December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 Hallelujah! Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, whose love endures forever.
- Who can tell the mighty deeds of the LORD, proclaim in full God's praise?
- Happy those who do what is right, whose deeds are always just.
- Remember me, LORD, as you favor your people; come to me with your saving help,
- That I may see the prosperity of your chosen, rejoice in the joy of your people, and glory with your heritage.
- We have sinned like our ancestors; we have done wrong and are guilty.
- Our ancestors in Egypt did not attend to your wonders. They did not remember your great love; they defied the Most High at the Red Sea.
- Yet he saved them for his name's sake to make his power known.
- He roared at the Red Sea and it dried up. He led them through the deep as through a desert.
- He rescued them from hostile hands, freed them from the power of the enemy.
- The waters covered their oppressors; not one of them survived.
- Then they believed his words and sang songs of praise.
- But they soon forgot all he had done; they had no patience for his plan.
- In the desert they gave way to their cravings, tempted God in the wasteland.
- So he gave them what they asked and sent among them a wasting disease.
- In the camp they challenged Moses and Aaron, the holy one of the LORD.
- The earth opened and swallowed Dathan, it closed on the followers of Abiram.
- Against that company the fire blazed; flames consumed the wicked.
- At Horeb they fashioned a calf, worshiped a metal statue.
- They exchanged their glorious God for the image of a grass-eating bull.
- They forgot the God who saved them, who did great deeds in Egypt,
- Amazing deeds in the land of Ham, fearsome deeds at the Red Sea.
- 2 He would have decreed their destruction, had not Moses, the chosen leader, Withstood him in the breach to turn back his destroying anger.
- Next they despised the beautiful land; they did not believe the promise.
- In their tents they complained; they did not obey the LORD.
- So with raised hand he swore to destroy them in the desert,
- To scatter their descendants among the nations, disperse them in foreign lands.
- They joined in the rites of Baal of Peor, ate food sacrificed to dead gods.
- They provoked him by their actions, and a plague broke out among them.
- Then Phinehas rose to intervene, and the plague was brought to a halt.
- This was counted for him as a righteous deed for all generations to come.
- 3 At the waters of Meribah they angered God, and Moses suffered because of them.
- They so embittered his spirit that rash words crossed his lips.
- They did not destroy the peoples as the LORD had commanded them,
- But mingled with the nations and imitated their ways.
- They worshiped their idols and were ensnared by them.
- 4 They sacrificed to the gods their own sons and daughters,
- Shedding innocent blood, the blood of their own sons and daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, desecrating the land with bloodshed.
- They defiled themselves by their actions, became adulterers by their conduct.
- So the LORD grew angry with his people, abhorred his own heritage.
- He handed them over to the nations, and their adversaries ruled them.
- Their enemies oppressed them, kept them under subjection.
- Many times did he rescue them, but they kept rebelling and scheming and were brought low by their own guilt.
- Still God had regard for their affliction when he heard their wailing.
- For their sake he remembered his covenant and relented in his abundant love,
- Winning for them compassion from all who held them captive.
- Save us, LORD, our God; gather us from among the nations That we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in praising you.
- 5 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, Amen! Hallelujah!
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1 [Psalm 106] Israel is invited to praise the God whose mercy has always tempered judgment of Israel (Psalm 106:1-3). The speaker, on behalf of all, seeks solidarity with the people, who can always count on God's fidelity despite their sin (Psalm 106:4-5). Confident of God's mercy, the speaker invites national repentance (Psalm 106:6) by reciting from Israel's history eight instances of sin, judgment, and forgiveness. The sins are the rebellion at the Red Sea (Psalm 106:6-12; see Exodus 14-15), the craving for meat in the desert (Psalm 106:13-15; see Numbers 11), the challenge to Moses' authority (Psalm 106:16-18; see Numbers 16), the golden calf episode (Psalm 106:19-23; see Exodus 32-34), the refusal to take Canaan by the southern route (Psalm 106:24-27; see Numbers 13-14 and Deut 1-2), the rebellion at Baal-Peor (Psalm 106:28-31; see Numbers 25:1-10), the anger of Moses (Psalm 106:32-33; see Numbers 20:1-13), and mingling with the nations (Psalm 106:34-47). The last, as suggested by its length and generalized language, may be the sin that invites the repentance of the present generation. The text gives the site of each sin: Egypt (Psalm 106:7), the desert (Psalm 106:14), the camp (Psalm 106:16), Horeb (Psalm 106:19), in their tents (Psalm 106:25), Baal-Peor (Psalm 106:28), the waters of Meribah (Psalm 106:32), Canaan (Psalm 106:38).
2  Withstood him in the breach: the image is that of Moses standing in a narrow break made in the wall to keep anyone from entering.
3  Moses suffered because of them: Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land because of his rash words (Numbers 20:12). According to Deut 1:37, Moses was not allowed to cross because of the people's sin, not his own.
4  The gods: Hebrew shedim, customarily translated "demons," occurs in parallelism with "gods" in an important inscription from Transjordan and hence is translated "gods."
5  A doxology ending Book IV of the Psalter. It is not part of the psalm.
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