Psalm Chapter 77
"Heaven" in the Holy Bible refers primarily to two levels; the atmosphere (e.g. "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater" Isaiah 55:10 RSV) and space (e.g. "And beware lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and worship them and serve them, things which The Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven" Deuteronomy 4:19 RSV). This Psalm refers to the many times that The Lord amplified and directed "heaven" to demonstrate His Almighty power on earth e.g. "The crash of Thy thunder was in the whirlwind; Thy lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook." (Psalm 77:18 RSV).
"To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.
I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek The Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. I think of God, and I moan; I meditate, and my spirit [see Giving Up The Ghost] faints. [Selah]
Thou dost hold my eyelids from closing; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I consider the days of old, I remember the years long ago. I commune with my heart in the night; I meditate and search my spirit: "Will The Lord spurn for ever, and never again be favorable? Has His steadfast love for ever ceased? Are His promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His Compassion?" [Selah]
And I say, "It is my grief that the right hand of the Most High has changed." I will call to mind the deeds of The Lord; yea, I will remember Thy wonders of old. I will meditate on all Thy work, and muse on Thy mighty deeds. Thy way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? Thou art the God who workest wonders, who hast manifested Thy might among the peoples. Thou didst with Thy arm redeem [see Ransom] Thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. [Selah]
When the waters saw Thee, O God, when the waters saw Thee, they were afraid, yea, the deep trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth Thunder; Thy arrows flashed on every side. The crash of Thy thunder was in the whirlwind; Thy lightnings lighted up the world [see also Lightening, Not Lightning]; the earth trembled and shook. Thy way was through the sea, Thy path through the great waters; yet Thy footprints were unseen. Thou didst lead Thy people [see The God Of The Old Testament] like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron." (Psalm 77:1-20 RSV)
Psalm Chapter 78
Along with Prophecy (see also Christ In The Psalms) and Christian Living (see also The Harp String Verses), the Psalms are rich in recorded Bible History - a testament of the covenants (see Covenant and Testament) made by The Lord with His people.
"A Maskil [i.e. "a teaching song"] of Asaph.
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old [see Timeless], things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of The Lord, and his might, and the wonders which he has wrought. He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach to their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the Works of God, but keep His commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God [see A Pure Heart].
The Ephraimites [see The Israelite Patriarchs - Ephraim; also The Gathering of Israel and Judah], armed with the bow, turned back on the day of battle. They did not keep God's covenant, but refused to walk according to His Law. They forgot what He had done, and the miracles that He had shown them. In the sight of their fathers He wrought marvels in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan. He divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap [note: "and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ" 1 Corinthians 10:2-4; see also Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?]. In the daytime He led them with a cloud, and all the night with a fiery light. He cleft rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep. He made streams come out of the rock, and caused waters to flow down like rivers.
Yet they sinned still more against Him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert [see A Journey Without A Destination]. They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness? He smote the rock so that water gushed out and streams overflowed. Can He also give bread, or provide meat for his people?" Therefore, when The Lord heard, He was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob, His anger mounted against Israel; because they had no faith in God, and did not trust His saving power.
Yet He commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven; and He rained down upon them manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven [see Christ, The Bread of Life]. Man ate of the bread of the angels; He sent them food in abundance. He caused the east [see also Why Did They Face East?] wind to blow in the heavens, and by His power He led out the south wind; He rained flesh upon them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas; He let them fall in the midst of their camp, all around their habitations. And they ate and were well filled, for He gave them what they craved. But before they had sated their craving, while the food was still in their mouths, the anger of God rose against them and He slew the strongest of them, and laid low the picked men of Israel.
In spite of all this they still sinned [see What Is Sin?] ; despite His wonders they did not believe. So he made their days vanish like a breath [see Giving Up The Ghost], and their years in terror. When He slew them, they sought for Him; they repented and sought God earnestly. They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer [see also The Ancient of Days]. But they flattered Him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues. Their heart was not steadfast toward Him; they were not true to His covenant [see Why A New Covenant?]. Yet He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; He restrained His anger often, and did not stir up all His wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.
How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! They tested Him again and again, and provoked the Holy One of Israel. They did not keep in mind His power [see Strong Is He Who Has Come Down], or the day when He redeemed them from the foe; when He wrought His signs in Egypt, and His miracles in the fields of Zoan. He turned their rivers to blood [see The Ten Plagues], so that they could not drink of their streams. He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them. He gave their crops to the caterpillar, and the fruit of their labor to the locust. He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamores with frost. He gave over their cattle to the hail, and their flocks to thunderbolts. He let loose on them his fierce anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels. He made a path for His anger; He did not spare them from death, but gave their lives over to the plague. He smote all the first-born in Egypt, the first issue of their strength in the tents of Ham.
Then he led forth His people like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. He led them in safety [see Where Is Your Place Of Safety?], so that they were not afraid; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And He brought them to His holy land, to the mountain which His right hand had won. He drove out nations before them; He apportioned them for a possession and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God, and did not observe His testimonies, but turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers; they twisted like a deceitful bow. For they provoked Him to anger with their High Places; they moved Him to jealousy with their graven images. When God heard, He was full of wrath, and He utterly rejected Israel. He forsook His dwelling at Shiloh [see What Happened To Shiloh?], the tent where He dwelt among men, and delivered His power to captivity, His glory to the hand of the foe. He gave His people over to the sword, and vented His wrath on His heritage. Fire devoured their young men, and their maidens had no marriage song. Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation.
Then The Lord awoke as from sleep, like a strong man shouting because of wine. And He put his adversaries to rout; He put them to everlasting shame. He rejected the tent of Joseph, He did not choose the tribe of Ephraim; but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion [see Zionism], which He loves. He built His Sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which He has founded for ever. He chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from tending the ewes that had young He brought him to be the shepherd of Jacob His people, of Israel His inheritance. With upright heart he tended them, and guided them with skilful hand." (Psalm 78:1-72 RSV)
Psalm Chapter 79
When the Israelites became corrupt, The Lord allowed their enemies to conquer them (i.e. see The Galilee Captivity and Why Babylon?). Many still did not learn their lesson, because it wasn't the enemies of God's people who "defiled Thy Holy Temple" - it was the Israelites who "defiled Thy Holy Temple" with their corrupt behavior. For that very same reason, even today, what many people call "the holy land" is referred to by The Lord as Sodom and Egypt. It won't be truly Holy until The Lord reigns there (see the Fact Finder question below).
"A Psalm of Asaph.
O God, the heathen [see Heath Of The Wilderness] have come into Thy inheritance; they have defiled Thy Holy Temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. They have given the bodies of Thy servants to the birds of the air for food, the flesh of Thy saints to the beasts of the earth. They have poured out their blood like water round about Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them. We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those round about us.
How long, O Lord? Wilt Thou be angry for ever? Will Thy jealous wrath burn like fire? Pour out Thy anger on the nations that do not know Thee, and on the kingdoms that do not call on Thy Name! For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste His habitation. Do not remember against us the iniquities of our forefathers; let Thy compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy Name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for Thy Name's sake! Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?" Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of Thy servants be known among the nations before our eyes! Let the groans of the prisoners come before Thee; according to Thy great power preserve those doomed to die!
Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors the taunts with which they have taunted Thee, O Lord! Then we Thy people, the flock of Thy pasture, will give thanks to Thee for ever; from generation to generation we will recount Thy praise." (Psalm 79:1-13 RSV)
Fact Finder: Who is the Christ? What is the Christ? Why is the Christ?
See Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah