Learning from the Fathers Psa 78:1-12
This psalm is said to have arisen, from a strong controversy between Judah and Ephraim as to the location of God’s sanctuary, and its final transfer within the limits of the tribe of Judah. The psalmist enumerates the moral and spiritual considerations that led to the choice. See Psa 78:67-68 . The great message of the psalm is the inconstancy of the people, which so often manifested itself. Whose spirit was not stedfast with God , Psa 78:8 . They turned back in battle , Psa 78:9 . See also Psa 78:17 ; Psa 78:37 ; Psa 78:41 ; Psa 78:57 . It may be that the psalmist implies that these failures were for the most part Ephraim’s, and that therefore Judah was chosen. Surely, however, there was not much to choose between them, and whatever favor was shown to either of them was wholly attributable to God’s unchanging mercy.
This hymn was probably intended to be learned by the children in the Hebrew home, that they might set their hearts on God and not forget His works. It is a good practice to store the fresh memories of the young with the words of Scripture, which will often return in afterlife in hours of temptation and distress. The memorizing of the Word of God is a most valuable habit. The wheels of the mind and heart must grind-let them grind wheat.