1 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 the Israel heard,
the God of Jacob's binding word;
a witness given to Joseph's tribes,
established, spoken, and transcribed:
when God has 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 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.'

Christopher Idle from Psalm 81
© Christopher Idle/Jubilate Hymns Ltd
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