work at the end of each of our ages, having been called today to be judged and made to present our lives a living sacrifice, as we are blessed to bring our whole life into a relationship within God’s temple, which we are (Rom 12:1-2, 1Co 3:16, Eph 2:20-21, Eph 4:15-16, 1Pe 2:5).

Without God’s stedfast love that He has for us (Rom 5:5), without the unchanging heart of our Lord as our head, our corner stone, and our high priest (Heb 4:14-15), we would be consumed and not able to bear each others’ burdens, and would be unable fulfill the law of Christ through the strength that he gives us to do this.

Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

The end of the book of Malachi mirrors the same message as this section of Psalms 78 that we are looking at now, where God throws the gauntlet down, so to speak, and wrestles with the nation of Israel and shows us our lack of commitment and wavering hearts that can only be received because of our Father’s faithfulness and mercy that chastens and scourges every son that He brings to himself.

It is very clear that flesh must decrease whenever Christ is coming into the picture, and our presenting ourselves a living sacrifice would be of no value unless we were brought to understand that we are simply giving back that which God has given us.

Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

1Ch 29:14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.

Look at the language in the first part of chapter 3 in Malachi prior to verse ten where God is asking us in type and shadow to give our whole life, “bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” present your life a living sacrifice in other words.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

The only way we could ever be able to receive these great blessings poured out from heaven, which are spiritual and unsearchable and coming from our Father in heaven, would be through the preparation of our heart, a heart being prepared to receive these blessings by his rebuking of “the devourer for your sakes” (Rom 11:32-33 , Jas 1:17). So it is a two-fold process as he destroys the devourer within us for your sake, and strenghthens us through the Vine so that “neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field”.

Mal 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Mat 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season [her fruit]?

God changes not in His stedfast dealing with all the iniquity within those who He is judging today, and even when He starts this great work of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers within each of us, we still ask “Wherein shall we return?”

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Mal 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

In other words we don’t see our need to return to God because we are convince in ourselves that we have no need, and yet God says that it is this spirit that He is going to deal with within His bride so that she is made into a meek and humble servant who ultimately will present her entire life a living sacrifice, taking away the curse that we bring upon ourselves when we do anything short of this.

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

1Pe 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

The Lord brings us to focus on the joy that can be ours if we are blessed to be among those who “bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse”, and to understand that your life matters in this precious house of God. Malachi goes on to describe our living sacrifice as the means by which “there may be meat in mine house”.

Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

If the world could only acknowledge (which we can’t at first either) that we are robbing God, and see the need to submit to Him as our saviour, and see how salvation is found only in His house, then He would “pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”, and He would add no sorrow to that blessing because He would “rebuke the devourer for your sakes” and would “not destroy the fruits of your ground” neither let “your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Mal 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Pro 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

This part of scripture in Malachi 3 and Psalms 78 reveal the pattern of how we can become rich toward God and toward each other. It reminds us that God is the Only one who is getting us there and that there is judgment needed upon us as we move into that place of worshipping God in spirit and truth, in His temple, as we become richer toward each other as a result of the grace and faith working together for the overall good of the body of Christ.

Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The giving of the tithe of Malachi 3:10 simply reminds us that our entire life belongs to our Lord and that He has good plans for us; plans to prosper us and not hurt us (Jer 29:11); plans to establish us and build us up in this storehouse which is His temple, and the place where His government will be established, and be blessed to feed all the nations one day (Rev 11:15).

Here are the verses we’ve been talking about in Malachi, which we can read before we get into the verses of this Psalm 78 for tonight’s study:

Mal 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Mal 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Mal 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Mal 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Psa 78:15 He claveH1234 the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.

H1234
בּקע
baqa‛

baw-kah’
A primitive root; to cleave; generally to rend, break, rip or open: – make a breach, break forth (into, out, in pieces, through, up), be ready to burst, cleave (asunder), cut out, divide, hatch, rend (asunder), rip up, tear, win.

Here we have the means by which God is going to establish this testimony in God’s elect, by breaking or splitting the stoney heart in the wilderness  and giving us drink from “the great depths”.

Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Num 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

Joh 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

This section of scripture (Num 20:8-12) shows Moses thinking above what is written, his words and his works coming forth from his lack of faith and wanting to beat the menservants so to speak (Luk 12:45) rather than trust the word of God that told him to just “speak ye unto the rock before their eyes”.

Moses also represents the law, and striking the rock twice is a witness to this verse that tells us it was God who allowed us all to crucify our Lord in spirits of disobedience.

Act 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Act 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Num 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
Num 20:9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.
Num 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
Num 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
Num 20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

Psa 78:16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.

These waters were only a type and shadow of the true rivers of living waters of God’s holy spirit which is the only power that can truly change our carnal nature, just as only the true bread from heaven can only change us.

Joh 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Joh 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

Psa 78:17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.
Psa 78:18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.

Regardless of the miracles in the wilderness, Israel was not being changed on the inside, and the end result was sinning “yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.”

There is no godliness with contentment or great gain coming to Israel of old (1Ti 6:6) because their hearts are not changed, and they are yet asking things of God amiss to consume upon their own lust, not content whether they have a little or a lot.

Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Exo 16:12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.

Num 11:31 And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.
Num 11:32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.
Num 11:33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.

Php 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Php 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Psa 78:19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
Psa 78:20 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?

God is batting a thousand, and Israel, who represents the unbelieving heart of Adam, is striking out big time here. Not only are we doubting God but speaking “against God” saying “Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?”. In other words, can God change our stoney hearts? The answer comes right after the question saying “he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed”

Then the rebellious spirit rises up again and asks “can he give bread also?” or “provide flesh for his people?”. These two doubt-filled statements demonstrate the wicked and unbelieving heart that we must mortify and fight against as we die daily.

Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Psa 78:21 Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;
Psa 78:22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:
Psa 78:23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above , and opened the doors of heaven,
Psa 78:24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.
Psa 78:25 Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.

When we are not persuaded of the church, of each joint that supplies through this body of Christ (Eph 4:15-16, Heb 12:1-2), we are in fact rejecting “the doors of heaven” that God has been opening, and when we reject Christ in each other we are rejecting the Father.

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

They received “angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full” so what was actually happening here? Why could they not be nourished and grow spiritually from these experiences? What does this tell us about ourselves?

Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. [and this is why boasting is excluded – Rom 3:27]

Psa 78:26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.
Psa 78:27 He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:

God is controlling the winds ‘causing them to blow from the east, and by his power he brought in the south wind, reminding us that God is sovereign over all these spirits that are represented as wind (Joh 3:8).

It is with this wind that “He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea”, which fowl we know represents spirits in type and shadow which were sent to tempt Israel and show what was in their lust-filled hearts (Eze 14:9, Mat 16:16). These spirits are devilish sensual and earthly and therefore are connected to the sand of the sea that we are.

Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Jud 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the SpiritG4151.
Jud 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy GhostG4151,

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Psa 78:28 And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations.
Psa 78:29 So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire;
Psa 78:30 They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths,
Psa 78:31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.

The wrath of God was upon “The fattest of them” and “smote down the chosen men of Israel” tells us that when we think we are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, our pride is ready to bring about a great fall (Rev 3:17, Pro 16:18, Rev 18:2).

The Lord describes all the fatness of the harlot, all the riches and increase wrapped around the idols of her heart, and then Babylon falls, and we are astonished at how great the fall is and how clearly God sought this occasion against our flesh by letting these false doctrines and heresies “fall in the midst of their camp” and round about our “habitations.”

If we are blessed with a desire to eat only that which God gives us, then it will be through chastening and scourging in this age that our sensual appetites will change, to become centered upon only wanting to do what God has commanded us to do (Tit 2:12).

Psa 78:32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.

When we believe not the wondrous works of the Lord, or are not given to discern the signs of the times, it is of the Lord (Luk 12:56). This spirit of unbelief is one that Christ prophesied would become more and more pronounced at the end of the age (2Ti 3:13).

To be able to believe and endure until the end will give witness (testimony) to the fact that it is Christ working with his workmanship (Eph 2:10) establishing His testimony in His elect bride whose heart must be pierced (Luk 2:35) as opposed to that period in our walk when we “sinned still” and “believed not for his wonderous works” (Pro 27:22).

The heart will not wax cold in God’s elect, but it shall go unto maturity by the grace and faith of Christ (Eph 2:8). This strength that we receive from each joint that supplies, is the testimony that God is establishing through the church and spoken of in type and shadow as the testimony that God establishes in Jacob.

Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Psa 78:33 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble.

God is dealing with our vanity and knows how to cause us to waste away our days and our years in trouble.

When we look back we regret all the mistakes, and all the wasted time and vain conversation that we had to live, but then we come to understand that this was all of the Lord and that we must experience this ‘all is vanity’ experience both within and without (Ecc 1:2) if we are ever going to fully appreciate the new and precious life of Christ, the pearl of great price, the treasure in earthen vessels which we have been given.

Mat 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Psa 78:34 When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God.
Psa 78:35 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.

God allows us to be buffeted in the world and gives us the power to die daily, which is what is required if we are going to seek Him out “and “enquire early after God”, and remember “that God was [our] rock, and the high God [our] redeemer” as described in the story of prodigal son who has to go through so much before he finally remembers how good he had it in his father’s house.

Luk 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Lam 1:7 Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.

Psa 78:36 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.
Psa 78:37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.

We are being shown this transitioning process that all flesh has to go through, where there is still guile in our heart and we are yet carnal knowing Christ after the flesh, our mouth and tongues not yet cleansed with the fiery coals that need to be placed there in order to burn away the idols of our hearts and have them replaced with a heart that is right and able to bear testimony in Jacob as we’re “stedfast in his covenant”.

Isa 6:7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

Psa 78:38 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.

This last verse of this study shows us that God is “full of compassion” forgiving our iniquities and not rewarding us according to them. He turns his anger away from us and does not “stir up all his wrath” against us. He does chasten us in measure and mercy rules over his judgement which is upon us today as the body of Christ. The testimony of God working in the elect will be very bright for all the world to see one day as God demonstrates that no flesh will inherit the kingdom of God and only because we have this hope of glory (Col 1:27) can we endure His chastening and scourging and not despise his correction which is of the utmost importance if we are going to go unto perfection as mature sons.

Pro 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

Psa 18:26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Jas 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

These following verses explain the day of the Lord that we all must experience, and how this is the compassion of God that does not destroy us, but does bring us to our wits’ end so that we can give thanks to God for the wondrous works that He is doing that bear testimony of His great power and glory working in the body of Christ.

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
2Co 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2Co 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
2Co 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
2Co 4:11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

God’s mercy ruling over judgement is something that we will learn as a result of mortifying the deeds of our flesh and being granted the ability to forgive from our hearts all those who He will use to serve us in their unbelief. This is the greatest testimony that we can show the world and was first shown through our Saviour.

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Gen 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

Luk 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Mat 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

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