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A Confession of Israel’s Sins

1Praise the Lord!

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever.

2Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord,

or declare all his praise?

3Happy are those who observe justice,

who do righteousness at all times.

4Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people;

help me when you deliver them;

5that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,

that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,

that I may glory in your heritage.

6Both we and our ancestors have sinned;

we have committed iniquity, have done wickedly.

7Our ancestors, when they were in Egypt,

did not consider your wonderful works;

they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,

but rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea.

8Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,

so that he might make known his mighty power.

9He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry;

he led them through the deep as through a desert.

10So he saved them from the hand of the foe,

and delivered them from the hand of the enemy.

11The waters covered their adversaries;

not one of them was left.

12Then they believed his words;

they sang his praise.

13But they soon forgot his works;

they did not wait for his counsel.

14But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,

and put God to the test in the desert;

15he gave them what they asked,

but sent a wasting disease among them.

16They were jealous of Moses in the camp,

and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord.

17The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,

and covered the faction of Abiram.

18Fire also broke out in their company;

the flame burned up the wicked.

19They made a calf at Horeb

and worshiped a cast image.

20They exchanged the glory of God

for the image of an ox that eats grass.

21They forgot God, their Savior,

who had done great things in Egypt,

22wondrous works in the land of Ham,

and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.

23Therefore he said he would destroy them—

had not Moses, his chosen one,

stood in the breach before him,

to turn away his wrath from destroying them.

24Then they despised the pleasant land,

having no faith in his promise.

25They grumbled in their tents,

and did not obey the voice of the Lord.

26Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them

that he would make them fall in the wilderness,

27and would disperse their descendants among the nations,

scattering them over the lands.

28Then they attached themselves to the Baal of Peor,

and ate sacrifices offered to the dead;

29they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds,

and a plague broke out among them.

30Then Phinehas stood up and interceded,

and the plague was stopped.

31And that has been reckoned to him as righteousness

from generation to generation forever.

32They angered the Lord at the waters of Meribah,

and it went ill with Moses on their account;

33for they made his spirit bitter,

and he spoke words that were rash.

34They did not destroy the peoples,

as the Lord commanded them,

35but they mingled with the nations

and learned to do as they did.

36They served their idols,

which became a snare to them.

37They sacrificed their sons

and their daughters to the demons;

38they poured out innocent blood,

the blood of their sons and daughters,

whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;

and the land was polluted with blood.

39Thus they became unclean by their acts,

and prostituted themselves in their doings.

40Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,

and he abhorred his heritage;

41he gave them into the hand of the nations,

so that those who hated them ruled over them.

42Their enemies oppressed them,

and they were brought into subjection under their power.

43Many times he delivered them,

but they were rebellious in their purposes,

and were brought low through their iniquity.

44Nevertheless he regarded their distress

when he heard their cry.

45For their sake he remembered his covenant,

and showed compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love.

46He caused them to be pitied

by all who held them captive.

47Save us, O Lord our God,

and gather us from among the nations,

that we may give thanks to your holy name

and glory in your praise.

48Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

from everlasting to everlasting.

And let all the people say, “Amen.”

Praise the Lord!

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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