How often the people disobeyed him in the wilderness *
and offended him in the desert!
Again and again they tempted God *
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his power *
in the day when he ransomed them from the enemy;
How he wrought his signs in Egypt *
and his omens in the field of Zoan.
He turned their rivers into blood, *
so that they could not drink of their streams.
He sent swarms of flies among them, which ate them up, *
and frogs, which destroyed them.
He gave their crops to the caterpillar, *
the fruit of their toil to the locust.
He killed their vines with hail *
and their sycamores with frost.
He delivered their cattle to hailstones *
and their livestock to hot thunderbolts.
He poured out upon them his blazing anger: *
fury, indignation, and distress,
a troop of destroying angels.
He gave full rein to his anger;
he did not spare their souls from death; *
but delivered their lives to the plague.
He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, *
the flower of manhood in the dwellings of Ham.
He led out his people like sheep *
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
He led them to safety, and they were not afraid; *
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
He brought them to his holy land, *
the mountain his right hand had won.
He drove out the Canaanites before them
and apportioned an inheritance to them by lot; *
he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
But they tested the Most High God, and defied him, *
and did not keep his commandments.
They turned away and were disloyal like their fathers; *
they were undependable like a warped bow.
They grieved him with their hill-altars *
and provoked his displeasure with their idols.
When God heard this, he was angry *
and utterly rejected Israel.
He forsook the shrine at Shiloh, *
the tabernacle where he had lived among his people.
He delivered the ark into captivity, *
his glory into the adversary’s hand.
He gave his people to the sword *
and was angered against his inheritance.
The fire consumed their young men; *
there were no wedding songs for their maidens.
Their priests fell by the sword, *
and their widows made no lamentation.
Then the Lord woke as though from sleep, *
like a warrior refreshed with wine.
He struck his enemies on the backside *
and put them to perpetual shame.
He rejected the tent of Joseph *
and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
He chose instead the tribe of Judah *
and Mount Zion, which he loved.
He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven, *
like the earth which he founded for ever.
He chose David his servant, *
and took him away from the sheepfolds.
He brought him from following the ewes, *
to be a shepherd over Jacob his people
and over Israel his inheritance.
So he shepherded them with a faithful and true heart *
and guided them with the skillfulness of his hands.