Save me, O God, for the waters have come up, even to my neck. I sink in deep mire where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters and the flood sweeps over me. I have grown weary with crying; my throat is raw; my eyes have failed from looking so long for my God.
Those who hate me without any cause are more than the hairs of my head; Those who would destroy me are mighty; my enemies accuse me falsely: must I now give back what I never stole? O God, you know my foolishness, and my faults are not hidden from you. Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, Lord God of hosts; let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me,
O God of Israel.
For your sake have I suffered reproach; shame has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my kindred, an alien to my mother’s children. Zeal for your house has eaten me up; the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
I humbled myself with fasting, but that was turned to my reproach. I put on sackcloth also and became a byword among them. Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, and the drunkards make songs about me.
But as for me, I make my prayer to you, O Lord; at an acceptable time, O God. Answer me, O God, in the abundance of your mercy and with your sure salvation. Draw me out of the mire, that I sink not; let me be rescued from those who hate me and out of the deep waters.
Let not the water flood drown me, neither the deep swallow me up; let not the Pit shut its mouth upon me. Answer me, Lord, for your loving-kindness is good; turn to me in the multitude of your mercies. Hide not your face from your servant; be swift to answer me, for I am in trouble.
Draw near to my soul and redeem me; deliver me because of my enemies. You know my reproach, my shame and my dishonour; my adversaries are all in your sight. Reproach has broken my heart; I am full of heaviness. I looked for some to have pity, but there was no one, neither found I any to comfort me. They gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
Let the table before them be a trap and their sacred feasts a snare. Let their eyes be darkened, that they cannot see, and give them continual trembling in their loins. Pour out your indignation upon them, and let the heat of your anger overtake them. Let their camp be desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
For they persecute the one whom you have stricken, and increase the sorrows of him whom you have pierced. Lay to their charge guilt upon guilt, and let them not receive your vindication. Let them be wiped out of the book of the living and not be written among the righteous.
As for me, I am poor and in misery; your saving help, O God, will lift me up. I will praise the name of God with a song; I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an offering of oxen, more than bulls with horns and hooves. The humble shall see and be glad; you who seek God, your heart shall live.
For the Lord listens to the needy, and his own who are imprisoned he does not despise. Let the heavens and the earth praise him, the seas and all that moves in them; for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; they shall live there and have it in possession. The children of his servants shall inherit it and they that love his name shall dwell therein.
After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt-offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.’ Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.
When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’ And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, ‘By myself I have sworn, says the Lord: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.’
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach. Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshippers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God” (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).’
When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘See, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Eternal God, in the cross of Jesus we see the cost of our sin and the depth of your love: in humble hope and fear may we place at his feet all that we have and all that we are, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.