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To God our strength come, sing aloud

To God our strength come, sing aloud
and shout for joy to Jacob’s God!
Come, play the timbrel as you sing,
make harp and lyre with music ring:
at new moon, let the trumpet blow,
full moon and feast, his praises grow!

2. This is the law that Israel heard,
the God of Jacob’s binding word;
a witness given to Joseph’s tribes,
established, spoken and transcribed:
when God had passed through Egypt’s land
they heard, but did not understand.

3. ‘I freed your shoulders from their load,
your hands from clay and straw and wood;
in your distress you called to me,
I answered, and I set you free,
in thunder spoke the words of life
and proved you at the streams of Strife.

4. ‘Then hear, my people, this command;
O Israel, listen and be warned:
with you shall no new god be found;
to no strange god shall you be bound:
from Egypt I have brought you out;
ask me-you shall not go without!

5. ‘But when my people closed their ears,
and Israel yet refused to hear,
I gave them over, heart and mind,
to go the way their mood inclined:
if only Israel would obey,
my people follow in my way!

6. ‘I then would crush their enemies
and break these old hostilities,
while those whom hate and fear consume
would meet their long-awaited doom:
I would have given you finest wheat,
with honey from the rock to eat.’

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