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A Nation Asks for Forgiveness

106 We will celebrate
    and praise you, Lord!
    You are good to us,
    and your love never fails.
No one can praise you enough
    for all of the mighty things
    you have done.
You bless those people
who are honest and fair
    in everything they do.

Remember me, Lord,
when you show kindness
    by saving your people.
Let me prosper with the rest
    of your chosen ones,
    as they celebrate with pride
    because they belong to you.

We and our ancestors
    have sinned terribly.
When they were in Egypt,
    they paid no attention
    to your marvelous deeds
    or your wonderful love.
And they turned against you
    at the Red Sea.[a]

But you were true to your name,
    and you rescued them to prove
    how mighty you are.
You said to the Red Sea, [b]
    “Dry up!”
Then you led your people across
    on land as dry as a desert.
10 You saved all of them
11     and drowned every one
    of their enemies.
12 Then your people trusted you
    and sang your praises.

13 But they soon forgot
what you had done
    and rejected your advice.
14 They became greedy for food
    and tested you there
    in the desert.
15 So you gave them
    what they wanted,
    but later you destroyed them
    with a horrible disease.

16 Everyone in camp was jealous
of Moses
    and of Aaron,
    your chosen priest.
17 Dathan and Abiram rebelled,
    and the earth opened up
    and swallowed them.
18 Then fire broke out
and destroyed all
    of their followers.

19 At Horeb your people
made and worshiped
    the statue
20     of a bull, instead of you,
    their glorious God.
21 You worked powerful miracles
    to save them from Egypt,
but they forgot about you
22     and the fearsome things
    you did at the Red Sea.[c]
23 You were angry and started
    to destroy them,
    but Moses, your chosen leader,
    begged you not to do it.

24 They would not trust
    you, Lord,
    and they did not like
    the promised land.
25 They would not obey you,
    and they grumbled
    in their tents.
26 So you threatened them
by saying,
“I’ll kill you
    out here in the desert!
27     I’ll scatter your children
    everywhere in the world.”

28 Your people became followers
    of a god named Baal Peor,
    and they ate sacrifices
    offered to the dead.[d]
29 They did such terrible things
    that you punished them
    with a deadly disease.
30 But Phinehas[e] helped them,
    and the sickness stopped.
31     Now he will always
    be highly honored.

32 At Meribah Spring[f]
they turned against you
    and made you furious.
33 Then Moses got into trouble
    for speaking in anger.

34 Our Lord, they disobeyed you
    by refusing to destroy
    the nations.
35 Instead they were friendly
with those foreigners
    and followed their customs.
36 Then they fell into the trap
    of worshiping idols.
37 They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters
    to demons
38     and to the gods of Canaan.
Then they poured out the blood
of these innocent children
    and made the land filthy.
39 By doing such gruesome things,
    they also became filthy.

40 Finally, Lord, you were angry
    and terribly disgusted
    with your people.
41 So you put them in the power
    of nations
    that hated them.
42 They were mistreated and abused
    by their enemies,
43     but you saved them
    time after time.
They were determined to rebel,
    and their sins caused
    their downfall.

44 You answered their prayers
    when they were in trouble.
45 You kept your agreement
    and were so merciful
46     that their enemies
    had pity on them.

47 Save us, Lord God!
    Bring us back
    from among the nations.
Let us celebrate and shout
    in praise of your holy name.

48 Lord God of Israel,
    you deserve to be praised
    forever and ever.
Let everyone say, “Amen!
    Shout praises to the Lord!”

Footnotes

  1. 106.7,9,22 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph “Sea of Reeds,” one of the marshes or fresh water lakes near the eastern part of the Nile Delta. This identification is based on Exodus 13.17—14.9, which lists the towns on the route of the Israelites before crossing the sea. In the Greek translation of the Scriptures made about 200 (B).(C)., the “Sea of Reeds” was named “Red Sea.”
  2. 106.7,9,22 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph “Sea of Reeds,” one of the marshes or fresh water lakes near the eastern part of the Nile Delta. This identification is based on Exodus 13.17—14.9, which lists the towns on the route of the Israelites before crossing the sea. In the Greek translation of the Scriptures made about 200 (B).(C)., the “Sea of Reeds” was named “Red Sea.”
  3. 106.7,9,22 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph “Sea of Reeds,” one of the marshes or fresh water lakes near the eastern part of the Nile Delta. This identification is based on Exodus 13.17—14.9, which lists the towns on the route of the Israelites before crossing the sea. In the Greek translation of the Scriptures made about 200 (B).(C)., the “Sea of Reeds” was named “Red Sea.”
  4. 106.28 the dead: Or “lifeless idols.”
  5. 106.30 Phinehas: The grandson of Aaron, who put two people to death and kept the Lord from being angry with the rest of his people (see Numbers 25.1-13).
  6. 106.32 Meribah Spring: See the note at 81.7.