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Praise the Lord! give thanks for ever

Praise the Lord! give thanks for ever
for his never-failing care!
Who can tell his mighty wonders,
all the depth of praise declare?
Lord, how blessed are those who serve you!
May I also know your grace;
let me share your people’s gladness,
join with them in giving praise.

2. We have sinned as did our fathers:
they forgot what God had done,
yet for his name’s sake he saved them,
his almighty power made known.
Through the sea he safely led them,
doomed and drowned their enemies:
there a nation sang his praises
and believed his promises.

3. In the desert they forgot him,
yielding to their own unrest;
never waiting for his counsel
there they put him to the test.
So he gave the food they wanted,
but with dread disease it came;
rebels moved against their leaders,
till they perished in the flame.

4. Then they made themselves an idol,
worshipped there a calf of gold,
they forgot the God who saved them,
and his miracles of old.
So he said he would destroy them-
had not Moses stood and prayed,
that in mercy he would spare them-
and at last his hand he stayed.

5. Soon they scorned the pleasant country
and did not obey the Lord-
till he said he would destroy them,
he would scatter them abroad.
Then they yoked themselves to idols,
serving gods whose strength is vain,
till the Lord, provoked to anger,
punished them by plague and pain.

6. Then, when Phinehas stood and pleaded,
their distress was set aside:
that disaster was averted
God’s true servant justified.
But beside the springs of conflict
once again God’s heart they grieved,
moving Moses to speak rashly
so that trouble he received.

7. They forsook the Lord’s commandments,
served the gods of other lands,
sacrificed their sons and daughters,
stained themselves with their own hands.
So the Lord their God abhorred them,
gave his people up to shame,
let their enemies oppress them,
for they scorned his holy name.

8. Yet the Lord his word remembered,
when in grief they turned to him:
in his pity he relented,
and in love delivered them.
Save us, Lord, that we may thank you;
gather us to you again!
Glory to our God for ever;
all sing praise, all say ‘Amen!

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