Israel’s rebellion and punishment.
O What a stiff rebellious house
Was Jacob’s ancient race!
False to their own most solemn vows,
And to their Maker’s grace.
They broke the cov’nant of his love,
And did his laws despise;
Forgot the works he wrought to prove
His power before their eyes.
They saw the plagues on Egypt light
From his revenging hand;
What dreadful tokens of his might
Spread o’er the stubborn land!
They saw him cleave the mighty sea,
And marched in safety through,
With wat’ry walls to guard their way,
Till they had ‘scaped the foe.
A wondrous pillar marked the road,
Composed of shade and light;
By day it proved a shelt’ring cloud,
A leading fire by night.
He from the rock their thirst supplied
The gushing waters fell,
And ran in rivers by their side,
A constant miracle.
Yet they provoked the Lord most High,
And dared distrust his hand:
“Can he with bread our host supply
Amidst this desert land?”
The Lord with indignation heard,
And caused his wrath to flame;
His terrors ever stand prepared
To vindicate his name.