Reformed Perspectives Magazine, Volume 10, Number 3, January 13 to January 19, 2008


The Poetic Bible: An Epic Poem
(volume 5)

By Bobby Gawthrop

a Church, a nation,
a people, a body,
no visible center.

The Cycle:

"Now the angel of the LORD came up
from Gilgal to Bochim. And He said,
‘I brought you up out of Egypt and led
you into the land which I have sworn
to your fathers; and I said,
I will never break My covenant with you,
and as for you, you shall make no
covenant with the inhabitants of this
land; you shall tear down their altars.''
‘But you have not obeyed Me;
what is this you have done?'"

"‘I am the LORD your God,
Who brought you out of the
land of Egypt, out of the house
of slavery. You shall have no
other gods before Me.'"

"‘I shall be your God,
and you shall be My people.'"

Children's cadence,
wanton and willful,
misstepped marching,
stiff-necked and sinful.

Pagan pillars,
ancient altars,
standing stellar,
Hebrews falter.

"It came about when Israel
became strong, that they put
the Canaanites to forced labor,
but they did not drive them out
completely. Ephraim did not
drive out the Canaanites who
were living in Gezer; so the
Israelites lived in Gezer among them."

Anemic pattern emerges,
Hebraic potency wanes,
Canaanite resiliency surges,
annihilation abated,
the Hebrews sedated.

"Aher did not drive out
the inhabitants…so the
Asherites lived among
the Canaanites, the inhabitants
of the land; for they did not
drive them out."

anemic pattern emerges
Hebraic potency wanes,
Canaanite resiliency surges,
annihilation abated,
the Hebrews sedated.

Abominational alliance,
Hebrews tamed,
compromise, compliance,
Hebrew shame.

Covenant enacted,
singularly contracted,
"‘I will be your God,
and you will be My people'",
covenantal freedom,
vertically aligned,
yet Canaanite connection,
horizontally signed.

Marriage vows violated,
repeated relapse,
harlotry, idolatry,
spiritual adultery.

God's prostituted Bride,
wifely whore,
that Church of old,
opening wide her doors.

Her once chaste steps, now,
a continuous thoroughfare of traffic,
foreigners, climbing and mounting her heights.

They cross her threshold,
her vestibule is explored and stretched.

They play in her pews,
lustful lips sing from her hymnals,
filthy fingers turn her sacred pages.

A tainted odor, pungent and foul
hangs heavy, smearing her perfumed walls,
foreign feet trod deep, down her long narrow aisle.

They finally come before the altar,
shadows and forms, surrounding,
she affirms their presence.

Yearning and stretching,
all eyes now fixed
upon the unholy minister,
a Canaanite priest,
sent to officiate unsacred vows.

Matrimonially malignancy
imputed infestation,
The false man of god speaks:
"I charge you all, before the Father of Lies,
the Adversary, the Accuser of the brethren,
heaven's Usurper, the Satan himself,
I charge you all before the demon counsel
that sits in eternal blackness,
I charge you before all those
who know not Great God's promised Messiah.

I abjure you by all that is unholy,
do you, the children of Israel,
the Hebrew nation,
take these Canaanite gods
as your unlawfully adulterated husbands?"

"I do"

"I abjure you by all that is unholy,
do you, Satan's offspring, Canaanite gods,
who wear false crowns upon your crooked brows,
take this Hebrew harlot, this unfaithful Bride
who has spread her doors wide, as your unlawfully
adulterated wife?"

"We do"

"By the power vested in me
as a duly authorized minister
of the Evil One, may his name be praised,
I do now pronounce you fiend and harlot,
you may feed on her flesh..."

What is to be done with her?
The one whom God has chosen
among all the peoples of the earth,
chosen to be His peculiar possession,
though weakest of all.

What is to be done with her?
The one for whom Great God
laid bare His heart,
the one for whom Great God
shares His dreams and visions.

What is to be done with her?
The one for whom He kills,
the one for whom He makes
cities desolate,
the one to whom He has covenanted,
to whom He has taken vows,
for whom He has pronounced
self malediction if He ever fails to keep covenant,
the one for whom Great God has evolved,
becoming something that from eternity
He never was…a husband.

What is to be done with her?
This besetting Bride,
this unchaste Church of the open doors,
this wife of whoredom whose stairs have been soiled,
this traitor whose threshold has been crossed,
this vixen whose vestibule beckons,
this prostitute whose pews have become
a polluted playground,
this mistress whose perfume has mixed
with a foreign scent.

Whatever shall be done?

Great God is not blind,
He sees all

Those eyes that are yet,
and ever shall be,
clearer than crystal,
eyes keener than the eagle's in flight,
eyes now rimmed red with grief,
and why not?!

Eyes which cannot even look upon iniquity,
those eyes have seen things,
they have seen sights,
sights a husband should never have to see,
no, not even in the darkest corner
of the deepest cave of an imagination
fraught full with jealousy.

Yet, there she was,
and He saw her…in the act.

Great God is not deaf,
He hears all.

The snowflake in slow descent,
handcrafted with individualized dimensions,
cries of the hungry sparrow
whose mother is foraging,
a tree, fighting gravity,
pushing through wind as it falls
outside of human presence.

Those ears, which do yet, and ever shall
ring with melodious song from heaven's choir.

Those ears yearn for His Bride's praise,
they have heard things,
they have heard sounds.

Sounds a husband should never have to hear,
no, not even in the darkest corner
of the deepest cave of an imagination
fraught full with jealousy.

Yet, there she was,
and He heard her…sighing and moaning
words of false worship.

Great God,
His mighty nostrils flare and flame,
filled with her polluted perfume.

Great God,
His sacred brow furrows in consternation.

Great God,
His mountainous back senses betrayal,
she has unsheathed cutlery,
the long blade finding its mark,
piercing deep, inside,
wounding His heart,
commingled, intention and insult,
she twists and torks the handle,
wrenching His love.

Great God!
What will You do with her?
Whatever shall be done?


"‘I shall never break My covenant with you,
and as for you, you shall make no covenant
with the inhabitants of this land;
you shall tear down their altars.
But you have not obeyed Me;
what is this you have done?

"‘Therefore I also said, ‘I will not
drive them out before you;
but they will become as thorns
in your sides and their gods will be
a snare to you.''"

Paternal punishment,
children's chastisement.

Prickly sensations, pain,
thorns, burning, sin.

Ensnaring, entrapping, encompassing

temporary seasons,
periodical reprieves,
occasional spacial relief.

"The anger of the LORD burned
against Israel"

Righteous flames, burning anger,
indignational blaze, waxing white.

The LORD, His fury fast and free,
the LORD, His lightning loosed,
the LORD, fiery flames of heated light
flashing unfettered across the Hebraic night sky.

The LORD, throwing thunder,
His grand echo sounding, shaking stars,
disturbing Hebrew self deception,
distressing sinful Hebraic slumber,
like a field of stones skipping
atop a pond of peace.

"…He gave them into the hands
of plunderers who plundered them;
and He sold them into the hands
of their enemies around them,
so that they could no longer stand
before their enemies."

Looming oppression,
neither linger nor pause,
He plunders His people,
thru secondary cause.

"Wherever they went, the hand
of the LORD was against them for evil,
as the LORD had spoken and as the LORD
had sworn to them, so that they were
severely distressed."

Great God's presence pervades, prevails,
penetrates void and space,
the "Hound of Heaven",
dogging the steps of the Hebrew race.

Before, above, beyond time itself,
heaven's lighted stair,
hell's blight, stripped bare,
omnipresence, Great God is everywhere,
"from everlasting to everlasting,
You are God."

And thus,
congregational sabbatical?
I don't think so.
Hebraic flight? Day or night?
I don't think so.
All useless talk.
For the "Hound of heaven",
He stays and He stalks.

Had the LORD not spoken?
Had the LORD not sworn?

Sensing the clouds
of a gathering storm,
many ruing the day
from the womb they were born.

The Judges cycle:

Normal pattern seen,
yet, at this epochal season,
God's grace we do glean.

The people rebel, tis true,
God brings retribution,
His right, their due,
but where be repentance?
They're neither mellow nor blue,
yet, God rescues His people,
He's faithful and true.

"Then the LORD raised up judges
who delivered them from the hands
of those who plundered them."

Before the epoch of kings had come,
before the season of Saul begun,
before the time of David and son.

Born Hebrew,
rising from the ranks,
God's chosen sons, lest one.

Divinely appointed,
deliverers, anointed.

Judicial role, theirs to fulfill,
yet, foremost function , blood to spill,
12 judges, 350 years,
delivering from enemy,
delivering from fear.

18 score of years,
national heroes,
living legends,
regional redeemers,
temporal types of the One to come.

The people's protectors,
local glory,
orators honored to retell their story.

Poets write of their mighty deeds,
these defenders of the faith,
singers give voice to their courage and speed.

Epochal cycle,
purging within,
propelling without.

Lone warriors,
solitary figures,
one by one,
until judging done,
until cycle run.

The judge's life,
thru congregational life,
thru national strife.

The judges too must go the way of all flesh

The judge's cycle:

Now herein note, the cycle brake,
Church of old, repentance forsake.

No submission, neither heart nor mind,
no obedient tears did God find,
rebellion sprang from their constitution,
Great God delivered His retribution.

Tis common theme,
all epochs run,
tis common theme,
nothing new under sun. vGod hears no yelps,
no longed for call,
in spite of themselves,
in spite of it all.

No weeping heart, no moistened eye,
no liquid dew on face to spy,
the Church of Old, and now the New,
sometimes it seems as if we were nothing but
a breathing sepulcher lined with a stony hue.

"Yet they did not listen to their judges,
for they played the harlot after other gods
and they bowed themselves down to them.
they turned aside quickly from the way
in which their fathers had walked in
obeying the commandments of the LORD;
they did not do as their fathers.

"When the LORD raised up judges for them,
the LORD was with the judge and delivered
them from the hand of their enemies
all the days of the judge; for the LORD
was moved to pity by their groaning
because of those who oppressed and afflicted them.

"But it came about when the judge died,
that they would turn back and act more corruptly
than their fathers, in following other gods
to serve them and bow down to them;
they did not abandon their practices
or their stubborn ways.

So the anger of the LORD burned
against Israel, and He said,
‘Because this nation has transgressed
My covenant which I commanded
their fathers and has not listened
to My voice, I also will no longer
drive out before them any of the nations
which Joshua left when he died,
in order to test Israel by them,
whether they will keep the way of the LORD
to walk in it as their fathers did, or not.'"

Of all the Judges in Israel's land,
of that judicial epoch, span,
down through the ages, rolling fame,
the three most popular, stated, named.


Female ascendancy,
judicial chair,v womanly authority extremely rare.

The Judge's cycle:

"Then the sons of Israel again
did evil in the sight of the LORD,
after Ehud died."

"And the LORD sold them
into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan,
who reigned in Hazor, and the
commander of his army was Sisera,
who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim."

"The sons of Israel cried to the LORD;
for he had nine hundred iron chariots,
and he oppressed the sons of Israel
severely for twenty years."

"Now Deborah, a prophetess,
the wife of Lappidoth, was judging
Israel at that time."

Headship, leadership,
patterned pace,
God's Divine exception clause (?)

This prophetess,
this woman wise, in soldier's eyes,
her stature rise.

Great God commands His mighty men,
10,000 strong in Deborah's hand.
"Deborah said to Barak, ‘Arise!
For this is the day in which the LORD
has given Sisera into your hands;
Behold, the LORD has gone out before you.'
So Barak went down from Mount Tabor
with ten thousand men following him."

Sisera's army, pagan reward,
they fled, thy bled, by Hebrew sword,
Hebrew pursuit, their life essence wrung,
just one remained with breathing lungs.

"Now Sisera fled away on foot
to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber
the Kenite, for there was a peace
between Jabin the king of Hazor
and the house of Heber the Kenite."

Sole survivor, Sisera,
fleeing, seeking,
a refuged place,
a sheltered space.

"Jael went out to meet Sisera,
and said to him, ‘Turn aside to me!
Do not be afraid.'"

Seeming invitation, true,
hospitable facade,
other plans her mind accrues,
friendly tent, a fraud.

Sisera sleeping,
exhaustion, overtake,
ne'er again to see life's light,
Jael seals his fate.

"But Jael, Heber's wife,
took a tent peg and seized
a hammer in her hand,
and went secretly to him
and drove the peg into his temple.'

"So God subdued on that day
Jabin the king of Canaan
Before the sons of Israel.

"The hand of the sons of Israel
pressed heavier and heavier
upon Jabin the king of Canaan,
until they had destroyed Jabin
the king of Canaan."

"Then Deborah and Barak
the son of Abinoam sang on that day,
saying, ‘That the leaders led in Israel.
That the people volunteered,
Bless the LORD!

Hear, O Kings; give ear, O rulers!
I---to the LORD, I will sing,
I will sing praise to the LORD,
The God of Israel.

"‘The peasantry ceased,
they ceased in Israel,
Until I, Deborah, arose,
Until I arose, a mother in Israel.

"‘You who ride on white donkeys,
You who sit on rich carpets,
And you who travel on the road-sing!

"‘At the sound of those who
divide flocks among the watering places,
There they shall recount
The righteous deeds
For His peasantry in Israel.
Then the people of the LORD
Went down to the gates.

"‘Awake, awake, Deborah;
Awake, awake, sing a song!
Arise, Barak, and take away
Your captives, O son of Abinoam.'"

"‘The stars fought from heaven,
from their courses they fought
against Sisera.

"‘The torrent of Kishon swept them away,
The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.
O my soul, march on with strength.

"‘Then the horses' hoofs beat
From the dashing, the dashing
Of his valiant steeds.

"‘‘Curse Meroz,' said the angel of the LORD,
"‘‘ Utterly curse its inhabitants;
Because they did not come
to the help of the LORD,
to the help of the LORD
against the warriors.''"

"‘Most blessed of women is Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite;
most blessed is she of women in the tent.

"‘He asked for water
and she gave him milk;
in a magnificent bowl
she brought him curds.

"‘She reached out her hand for the tent peg,
and her right hand for the workman's hammer.
then she struck Sisera,
she smashed his head;
and she shattered and pierced his temple.

"‘Between her feet he bowed,
he fell, he lay;
between her feet he bowed, he fell;
where he bowed, there he fell dead.

"‘out of the window she looked
and lamented,
the mother of Sisera through the lattice,
‘Why does his chariot delay in coming?
Why do the hoof beats of his chariots tarry?''"

"‘Thus let all Your enemies perish, O LORD;
but let those who love Him be like
the rising of the sun in its might.'
and the land was undisturbed for forty years."

"Then the sons of Israel did
what was evil in the sight of the LORD;
and the LORD gave them into the hands
of Midian seven years."

"So they would camp against them
and destroy the produce of the earth
as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance
in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey."

"So Israel was brought very low
because of Midian. Repentance

"…and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD."

"Now it came about when the sons of Israel
cried to the LORD on account of Midian,
that the LORD sent a prophet
to the sons of Israel, and he said to them,
‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel',
‘It was I who brought you up from Egypt
and brought you out from the house of slavery.

‘I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians
and from the hands of all your oppressors,
and dispossessed them before you
and gave you their land,

‘and I said to you, "I am the LORD your God;
you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites
in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me."'"

"Then the angel of the LORD came and sat
under the oak that was in Ophrah,
which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite
as his son Gideon was beating out wheat
in the wine press in order to save it
from the Midianites.

"The angel of the LORD appeared to him
and said to him, ‘The LORD is with you,
O valiant warrior.'"

frustration flows from Gideon's pain,
‘if the LORD be with us, why such sorrow,
for yesterday be like the morrow,
ceaseless aggression, enemy oppression.

Our fathers spoke of miracle might,
of liberating Hebrew plight,
an epoch full of Sovereign sights,
they were covenant children, tis true,
but where do we fit in?
That Church of old be our Church too!'

"The LORD looked at him and said,
‘Go in this your strength and deliver
Israel from the hand of Midian.
Have I not sent you?'"

"He said to Him, ‘O LORD,
how shall I deliver Israel?

Gideon starts,
deeds commence,
familial division,
his first offence.

Pulling down daddy's altar,
Baal tumbling towards ground,
son also slashes asherah,
carved deity cut down.

Gideon feared his father's house,
deed done in the night,
nocturnal demolition,
revealed by morning light.

"When the men of the city arose
early in the morning, behold,
the altar of Baal was torn down,
and the Asherah which was beside it
was cut down, and the second bull
was offered on the altar which had been built."

Immediate inquiries
‘Gideon guilty!'
but father defends his boy,
Joash to Gideon's aid,
‘Is Baal a god, or just an image made?'
"let him contend for himself"

Israel's assemblage, strong,
Midianites, Amalekites,
"sons of the east",
gathering throng,
encroaching, threatening,
approaching, deafening.

"So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon"

To up and to arms,
Gideon's trumpet resounding,
his men gathered as one,
a nation's heart, beating and pounding.

Faltering faith,
seeking sign,
a fleecing test,
his own design.

‘If ground be dry,
and fleece be wet,
Your word be true,
my mind be set.'

"And it was so.
When he arose early the next morning
and squeezed the fleece,
he drained the dew form the fleece,
a bowl full of water."

Faltering faith,
seeking sign,
a second test,
his own design.

‘If fleece be dry,
and ground be wet,
Your word be true,
my mind be set.'

"And God did so that night;
for it was dry only on the fleece,
and dew was on all the ground."

Great God speaks:
"‘The people who are with you
are too many for Me to give Midian
into their hands, for Israel would become
boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.''"

Gideon set,
the men assembling,
yet many upset,
"afraid and trembling".

Paring people,
winnowing, waning,
numerical subtraction,
no one complaining.

"so 22,000 people returned,
but 10,000 remained".

Paring people,
winnowing, waning,
numerical subtraction,
no one complaining.

Human power gone,
reduction complete,
Great God to lead,
his enemy, defeat.

Great God doth speak:
"‘I will deliver you with the 300 men'".

Military moment,
that same night,
reconnaissance, spying,
nocturnal delight?

Ne'er with Gideon,
repetitional fear,
‘to flight or to fight?'

human heroes, fallen fame,
Eden's Garden grieved, sin's seed sown,
warts, ere all, we know our shame,
God's greater glory seen and shown.

Great God suffers
Gideon's frequent faltering.

"‘But if you are afraid to go down,
go with Purah your servant
down to the camp.'"

Gideon glides to enemy valley,
"the sons of the east"
lying numerous,
thick as locusts
camels uncountable.

Yet, outposts not teeming,
soldiers musing,
one shares his dreaming,
his speech confusing.

Gideon opens ear to listen

"When Gideon came, behold,
a man was relating a dream to his friend.
And he said, ‘Behold, I had a dream;
a loaf of barley bread was tumbling
into the camp of Midian, and it came
to the tent and struck it so that it fell,
and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat.'

His friend replied, ‘This is nothing less
than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash,
a man of Israel; God has given Midian
and all the camp into his hand.'"

Glimpse Gideon's heart!
On hearing the dream,
interpretation given,
"he bowed in worship",
Great God in heaven.

Courage rising,
Gideon charges the 300.

"‘When I and all who are with me
blow the trumpet, then you also
blow the trumpets all around the camp
and say, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.''"

Strategy scheming,
numerically seeming,
a mighty host teeming.

Gideon's 300

"When the three companies blew the trumpets
and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands
and the trumpets in their right hands
for blowing, and cried, ‘A sword
for the LORD and for Gideon!'"

Serenity startled,
confused countenance change,
appearance altered.

"When they blew 300 trumpets,
the LORD set the sword
of one against another
even throughout the whole army"

"They captured the two leaders of Midian;
Oreb and Zeeb, and they killed Oreb
at the rock of Oreb, and they killed Zeeb
at the winepress of Zeeb, while they pursued Midian;
and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb
to Gideon from across the Jordan."

"Then the men of Israel said to Gideon,
rule over us, both you and your son,
also your son's son, for you have delivered
us from the hand of Midian.' But Gideon
said to them, ‘I will not rule over you,
nor shall my son rule over you;
the LORD shall rule over you.'"

"So Midian was subdued before the sons of Israel,
and they did not lift up their heads anymore.
And the land was undisturbed for forty years
in the days of Gideon."

"And Gideon the son of Joash died at a ripe old age
and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash,
in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Then it came about, as soon as Gideon was dead,
that the sons of Israel again played the harlot
with the Baals, and made Baal-berith their god.

Thus the sons of Israel did not remember the LORD
their God, Who had delivered them from the hands
of all their enemies on every side;

nor did they show kindness to the household
of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in accord with
all the good that he had done to Israel."

"Now the sons of Israel again did evil
in the sight of the LORD, so that the LORD
gave them into the hands of the Philistines
forty years."

Tis time to raise a mighty judge,
to steer and set things right,
one whose prowess ne'er would budge,
his name caused fear and blight.

"There was a certain man of Zorah,
of the family of the Danites, whose name
was Manoah; and his wife was barren
and had borne no children.

Then the Angel of the LORD appeared
to the woman and said to her, ‘Behold now,
you are barren and have borne no children,
but you shall conceive and give birth to a son.'"

Preincarnate Christ appear,
singular address,
her motherhood,
a child to rear.

Corporate dimensions,
some good news confessed,
national implications.

Manoah's wife shall conceive,
the couple's new found mirth,
her shame to find relief,
a hero child to birth.

The Angel of the LORD commands,
instructions set, yea given,
submission to His word, demands,
holy life, clean living.

Dear reader,
digression here, thy patience, please,
digression here be not a tease.

Human life begun in womb.
Yet, is this true?
Dare we presume?

Be there proof,
this life in womb?
Biblical proof,
or just ass-u-me?

Several spaces,
plentiful places,
of wombs and babes,
and embryonic graces.

Samson's story, now ere speaking,
his mother hears the Angel speaking,
‘from womb to tomb, his consecration'.

"‘But He said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive
and give birth to a son, and now you shall
not drink wine or strong drink nor eat
any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazarite
to God from the womb to the day of his death.''"

repetition, question set,
again, their charges must be met.

Human life begun in womb.
Yet, is this true?
Dare we presume?

Be there proof,
this life in womb?
Biblical proof,
or just ass-u-me?

What of the child's consecration?
Was the Angel wrong?
Was He mistaken?

Monoah's wife compelling,
her womb quite telling.

Why the concern for food and drink
if only tissue on life's brink?

Great God commands, instructioned air,
before that union sweet,
life be havened, sheltered there,v when conception ere complete.

Human life, begun in womb,
from conception, features groom.

Several spaces,
plentiful places,
of wombs and babes,
and embryonic graces.

The psalmist writing,
of YHWH inspired,
authority citing,
God's mouth, no lie.

"For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am
fearfully and wonderfully made;
wonderful are Your works, and my soul
knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,
when I was made in secret, and skillfully
wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
and in Your book were all written
the days that were ordained for me,
when as yet there was not one of them."

Repetition, question set,
again, their challenge must be met.

Human life begun in womb.
Yet, is this true?
Dare we presume?

Be there proof,
this life in womb?
Biblical proof
or just ass-u-me?
several spaces,
plentiful places,
of wombs and babes,
and embryonic graces.

Beginning of the Gospel age,
behold, New Testament stage,
found on Luke's opening page,
let us whisper of wombs and babes.

Zacharias and Elizabeth,
Judaic priest, daughter Aaron,
elderly couple, rust and barren.

Walking in God's Word and way,
ordinances, commandments obey,
they love the LORD their lives do say.

Faithfulness in falleness,
the couple, rust and barren,
housed within Liz's womb,
no babe found therein.

"But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid,
Zacharias, for your petition has been heard,
And your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
And you will give him the name John.

‘You will have joy and gladness, and many
will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great
in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink
no wine or liquor, and he will be filled
with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb.'"

From Liz's belly,
God staked His claim,
future ordained,
with fame and pain.

God's presence fills
neither stock nor block,
His presence indwells
neither tree, nor rock.

From the womb, John's consecration,
like Samson of old,
angel not mistaken.

Now Christian heart in rapture race,
our spirits run, ere fly,
infinite stoop, condescending grace,
to Mary's womb we spy.

"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel
was sent from God to a city in Galilee
called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man
whose name was Joseph, of the descendants
of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

And coming in, he said to her,
‘Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.'
But she was very perplexed at this statement,
And kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.

The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary;
For you have found favor with God. And behold,
You will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
And you shall name Him Jesus.

He will be great and will be called the Son
Of the Most High; and the Lord God will
Give Him the throne of His father David;

And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
And His kingdom will have no end.' Mary said
To the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?'

The angel answered and said to her,
‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will
overshadow you; and for that reason
the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

‘and behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also
conceived a son in her old age; and she who was
called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing
will be impossible with God.'

And Mary said, ‘Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord;
May it be done to me according to your word.'
And the angel left her."

Repetition, question set,
again, their charges must be met.

Human life begun in womb.
Yet, is this true?
Dare we presume?

Be there proof,
this life in womb?
Biblical proof,
or just ass-u-me?

Several spaces,
plentiful places,
of wombs and babes,
and embryonic graces.

To cousin's country cottage,
on the door, Mary wrapping,
her good news to confer,
rejoicing there, ere tapping.

Belly to belly,
mother to mother,
Babe to babe,
Jesus Messiah,
John His forerunner.

"Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry
to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered
the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby
leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled
with the Holy Spirit.

And she cried out with a loud voice and said,
‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed
is the fruit of your womb! And how has it
happened to me, that the mother of my Lord
would come to me?

‘For behold, when the sound of your greeting
reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb
for joy. And blessed is she who believed
that there would be a fulfillment of what had
been spoken to her by the Lord.'"

Several spaces,
plentiful places,
of wombs and babes,
and embryonic graces.

"Let God be true
and every man a liar."

"Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD,
‘What is your name, so that when your words
come to pass, we may honor you?'
But the Angel of the Lord said to Him, Why do you
Ask My Name, seeing that it is wonderful'"

Biblical pattern, inferiors submit
identification, name,
surrendering brings no shame.

Reminiscent Jacob's night,
wrestling, Peniel's sod,
the LORD protected own Name and right,
but Jacob surrendered to God.

Retaining His right,
Deity's privilege,
revealing the Name,
whatever that is.

"‘I AM WHO I AM'",
memorial-name forever,
incomprehensible, wonderful,
His pleasure, our treasure.

Performing wonders in their midst,
the couple, dumbstruck, lame,
the pre-incarnate Christ, subsists,
ascending in altar's flame.

Familial comforts yearning,
Samson seeking spouse,
his choice of wife, contention, strife,
within his parent's house.

Philistine, young and fresh,
paternal protest, ne'er would heed,
Samson smitten, foreign flesh,
his parents acquiesce.

Reminiscent Esau's wife,
foreign choice, for spite and strain,
Isaac & Rebecca's strife,
parental lot, life's chosen pain.

Though Samson be a child of God,
companion sought from foreign sod.

"Then Samson went down to Timnah
with his father and mother, and came as far
as the vineyards of Timnah; and behold,
a young lion came roaring towards him.

Roaring lion, staking claim,
the strong man stands his ground,
bare handed, struck the lion down,
the beast lay dead, ere tamed.

"The Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily,
so that he tore him as one tears a young goat
though he had nothing in his hand."

Samson's strength from Spirit sent.

One week feast, festive wedding,
Samson takes a bride,
his riddle proffered,
to Philistines offered,
the answer, his secret to hide.

"Then Samson said to them,
‘Let me now propound a riddle to you;
if you will indeed tell it to me within the
seven days of the feast, and find it out,
then I will give you thirty linen wraps
and thirty changes of clothes.'

So he said to them,
‘Out of the eater came something to eat,
and out of the strong came something sweet'"

Six days came, six days went,
this riddle and rhyme, confusing their mind,
Philistinians exhausted and spent.

Pestering Philistine,
weeping wife,
enticing his secret,
weeklong strife.

Samson succumbing,
riddle releasing,
womanly wiles,
no longer safe keeping.

"She then told the riddle to the sons of her people.
So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day
Before the sun went down,
‘What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger
than a lion?' And he said to them, ‘If you had not
plowed with my heifer, you would not have found
out my riddle.'"

"Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily."
Samson's strength from Spirit sent.

Tis time to raise a mighty Judge,
to steer and set things right,
one whose prowess ne'er would budge,
his name cause fear and blight.

"and he went down to Ashkelon and killed
thirty of them and took their spoil and gave
the changes of clothes to those who told the riddle.
And his anger burned, and he went up
to his father's house."

Tis time to raise a mighty Judge,
to steer and set things right,
one whose prowess ne'er would budge,
his name cause fear and blight.

Foxes! Foxes!
Multitudinous flail,
300 foxes,
tied tail to tail.

Two by two,
the earth to scorch,
between each pair,
a lighted torch.

Foxes! Foxes!
Samson sending, in droves,
to Philistinian vineyards,
to Philistinian groves.

"Then the Philistines said, ‘Who did this?'
And they said, ‘Samson, the son-in-law
Of the Timnite, because he took his wife
And gave her to his companion.' So the
Philistines came up and burned her and her
Father with fire."

Tis time to raise a mighty Judge,
to steer and set things right,
one whose prowess ne'er would budge,
his name cause fear and blight.

"He struck them ruthlessly with a great slaughter;
and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock
of Etam."

Philistinian anger rising,
yet fear of strong man not surprising.

Confrontation, men of Judah,
demanding Samson's binding,
yet, surprise awaits their finding.

"Then 3,000 men of Judah said,
‘Why have you come up against us?'
And they said, ‘We have come to bind Samson
In order to do to him as he did to us.'"

Samson be an expiation,
purge, thus save
Hebrew nation.

From fear of foreign flesh,
from fear of the uncircumcised,
Hebrews turn upon their own deliverer,
thus, one man to be sacrificed for many.

"Then they bound him with two new ropes
and brought him up from the rock."

"When he came to Lehi, the Philistines
shouted as they met him. And the Spirit
of the LORD came upon him mightily."

Samson's strength from Spirit sent

Breaking bonds,
shaking shackles,
like singing flax,
burn and crackle.

Donkey dead,
bone and flesh,
within the carcass,
jawbone, fresh.

Samson sings,
his strength, inspired,
1,000 men doth reap his ire.

"Then Samson said,
‘With the jawbone of a donkey,
heaps upon heaps,
with the jawbone of a donkey
I have killed a thousand men.'"

Philistine philly,
procuring Samson's life,
a flashing flame of heat and strife.

Pattern set, repetition,
Samson seeking foreign flesh,
Delilah, his fruition.

Betrothal, betrayal!
Deceptive Delilah

Loyalty leaning,
with country she rests, her husband, her spouse,
low rating, second best.

"So Delilah said to Samson,
‘Please tell me where your great strength is
and how you may be bound to afflict you

Mixed marriage,
Samson and Delilah,
he, a believer,
she, a deceiver.

And so it was,
back and forth,
they played their game,
one for keeps, one for sport.

‘If I be bound with seven cords,
fresh and never dried,
the way of other men I'll go,
my strength will wane, ne'er thrive.

Delilah binds him fast, straight,
conspiratorial grins,
she plays her part,
they lye in wait.

"‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson!'"
They thought the cords be his demise,
but Samson's strength be their surprise.

And so it was, back and forth,
they played their game,
one for keeps, one for sport.

‘If I be bound with new ropes,
fresh and never used,
the way of other men I'll go, succumb to their abuse.'

Delilah binds him fast, straight,
conspiratorial grins,
she plays her part,
they lye in wait.

"‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson!'"

They thought the ropes be his demise,
but Samson's strength be their surprise.

"For the men were lying in wait in the inner room.
But he snapped the ropes from his arms
like a thread."

And so it was, back and forth,
they played their game,
one for keeps, one for sport.

‘If you weave my seven locks,
and fasten with a pin,
my strength will wane, and ne'er return,
I'll be like other men.'

"So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks
of his hair and wove them into the web."

"‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson!'"

They thought the pin be his demise,
but Samson's strength be their surprise.

Though history be linear,
repetitions do occur.

"Then she said to him, ‘How can you say,
‘I love you', when your heart is not with me?
You have deceived me these three times
And have not told me where your great strength is.

It came about when she pressed him daily
With her words and urged him,
That his soul was annoyed to death"

Pestering Philistine,
weeping wife,
enticing his secret,
weeklong strife.

"So he told her all that was in his heart
and said to her, ‘A razor has never come on my head,
for I have been a Nazarite to God from my
mother's womb'"

‘My head knows no razor,
all my life, it's been a stranger,
from mother's womb, consecrated,
a Nazarite, dedicated.

‘If I be shaved,
no hair to show,
my strength will wane,
the way of other men I'll go'.

Though history be linear,
Repetitions do occur.

Jacob sired a dozen sons,
yet one did shine most bright,
a boy conceived in Jacob's years,
he flourished in his sight.

Green-eyed monster's head did rise,
Elder brothers did despise.

Judas' sin, future breach,
Sibling sin, sheckels reach.

"When Delilah saw that he had told her
all that was in his heart, she sent and called
the lords of the Philistines, saying,
‘Come up once more, for he has told me
all that is in his heart.' Then the lords
of the Philistines came up to her
and brought the money in their hands."

asleep in her lap,
seven locks, shaven,
his strength, ere sapped,
O thou treacherous craven!

"She said, ‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson!'
And he awoke form his sleep and said,
‘I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.'
But he did not know that the LORD had departed
From him."

Samson's seven locks,
long in length,
symbolizing Samson's soul,
his spiritual strength.

His strength has been seized,
his eyes have been gouged,
blind, bound in chains of bronze,
inner prison now housed.

Philistine forgetfulness,
day by day,
week by week,
"However, the hair of his head began
to grow again after it was shaved off."

Pagan party,
participants, show,
sacrifice, idolatry,
ridicule foe.

"‘Our god has given Samson our enemy
into our hands, even the destroyer of our country,
who has slain many of us.'

It so happened when they were in high spirits,
That they said, ‘Call for Samson, that he may
Amuse us.' So they called for Samson
From the prison, and he entertained them.
And they made him stand between the pillars.

Then Samson said to the boy who was holding
His hand, ‘Let me feel the pillars on which
The house rests, that I may lean against them.'

Now the house was full of men and women,
And all the lords of the Philistines were there.
And about 3,000 men and women were on the roof
Looking on while Samson was amusing them."

Blind, bound,
a side show freak,
some circus clown.

3,000 pagans watch and stare,
they see the man, but forget the hair.

Pagans rest atop, on roof, twin pillared support, strong,
yet, their lives but a whisper from death,
for the Reaper is near, hot with his breath,
their lives but a crumbling throng.

"Then Samson called to the LORD and said,
‘O LORD GOD, please remember me
and please strengthen me just this time, O God,
that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines
for my two eyes.'

Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which
The house rested, and braced himself against them,
The one with his right hand, and the other with his left.

And Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!'
And he bent with all his might so that the house fell
On the lords and all the people who were in it.
So the dead whom he killed at his death were more
Than those whom he killed in his life."

This article is provided as a ministry of Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill). If you have a question about this article, please email our Theological Editor.

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