1 Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good.
His faithful love continues forever.
2 Who can speak enough about the mighty acts of the Lord?
Who can praise him as much as he should be praised?
3 Blessed are those who always do what is fair.
Blessed are those who keep doing what is right.
4 Lord, remember me when you bless your people.
Help me when you save them.
5 Then I will enjoy the good things you give your chosen ones.
I will be joyful together with your people.
I will join them when they praise you.
6 We have sinned, just as our people of long ago did.
We too have done what is evil and wrong.
7 When our people were in Egypt,
they forgot about the Lord’s miracles.
They didn’t remember his many kind acts.
At the Red Sea they refused to obey him.
8 But he saved them for the honor of his name.
He did it to make his mighty power known.
9 He ordered the Red Sea to dry up, and it did.
He led his people through it as if it were a desert.
10 He saved them from the power of their enemies.
He set them free from their control.
11 The waters covered their enemies.
Not one of them escaped alive.
12 Then his people believed his promises
and sang praise to him.
13 But they soon forgot what he had done.
They didn’t wait for what he had planned to happen.
14 In the desert they longed for food.
In that dry and empty land they tested God.
15 So he gave them what they asked for.
But he also sent a sickness that killed many of them.
16 In their camp some of them became jealous of Moses and Aaron.
Aaron had been set apart to serve the Lord.
17 The ground opened up and swallowed Dathan.
It buried Abiram and his followers.
18 Fire blazed among all of them.
Flames destroyed those evil people.
19 At Mount Horeb they made a metal statue of a bull calf.
They worshiped that statue of a god.
20 They traded their glorious God
for a statue of a bull that eats grass.
21 They forgot the God who saved them.
They forgot the God who had done great things in Egypt.
22 They forgot the miracles he did in the land of Ham.
They forgot the wonderful things he did by the Red Sea.
23 So he said he would destroy them.
But Moses, his chosen one,
stood up for them.
He kept God’s anger from destroying them.
24 Later on, they refused to enter the pleasant land of Canaan.
They didn’t believe God’s promise.
25 In their tents they told the Lord how unhappy they were.
They didn’t obey him.
26 So he lifted up his hand and promised
that he would make them die in the desert.
27 He promised he would scatter their children’s children among the nations.
He would make them die in other lands.
28 They joined in worshiping the Baal that was worshiped at Peor.
They ate food that had been offered to gods that aren’t even alive.
29 Their evil ways made the Lord angry.
So a plague broke out among them.
30 But Phinehas stood up and took action.
Then the plague stopped.
31 What Phinehas did made him right with the Lord.
It will be remembered for all time to come.
32 By the waters of Meribah the Lord’s people made him angry.
Moses got in trouble because of them.
33 They refused to obey the Spirit of God.
So Moses spoke without thinking.
34 They didn’t destroy the nations in Canaan
as the Lord had commanded them.
35 Instead, they mixed with those nations
and adopted their ways.
36 They worshiped statues of their gods.
That became a trap for them.
37 They sacrificed their sons and daughters
as offerings to false gods.
38 They killed those who weren’t guilty of doing anything wrong.
They killed their own sons and daughters.
They sacrificed them as offerings to statues of the gods of Canaan.
The land became “unclean” because of the blood of their children.
39 The people made themselves impure by what they had done.
They weren’t faithful to the Lord.
40 So the Lord became angry with his people.
He turned away from his own children.
41 He handed them over to the nations.
Their enemies ruled over them.
42 Their enemies treated them badly
and kept them under their power.
43 Many times the Lord saved them.
But they refused to obey him.
So he destroyed them because of their sins.
44 Yet he heard them when they cried out.
He paid special attention to their suffering.
45 Because they were his people, he remembered his covenant.
Because of his great love, he felt sorry for them.
46 He made all those who held them as prisoners
have mercy on them.
47 Lord our God, save us.
Bring us back from among the nations.
Then we will give thanks to you, because your name is holy.
We will celebrate by praising you.
48 Give praise to the Lord, the God of Israel,
for ever and ever.
Let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the Lord.