If you look on the back of the picture frames in Anne’s house, you’ll find a notecard taped to the back of the frame. She has written out who each person is in the photo, the date or setting of the picture, and an explanation of the family relationship. It’s important to her that her children and grandchildren know their family history, and without writing it down she knows that they might forget.
Psalm 78 is like Anne’s recording of the family history. It is now many generations after the events we’ve studied in the Pentateuch, and this psalm is recounting and preserving that history so that it can continue to instruct the people. In our final day of studying bread from heaven, we’ll see that manna was intended to teach people about their true relationship with God.
The psalm tells of the recurring pattern of forgetfulness and disobedience on the part of the people and the consequences and then merciful provision from God. God brought out water from a rock, but the people still doubted whether He could provide food (v. 20). The psalm emphasizes that God didn’t simply provide food—He sent down the "grain of heaven," the "bread of angels" (vv. 24–25). And it was not a paltry amount; it was an overabundance, a feast.
The core issue wasn’t hunger or even wanting a particular type of food. It was that the people "did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance" (v. 22). As we saw in the confrontation between the religious leaders and Jesus, the people demanded proof of something God had already demonstrated for them: He alone gives protection, provision, and salvation. Obedient hearts would see, but rebellious spirits would never be persuaded by a sign.
Apply the Word
Obedient hearts in right relationship with God want to share the story of the ways He has worked. Do you have a story of His protection, provision, or salvation that you can share? You can tell friends, family, or other loved ones. You can also record these stories in a spiritual journal so that you’ll remember and also be able to pass along to others.