God’s anger rose against them; he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel.
In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror.
Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again.
They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.
But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues;
their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant.
Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath.
He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.
How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the wasteland!
Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel.