1Hear my teaching, O my people; *
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2I will open my mouth in a parable; *
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
3That which we have heard and known,
and what our forefathers have told us, *
we will not hide from their children.
4We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the LORD, *
and the wonderful works he has done.
5He gave his decrees to Jacob
and established a law for Israel, *
which he commanded them to teach their children;
6That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn; *
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
7So that they might put their trust in God, *
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep his commandments;
8And not be like their forefathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation, *
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow, *
turned back in the day of battle;
10They did not keep the covenant of God, *
and refused to walk in his law;
11They forgot what he had done, *
and the wonders he had shown them.
12He worked marvels in the sight of their forefathers, *
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13He split open the sea and let them pass through; *
he made the waters stand up like walls.
14He led them with a cloud by day, *
and all the night through with a glow of fire.
15He split the hard rocks in the wilderness *
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
16He brought streams out of the cliff, *
and the waters gushed out like rivers.
17But they went on sinning against him, *
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
18They tested God in their hearts, *
demanding food for their craving.
19They railed against God and said, *
“Can God set a table in the wilderness?
20True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the
gullies overflowed; *
but is he able to give bread
or to provide meat for his people?”
21When the LORD heard this, he was full of wrath; *
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
and his anger mounted against Israel;
22For they had no faith in God, *
nor did they put their trust in his saving power.
23So he commanded the clouds above *
and opened the doors of heaven.
24He rained down manna upon them to eat *
and gave them grain from heaven.
25So mortals ate the bread of angels; *
he provided for them food enough.
26He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens *
and led out the south wind by his might.
27He rained down flesh upon them like dust *
and wingd birds like the sand of the sea.
28He let it fall in the midst of their camp *
and round about their dwellings.
29So they ate and were well filled, *
for he gave them what they craved.
30But they did not stop their craving, *
though the food was still in their mouths.
31So God’s anger mounted against them; *
he slew their strongest men
and laid low the youth of Israel.
32In spite of all this, they went on sinning *
and had no faith in his wonderful works.
33So he brought their days to an end like a breath *
and their years in sudden terror.
34Whenever he slew them, they would seek him, *
and repent, and diligently search for God.
35They would remember that God was their rock, *
and the Most High God their redeemer.
36But they flattered him with their mouths *
and lied to him with their tongues.
37Their heart was not steadfast toward him, *
and they were not faithful to his covenant.
38But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins
and did not destroy them; *
many times he held back his anger
and did not permit his wrath to be roused.
39For he remembered that they were but flesh, *
a breath that goes forth and does not return.
A Prayer for the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.