Free Christian poems


By Maurice Dyson

Christian Poems about Biblical Heroes

Adam and Eve
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
1 Timothy 2:13

While Adam was tending the garden alone,
His wife was conversing with someone unknown;
The Lord had delivered His solemn decree:
You shall not partake of that good-evil tree.

Now Adam was blest with a brilliant mind;
He named all the animals after their kind;
Yet while he was tending his portion of land,
Events in the garden had got out of hand.

His wife and co-helper while out on a walk,
Had got well engrossed in some credible talk;
For she was informed by a creature of light
That God was concealing some things from her sight.

The very same fruit tree she saw with her eyes,
Was just the solution for making her wise;
A food for enjoyment and pleasant to see;
It sounded coherent she had to agree.

So being deceived by this plausible speech,
She thought this objective was well in her reach;
For being like God with the knowledge it brings,
Must surely be ranked above all other things.

Yet sadly, however, she found with dismay,
Consuming the fruit had not proven that way;
Instead of the prospect of being so great,
Her nature took on a rebellious state.

Her husband, in eating the fruit by his choice,
And not having heard that insidious voice,
Became the prime author of sin for the race,
And thus he established his cardinal place.

They knew they were naked from head to the toe,
And quickly sought refuge for somewhere to go;
They hid in the bushes and covered their parts,
For sin and its guilt had infected their hearts.

When questioned by God as to why they were there,
They did not confess with a penitent air,
But made an excuse and apportioned the blame
To some other creature as we do the same.

The Lord made a coat for them each out of skins,
Symbolic of that which would cover their sins;
So they were expelled from their brief paradise,
To live out their lives in a world full of vice.

We all are descended from this leading pair,
Complete with their nature, its fall and despair;
So while we remain on this sin-blighted earth,
We need a new nature by spiritual birth.

The Lord did not leave them without any hope,
But gave them a promise with limitless scope;
The seed of the woman, according to plan,
Would purchase salvation for woman and man.


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In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.   
Genesis 22:14

When people spread across the earth descended from the Flood;
And prospects for the world at large did not look very good;
The Lord spoke to a certain man; a citizen of Ur.
He told Abram to pack his bags and get away from there.

He was not disobedient on hearing such a call;
But took his wife and family and left the city sprawl.
He stayed at Haran for a while until his father died;
And then he set off for the land which God had signified.

He took his nephew Lot with him aboard his caravan;
And all the people he’d acquired while staying at Haran.
They entered Canaan, passing through where providence would lead;
And then the Lord conferred on him a future title deed.

He promised He would give this land to his posterity.
Then Abram built a holy shrine in faith and piety.
He moved from there and pitched his tent with Bethel on the west.
And then he journeyed further south where God prepared a test.

A famine came upon the land; the dearth was quite severe.
He went to Egypt needlessly, preoccupied with fear.
He reckoned that the local men would eye his comely wife,
And take her as their property and terminate his life.

He told his wife to fabricate a diplomatic lie;
He thought it would insure against the dangers coming by.
Please say you are my sister that it may go well for me.
However, his deceptive ploy did not end happily.

The princes of the royal court spoke highly of his spouse;
And Sarai promptly found herself confined in Pharaoh’s house.
The monarch treated Abram well expressly for her sake;
For she was very beautiful; a prize which he could take.

The Lord struck Pharaoh and his house because of Abram’s wife;
And so he called him into court to answer for the strife.
What is this thing you’ve done to me? Why did you tell me so?
I might have gone and married her! Now take your wife and go!

He went back to the promised land now richer than before;
Increased in wealth and property and livestock even more.
His nephew Lot had flocks and herds and both men shared the land.
The ground could not support them both with such a big demand

The herdsmen started quarrelling about the lack of feed;
And therefore they must separate and find another mead.
Though Abram was the patriarch he gave the choice to Lot,
So he could take his sheep and goats and find another plot.

As Lot looked out across the heath he saw a garden scene:
The plain of Jordan overspread with pastures lush and green.
He journeyed east and pitched his tent by Sodom on the plain;
But those who lived within the town were wicked and profane.

A war broke out within the land and Sodom was attacked.
They captured Lot, now resident, when all the town was sacked.
The news was brought to Abram by an escapee who ran.
Then Abram took three hundred men and followed them to Dan.

He there divided up his group and fell on them at night.
The enemy were so confused they ran away in fright.
He rescued all the people who were captured on the plain,
And brought them back with all the goods to Canaan once again.

Two monarchs met him as he reached the Valley of the Kings.
The king of Sodom heard the news about these happenings.
Melchizedek, the priestly king, came out with bread and wine;
And blessed him and the Most High God for victory divine.

Then Abram gave a tithe of all to Salem’s priestly king.
The king of Sodom had a plan he thought that he could swing;
Give me the persons, said the king, but take the goods yourself.
But Abram would not take a thread; he recognised his stealth.

Now Sarai with the passing years had not borne any seed.
She had a young Egyptian maid who might address the need.
She said to Abram, wistfully, The Lord’s prevented me;
Please go into my handmaid’s room and do accordingly.

Her husband did as she proposed and lo, the maid conceived.
When Sarai saw the damage done which could not be retrieved,
She dealt so harshly with her maid that Hagar ran away;
For they could not be reconciled about this pregnancy.

She fled into the wilderness and rested by a fount.
An Angel came and spoke with her and she gave her account.
He told her to retrace her steps and yield to Sarai’s will;
For she would duly have a son and call his name Ishmael.

Now when Abram was ninety-nine the Lord appeared once more;
Establishing His covenant which He had made before.
No longer shall your name be called as hitherto, Abram;
But father of a multitude: you shall be Abraham.

And you shall not address your wife as Sarai as you do;
But you shall call her Sarah now and I will bless her too;
For you shall have a son by her; she’ll mother realms and kings.
Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed about these things.

It came to pass as Abraham was taking rest one day;
He saw three men were standing by not very far away.
The Lord had brought His messengers; the guardians of His law;
Who did not follow Lucifer in aeons long before.

He ran to meet them from his tent and bowed toward the ground;
And offered them his services if favour had been found.
They asked of Sarah’s whereabouts. He said, She’s in the tent.
Now Sarah was quite curious about this incident.

The Lord said, I will certainly return to you again;
And when the time is realised your wife shall have a son.
She overheard Him say these things and laughed impulsively;
For in her heart she reasoned, I’m too old, how can it be?

The Lord said, Why did Sarah laugh? yet all the while He knew.
Cannot the Lord do anything He said that He will do?
And after this the men arose and looked across the ley,
And Abraham accompanied them to send them on their way.

The cities on the Jordan plain were totally depraved;
Their vile, perverted way of life had rendered them enslaved.
The Lord said, I will go and see if what I’ve heard is true;
The outcry has come unto Me; if not then I will know.

The men set off toward the plain while Abraham remained.
He had a problem on his mind which could not be explained.
Will You destroy the righteous with the ones committing sin?
Shall not the Judge of all the earth deliver those within?

Thus Abraham pursued his plea, petitioning the Lord;
Who gave him reassurance so his faith would be restored.
If there were found ten righteous ones residing in the town,
He would not overthrow the place by calling judgment down.

The conversation ended there; the Lord went on His way.
The men approached the city gate around the close of day.
Now Lot was sitting at the gate which opens on the square,
Where he could see those passing by along its thoroughfare.

He rose to meet them, bowing low, and asked if they would stay,
And lodge with him for just the night and then go on their way.
They answered, No, we’ll spend the night here in this open space.
But when he kept on pressing them they rested at his place.

He made a dinner for his guests and baked unleavened bread.
And so they ate and supped with him before he went to bed.
The men of Sodom, young and old, had gathered round the door;
They called on Lot to bring them out; but he could see the score.

He went outside and closed the door behind him as he went;
He knew of their perversity and sensed their vile intent.
I have two virgin daughters here; do with them as you please.
But still the men derided him and set aside his pleas.

They pressed up hard against him and would not be pacified.
The angels reached out through the door and pulled him back inside.
The men were struck with blindness which created quite a scene;
For now they could not find the door or where it might have been.

The angels ordered Lot to go and warn his family;
And take them all away from there as quickly as could be.
The Lord will overthrow this place! Now go and tell your folk!
But when Lot told his sons-in-law they thought it was a joke.

When morning came his visitors were urging him to flee;
For Lot did not appear convinced of this calamity.
Take both your wife and daughters out in case you are consumed!
For punishment is near at hand! This dwelling place is doomed!

They took them from their city home and warned them once again:
Flee quickly to the mountains or you’ll perish on the plain!
But Lot feared that some evil thing would overtake his soul.
He knew a city, which, he said, could play a saving role.

See now, this place is near enough! Please let me hasten there!
They granted him this final plea with little time to spare.
The sun had risen on the earth when Lot arrived in Zoar;
And then the wrath of heaven fell and Sodom was no more.

The Lord was very merciful allowing Lot to flee.
His wife became a monument preserved for history.
Instead of fleeing with her folk she lingered on behind.
Her plight is held before us as a warning to mankind.

Now Sarah had a baby son when time had been fulfilled.
His father called him Isaac and they loved the little child.
With two boys living in the home it brought domestic pain;
For Sarah saw her handmaid’s son treat Isaac with disdain.

She therefore said to Abraham, Now cast this woman out!
Her son shall not be heir with mine! of that she had no doubt.
So Abraham provided food and sent them both away.
The Lord made him an Arab race which still exists today.

It happened sometime afterward that God designed a test;
And Abraham would have to choose the one he loved the best.
The Lord said, Take thine only son and get thee to Moriah;
And offer there thy well-beloved, an offering by fire.

He rose up early in the morn and so prepared his ride.
He took two men along with him and Isaac by his side.
The third day out he saw the mount as God had clearly said.
He told the men to stay and rest while he went on ahead.

The lad and I will worship there and then we will return;
For Abraham believed that God would raise his son again.
He took the wood of offering and laid it on his son;
Then took the knife and fire with him and both continued on.

They reached the place of sacrifice; the father set his face;
He built an altar out of stones and put the wood in place;
And then he bound his only son and laid him on the wood;
Then took the sacrificial knife intent on shedding blood.

The Angel of the Lord called down, he answered, I am here.
Do not afflict the lad, He called, for now I know you fear.
Just then a ram had got itself entangled in a briar;
He took the ram and offered it upon the altar fire.

The Angel called a second time with blessings on his seed;
Because you’ve not withheld your son; your only son indeed;
I’ll multiply you progeny as sand upon the shore;
And in your Seed shall humankind be blessed forevermore.


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What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us?   
Genesis 24:65

As Abraham advanced in years and God had richly blessed,
And Sarah his beloved wife had now been laid to rest;
He called his eldest servant, one in whom he could confide,
And made him swear by God Most High concerning Isaac’s bride.

The daughters of the Canaanites were living close at hand,
As Abraham had for a time been dwelling in their land.
You shall not take a wife from them, he warned him solemnly,
But go to where I used to live and to my family.

But just suppose, the servant said, the woman will not come?
Should I then make the journey back and take along your son?
Beware, in no wise shall you do, his lord was quick to say;
As God had promised him this land he knew his son must stay.

The Lord who took me from my home and that locality,
Has spoken with a solemn oath and promised faithfully.
He told me He will give this land to those who are my seed;
His angel will precede you; you shall bring her back indeed.

But if the woman whom you ask declines to follow you,
Then you are clear from this my oath and shall be hitherto.
And so the servant placed his hand upon his master’s thigh,
And swore that he would do his part before the Lord on high.

With camels ready loaded he departed on his quest.
The angel led him to a place where he could duly rest.
He stopped beside a water hole outside a city bound;
And there his camels rested as they knelt upon the ground.

The sun was nearly setting and the evening drawing nigh;
The women would be coming for some water by and by;
And so the servant prayed unto his master’s God above:
O Lord I pray Thee send me speed and kindness in Thy love.

Behold, I stand beside a well just waiting Lord on Thee;
The daughters of the city will be coming presently;
And when they come for water I shall speak to one and say,
Let down thy pitcher now for me that I may drink, I pray.

And when the damsel says to me, Drink as it pleases you,
And I will draw some water for your thirsty camels too;
Then let that damsel be the one as seemeth good to Thee,
The chosen one for Isaac, then I’ll know assuredly.

Before he had done speaking, lo, Rebekah came to draw;
Her pitcher on her shoulder just as often times before.
Now she was very comely, whom no man had ever known;
And then she filled her pitcher with the water she had drawn.

The servant ran to meet her and related his request;
So letting down her pitcher she complied with his behest.
And while he watched and waited as the camels drank their fill,
He asked about her father and she said, He’s Bethuel.

She added then moreover, We have straw and provender,
And room enough to lodge in: she could see they’d travelled far.
The man bowed down in worship as he blessed his master’s Lord,
Who pours out love and mercy and forever is adored.

Rebekah ran and told her mother’s house about this thing.
They noticed in her hand she held a lovely golden ring;
With bracelets on her wrists as well: a gift the servant brought;
A present from his master for the one his son would court.

Rebekah’s brother Laban took it all in at a glance;
For when he saw the bracelets that were on Rebekah’s hands,
And heard his sister telling of the one she’d come to meet,
He said, Come in thou blessed of God! and then they washed their feet.

The servant then related all the happenings to date;
And how the Lord had blessed his master with a big estate;
He told them too of Isaac and his large inheritance,
And how the Lord had led him in His gracious providence.

Then Laban and his father said, This thing is from the Lord;
We cannot speak of anything, no, neither bad or good.
Rebekah is before you therefore take her now and go;
And let her be for Isaac’s wife, the Lord hath deemed it so.

The servant, when he heard these words, bowed down upon the earth;
And brought out precious jewels of considerable worth;
And gave them to Rebekah and some precious objects too,
To Laban and her mother thus his joy did overflow.

He ate and drank and tarried with the family that night;
And rose up when the morning sun gave forth its dawning light.
He asked if they would give him leave and send him on his ways;
But Laban and her mother said, Just stay a few more days.

He answered, Do not hinder me, the Lord has blessed my way;
Now send me on my journey to my master’s house, I pray.
They said, We’ll call Rebekah and let her decide the drill.
When asked if she would go with him, she answered them, I will.

They sent away Rebekah with their blessing as she went;
May myriads of children be forthcoming from your tent;
And let them have dominion over those who seek their ill;
For thou who art our sister, may the Lord be with thee still.

Rebekah and her maidens set off with the camel train,
And rode away from Nahor which they’d never see again;
Their home would be the promised land, an everlasting claim;
For God who is the Promiser forever stays the same.

Now Isaac had gone walking in the field at eventide,
To meditate upon the Lord and of his future bride;
And as his thoughts were taken up in worship and in awe,
He lifted up his eyes and lo, a camel train he saw.

Now when Rebekah looked and saw a man was drawing near,
And learned that it was Isaac, then with reverential fear,
She got down from her camel, put a veil upon her face;
For thus it was the custom for a woman in her place.

The servant then related all the things that he had done;
And Isaac heard the story from the time it had begun;
And so he took Rebekah, his divinely chosen wife,
And came to love and cherish her as now the heir of life.


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All things work together for good to them that love God.   
Romans 8:28

Young Joseph was feeding the flock with his brothers
And brought back their evil report.
Now Joseph was loved more by Jacob his father
Who made him a nobleman’s coat.
But when they could see he was favoured above them
His brothers just hated him sore;
And then when he dreamed they were bowing before him
They hated him yet even more.

One day when his brothers were feeding at Shechem
And Joseph was home at Hebron;
His father said, Go out to Shechem, I pray thee,
And bring me back tidings of them.
He went and eventually found them at Dothan,
But being some distance as yet;
They saw him approaching and plotted to kill him,
And throw him down into a pit.

But Reuben, the eldest, spoke strongly against them,
My brothers, do not shed his blood!
Just throw him down into this pit in the desert.
Thus seeking to do what he could.
While Reuben was absent some merchants were passing,
Their camel train laden with scent.
So Judah suggested they sell their young brother;
And then were the others content.

They sold the young man to the Ishmaelite traders
Who carried their brother away.
When Reuben returned and he found the pit empty
He cried with a shout of dismay.
They’d taken the tunic belonging to Joseph,
And dipped it in animal’s blood.
So when they had shown it to Jacob their father,
He thought he’d been taken for good.

He wept a long time for his younger son Joseph,
And mourned for the lad in his heart.
Because the young man was the firstborn of Rachel,
The woman he’d loved from the start.
And Rachel had borne him a second son later;
Ben-oni brought sorrow with him;
For when she had borne him so death overtook her;
Her sorrow became Benjamin.

So Joseph was sold as a slave into Egypt,
And bought by a captain of guard;
This Potiphar put him to work in his household,
And Joseph was blessed by the Lord.
His master placed all of the staff in his keeping;
The household came under his care.
Then Potiphar’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph
And urged him to lie with her there.

But Joseph resisted her constant advances;
For how can I do such a wrong!
So day after day she was courting his favour,
But he did not once go along.
And then on a day when the household was empty
And Joseph and she were alone;
She reached for his garment which fell from his shoulders;
Divested, he fled from the home.

Then keeping his garment she called to the servants,
See now what this Hebrew has done!
This man has been brought here in order to mock us;
But when I cried out he was gone!
She spoke to her husband and showed him the garment,
And told him her spurious tale.
His anger was kindled on hearing the story,
And Joseph was thrown into jail.

But down in the dungeon the Lord was with Joseph,
And blessed him with kindness and grace.
He gave him much favour in sight of the keeper,
Who put him in charge of the place.
The king had been angry with two of his servants
And both were confined in the jail.
They both had a dream which they could not interpret;
Their faces looked worried and pale.

Then Joseph took note of their sombre appearance,
Why is it your faces are sad?
They told of the dreams which they could not interpret;
He said, That comes only from God!
Please tell me your dreams, he requested politely;
And each one rehearsed what he saw.
He told them the meaning and what was forthcoming;
So both heard the matters in store.

The butler would take up his previous office,
And carry the cup to his lord.
So Joseph requested he speak to the Pharaoh,
And so get him out of this ward.
But when he was back in the presence of Pharaoh
He did not remember his friend.
So Joseph remained in the jail even longer;
The days seemed to pass without end.

It happened when two years had followed their courses,
That Pharaoh the king had a dream.
He called for his wise men and all the magicians,
But they were not wise, it would seem.
The cupbearer said to his master the Pharaoh,
My faults I remember today;
When I was in custody with the chief baker,
A man told our dreams right away.

Then Joseph was summoned to stand before Pharaoh;
He shaved with a new change of clothes.
The monarch addressed him, I’ve heard you interpret!
He answered that only God knows.
Then Pharaoh related his dreams unto Joseph,
Who told him that both dreams were one.
There would be a time of great famine forthcoming,
And Joseph knew what must be done.

For during the years when the harvest was plenty,
The grain must be stored by the king.
For seven whole years will the land yield its produce,
So there will be plenty to bring.
But following this will come seven years of famine,
So great it will ravage the land.
Let Pharaoh appoint some redoubtable foremen,
To take up this matter in hand.

Now all this was pleasing to Pharaoh the monarch;
His servants agreed it was good.
He said to his servants, Is anyone like him,
In whom is the Spirit of God?
He spoke unto Joseph regarding the matter,
Since God has made clear this report;
There is not a man with such knowledge and wisdom;
So you shall be over my court.

He loosened the ring that he wore on his finger
And placed it upon Joseph’s hand.
I’ve made you the governor over my people,
So you shall rule over the land.
Yet only my throne will be greater above you;
My people shall do as you say.
He placed a gold chain on the shoulders of Joseph,
And garments of finest array.

He gave him a wife from the daughters of Poti,
And Asenath bore him two heirs.
The firstborn he called by the name of Manasseh:
God made him forget all his cares.
The next he called Ephraim, for God made him fruitful,
Though suffering pain in the land.
And so as the years of the harvest abounded
He gathered the food in like sand.

But then when the years of abundance were over,
The lean years of dearth went ahead.
And soon all the people were starving with hunger,
And cried unto Pharaoh for bread.
The monarch directed the people to Joseph;
Whatever he says to you, do!
As famine extended throughout the whole country,
It reached to the other lands too.

When Jacob had heard of provisions in Egypt,
He looked his sons straight in the eye.
Why do you stand looking so blank at each other?
Go buy us some food lest we die!
So ten of the brothers went down into Egypt,
While Benjamin stayed at the home.
For Jacob would not send the youngest, remarking,
In case a misfortune should come.

They came to buy grain with the others who’d journeyed
Because of the famine and dearth.
Now Joseph was selling the grain to the people;
His brothers bowed down to the earth.
When he saw his brothers there bowing before him,
But they did not know it was he;
He spoke to them roughly; accused them of spying,
But they claimed their integrity.

We truly are brothers; your servants are honest;
For we are the sons of one man.
Though one is no longer; the youngest is staying
With father at home in Canaan.
Then Joseph decided that they should be tested,
To see if their conscience was clear.
You shall not depart from this place, I assure you,
Except your young brother comes here.

Send one of you home and let him fetch your brother,
And you shall be kept in the jail.
And then we’ll discover the truth of your sayings
Or whether you’re spinning a tale.
So Joseph put all of his brothers in prison,
And kept them locked up for three days;
And then on the third day he made a condition,
Before they were sent on their ways.

If you speak the truth, then let one stay in prison,
The rest of you carry the corn.
And bring back your brother, so you shall be pardoned,
And you shall not die, I have sworn.
They said to each other, We truly are guilty,
Concerning our brother of years;
When he was in anguish of soul and besought us,
We callously shut off our ears.

Then Reuben replied, Did I not straightly tell you,
You must not do thus to the lad?
But you would not listen to what I was saying,
So this is required by his blood!
Now they did not realize that Joseph was listening,
And all of their words understood;
For he had been using a man to interpret,
For reasons inherently good.

He turned and went out and he wept for his brothers,
And came back to join them again.
He talked with them further then singled out Simeon
And bound him in front of the men.
He then gave out orders to fill up their corn sacks;
Their money was put back inside.
And so when their asses were all ready laden,
They headed off back on their ride.

When back in the land they reported to Jacob,
And told him all things that befell.
And when they had opened their sacks they discovered
Their bundles of money as well.
By now they were getting increasingly nervous;
In fact they were really afraid;
For they had told Jacob the words of the ruler,
And of the condition he made.

Now Joseph is taken and Simeon also!
And you will take Benjamin too?
Thus Jacob lamented, All things are against me!
My son shall not travel with you!
The famine continued to ravage the country,
And when they had eaten the grain;
Their father said, Go and return unto Egypt
And buy us provisions again.

But Judah repeated the words of the ruler,
Of how he had sworn earnestly,
Make sure that you bring your young brother back with you
Or you shall in no wise see me.
So as they debated the matter between them,
He finally gave his accord;
Go take of the best of the fruit in your vessels,
And may you have mercy from God.

Now take your young brother and double the money;
Arise and go down to the man.
And so they returned to the country of Egypt
And stood before Joseph again.
When Joseph could see there was Benjamin with them,
He ordered his staff straightaway;
Bring these men along; make a meal and get ready,
They’re dining with me at midday.

And so they were brought to the household of Joseph.
They thought he would put them in bond:
For he is just seeking occasion against us
Because of the money we found!
And so they drew near to the steward and told him,
O sir, we came just to buy grain;
And when we discovered our bundles of money
We brought it back double again.

He answered, The Lord has put wealth in your corn sacks;
Your money did come unto me.
Now do not be fearful, he sought to assure them;
And then he set Simeon free.
He gave them some water and feed for their donkeys;
And so they made ready for noon.
For they heard that they would be dining at midday,
With Joseph returning home soon.

When Joseph had entered they brought him the present,
And bowed themselves low to the ground.
He asked of their welfare and that of their father,
If now in good health he was found.
They answered, Your servant our father is healthy,
Prostrating themselves once again.
Then Joseph looked into the eyes of the youngest...
His mother’s own son Benjamin.

Is this your young brother, the one whom you spoke of?
May God richly bless you my son!
Then Joseph made haste as he entered his chamber
And wept now his brother had come.
Then washing his face he came back in to join them
And ordered the meal to be set.
And each brother’s place was according to birthright;
The Hebrews were kept separate.

Then Joseph sent portions to each of his brothers;
But fivefold he gave Benjamin.
They drank with their host and were suitably merry,
Enjoying the food and the wine.
Then Joseph commanded to fill up their corn sacks;
Their money was placed in the top.
But when you are come to the sack of the youngest,
Then place in it my silver cup.

And so did his servants as Joseph commanded,
For he had a matter to prove.
The very next morning the brothers were ready,
So mounting they started to move.
When they had departed from out of the city
And gone a short way down the road;
He sent one to stop them, demanding an answer:
Why have you paid evil for good?

The man overtook them and spoke as instructed;
For someone had stolen the cup.
They strongly protested they never would do it;
So each had his sack opened up.
The brothers were searched starting first with the eldest,
And then in the last it was found.
They tore up their clothes and returned back to Joseph
And fell on their face to the ground.

What is it you’ve done? Joseph questioned his brothers;
Don’t you know that I can divine?
Then Judah said, We can say nothing to clear us;
Our sin has been found in due time.
For we are your servants including the youngest.
Then Joseph said, That shall not be!
But only the one by whose hand it was stolen,
Shall stay as a servant to me.

But Judah persisted, My lord now I pray you,
Permit me to speak in your ear.
For if the young lad does not go to his father,
It surely will break him I fear.
For seeing his life is bound up in our brother,
And he is so dear to his heart,
When he is aware that the lad is not with us
His spirit will surely depart.

For I became surety unto my father,
Accepting all blame on my head.
So now let your servant remain as a bondman
And let the lad go up instead.
Then Joseph called out to those standing beside him,
Let every man leave me alone!
And so when he stood by himself with his brothers,
He made his identity known.

He said, I am Joseph you sold into Egypt!
Now do not have fear in your hearts.
The Lord sent me here to preserve many living
And save many souls in these parts.
He’s made me a father to Pharaoh the monarch
And ruler of all under him.
Go now and fetch all of my folk into Egypt
And dwell in the land of Goshen.

Then Joseph embraced his young brother with weeping
And wept with his ten brothers too.
When Pharaoh had heard that his brothers had joined him
He told Joseph what he should do.
Make ready with wagons and many provisions
And load up your asses with food.
And bring all your family down into Egypt
And dwell in the land that is good.

Then Joseph gave each man a new change of clothing;
To Benjamin Joseph gave five.
And so they departed and came and told Jacob
That Joseph his son was alive.
Then Jacob’s heart fainted, he could not believe them,
But when he had heard them explain;
And saw all the wagons which Joseph had sent them,
His spirit revived once again.

So Jacob went forth on his journey to Egypt
And took with him all that he had.
He came to the place which is known as Beer-sheba
And sacrificed there unto God.
God came in a vision and spoke unto Jacob
And called to His servant by name;
For I will go down with thee, even to Egypt,
And bring thee up hither again.

Thus Jacob continued and came unto Goshen,
The land where his people would dwell.
Then Joseph made ready and came up to meet him
And fell on his neck a good while.
His father said, Let me die now that I’ve seen you
Because you are still here alive.
He answered, I’ll go and tell Pharaoh the monarch,
My kinfolk have safely arrived.

Then Joseph presented his father to Pharaoh,
Who asked the old man of his age.
One hundred and thirty long years, he responded,
So few and so evil my days.
Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went from his presence
And dwelt in the best of the land.
And there he was nourished and those who were with him
According to Pharaoh’s command.

Now after these things Jacob fell into sickness
And soon he became very weak.
Then Joseph took with him Manasseh and Ephraim
To comfort and hear Jacob speak.
He brought both his sons close alongside his father;
Then Jacob enquired, Who are these?
He answered, My sons God has graciously given.
He said, Bring them close to my knees.

Now Jacob could no longer see very clearly,
His eyes had become very dim.
So Joseph brought both of his sons very near him;
He hugged and he kissed both of them.
Then Joseph took each one and placed them beside him,
While holding their hand as a guide.
He brought his son Ephraim along Jacob’s left hand,
Manasseh to Jacob’s right side.

Then Jacob in blessing them crossed his hands over,
His right hand upon Ephraim’s head.
But Joseph protested, Oh not so my father!
And tried to remove it instead.
But Jacob responded, I know son, I know it;
He also shall be very great.
So Jacob set Ephraim ahead of Manasseh,
Predicting their future estate.

The patriarch gathered his twelve sons around him,
Pronouncing his blessing on each.
So each man received as his conduct was reckoned;
The place he was destined to reach.
Then Joseph forgave all the sin of his brothers,
And so when his father was dead,
He said to his brothers, Your evil intentions
God used for a blessing instead.


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Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men
which were upon the face of the earth.  
Numbers 12:3

The children of Israel were fruitful in Egypt;
They filled all the land as they spread;
There rose up a new king not having known Joseph,
Who thought of a scheme in his head.
He said to his people, Come, let us deal wisely,
These Hebrews are stronger than we;
If there is a war and they join with our rivals,
They’ll fight us and go away free.

He burdened the Hebrews with toiling and labour,
And taskmasters driving them hard.
They built him the cities of Pithom and Raamses,
And all protestations were barred.
Their lives were made bitter with all the hard bondage,
In mortar and brick without end.
Their work was enforced with intensified rigour,
And yet did their numbers extend.

Then Pharaoh commanded the two Hebrew midwives
That when they attended a call,
They kill the young child if a boy was emerging,
But not if the birth was a girl.
The midwives feared God so they were not attentive
To such a command from the king;
When asked to explain why the boys were still living,
They said, It’s a formative thing.

The Hebrews are not like the women of Egypt,
But have such a vigour of life;
Their children are born in a manner so quickly,
It’s done by the time we arrive.
God dealt very well with these Israelite midwives,
Rewarding their faith and their guile.
Then Pharaoh commanded that every male infant
Be thrown alive into the Nile.

A man chose a wife from the daughters of Levi;
He too was of Levi descent.
The woman conceived and gave birth to a boy child,
And seeing her comely infant;
She hid him away for three months in her household,
But when she could hide him no more;
She put her young child in an ark of bulrushes,
And went to the river foreshore.

She placed the small casket down into the water
And left it to float in the reeds;
His sister was watching the scene from a distance
To see what was done for his needs.
The daughter of Pharaoh came down by the river
To wash with her maidens awhile;
And walking along by the edge of the water,
She noticed the ark in the Nile.

She sent off her maiden to fetch the small casket,
And when she had opened it there,
She saw the young child, and behold, it was weeping,
Arousing compassion in her.
She said to her maidens, This child is a Hebrew.
His sister then came up to say:
Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrews
To nurse this child for you today?

She said, You may go; so she called the child’s mother,
Who came and received back her son.
The daughter of Pharaoh said unto the mother,
Now take this child into your home,
And nurse him for me, and I’ll give you your wages.
She nursed him until he had grown;
Then brought back the child to the daughter of Pharaoh,
Who raised him as one of her own.

When Moses was grown he went out to his brethren,
And saw all the burdens they bore;
And seeing a Hebrew receiving a beating,
He thought he would level the score.
When no one was looking he killed the Egyptian,
And buried him there in the sand;
The next day he noticed two Hebrews were fighting;
Such things he could not understand.

He said to the one who was wronging the other,
Why are you assaulting your friend?
He answered, Who made you a judge of our people?
Will you kill me too in the end?
Then Moses was fearful because of their knowledge,
And when Pharaoh heard what was done,
He sought to kill Moses, who fled out of Egypt
And dwelt in the land of Midian.

He sat by a well as some women drew water,
To water their parental flocks;
Some shepherds came by and they drove off the women,
But Moses soon bolstered their stocks.
He helped the young women to water their charges,
And when they arrived at the home;
Their father asked why they had come home so early.
They told him what Moses had done.

He said to his daughters, Where is the Egyptian?
Go call him that he may eat bread.
Then Moses consented to dwell with their father,
Who gave him his daughter to wed.
She bore him a son, and he called his name Gershom,
For I am a stranger, he said.
With passage of time came the death of the Pharaoh,
From whom he had previously fled.

The children of Israel were groaning in bondage;
Their groaning ascended to God.
The Lord took account of His people in Egypt
Because He had covenanted;
The oath He had sworn to their fathers in Canaan,
To Abraham, Isaac his seed;
And having confirmed it to Jacob at Bethel,
That Canaan was their title deed.

Now Moses was keeping the flock in the desert
For Jethro his father-in-law;
He came to the mountain of God which is Horeb
When something unusual he saw;
A bush that was burning without its consumption,
So Moses went closer to gaze;
When God saw he turned and came nearer His presence,
He called to him out of the blaze.

Do not venture nearer! He called out to Moses;
Now take off the shoes from thy feet.
For where thou art standing is holy and sacred.
The homage for God which is fit.
When Moses was told that he stood in the presence
Of God, whom his fathers revered;
He covered his face so his eyes would be hidden
From Him who is awesome and feared.

The Lord said to Moses, I’ve seen the affliction
Imposed by this Pharaoh’s command;
I’ve come down that I may deliver My people,
And bring them up into My land.
A land that is flowing with milk and with honey,
With borders extensive and great.
Come now, I will send thee to speak unto Pharaoh.
But Moses saw ground for debate.

He said, Who am I that I go before Pharaoh,
And bring all these Israelites out?
I’ll surely be with thee, the Lord reassured him,
Observing that Moses had doubt.
This shall be a sign to thee when thou hast brought them,
For you shall serve God on this mount.
He answered Him, What shall I say to this people,
When speaking on Thine own account.

Behold, when I come to the Israelite people
And presently say unto them:
The God of your fathers has sent me among you;
They’ll say to me: What is His name?
What then shall I say? so the Lord told him plainly
In language eternally true.
I AM THAT I AM, shalt thou say to the people,
The Lord God has sent me to you.

For this is My name, My memorial forever,
In all generations to come;
And surely I’ve seen what’s befallen My people,
And that which their masters have done.
Go, gather together the elders of Israel,
And speak as I give thee command;
For I shall bring forth all My people from bondage,
And give them their very own land.

And thus shall ye say to the Pharaoh of Egypt:
The Lord God has met up with us.
So now let us go, we beseech thee, and journey
Three days into yon wilderness.
Although I am sure he’ll not let you go thither,
Unless he’s compelled under stress;
So I will smite Egypt with all of My wonders,
And you shall leave under duress.

And thus will I give to My people much favour
In sight of their alien foes;
For each of your women shall ask from her neighbour,
Their most costly jewels and clothes.
And so shall ye plunder and spoil the Egyptians;
Their treasures shall come unto you.
But Moses still doubted that they would believe him.
And that which he told them was true.

Supposing they do not give ear to my message,
And heed not these sayings of mine?
The Lord then continued by asking a question,
And Moses was given a sign.
What’s that in thine hand? He requested of Moses.
He answered and said, It’s a rod.
Now cast it before thee. So Moses obeyed Him,
And saw a sign wonder from God.

The rod was transformed to a serpent before him,
And Moses recoiled from the asp.
Now reach out, grab hold of its tail, He commanded;
And lo, ‘twas a rod in his grasp.
Now put thy hand into the cloak thou art wearing.
And when he had done thus and so,
He looked at his hand, and behold, it was leprous;
The flesh had turned white as the snow.

Now put forth thy hand in again, He commanded.
The flesh was restored as before.
The Lord then continued, If they will not hear thee,
So thus thou shalt do furthermore;
Go down to the river and take up some water,
And pour it on ground that is dry.
So shall it be blood which is poured out before them.
A miracle hard to deny.

Then Moses said, Lord, I am not good at speaking,
My tongue is just heavy and slow.
Who made a man’s mouth, or the deaf, or the seeing?
Have not I? said the Lord, Therefore, go.
I’ll be with thy mouth and I’ll teach thee thy parlance.
He answered Him, Send whom Thou will.
The Lord became angry and said unto Moses,
I know that thy brother speaks well.

Behold, he is coming in order to meet thee,
And he will be glad in his heart;
So thou shalt put words in his mouth as thy spokesman,
And I will teach both thine own part.
And take this same rod in thine hand as thou goest,
With which thou shalt do all the signs.
So Moses returned and he spoke unto Jethro,
And made a request on these lines.

Now please let me go to my brethren in Egypt,
And see if they be yet alive.
He said, Go in peace. Then the Lord reassured him:
Thine enemies do not survive.
So Moses took with him his wife and his children,
Who rode on a donkey beside;
But when they arrived at an inn on their journey,
The Lord God arrested his ride.

The Lord sought to kill him because of transgression:
His son had not been circumcised.
His wife, called Zipporah, performed the incision;
A chore which she somewhat despised.
Now God said to Aaron, Go out to the desert
And meet up with Moses abroad.
So Aaron went forth and he met with his brother;
They kissed at the mount of the Lord.

Then Moses disclosed all that God had commanded;
The signs and the things he had heard.
They went forth and gathered the elders of Israel,
And Aaron repeated the word.
Performing the signs in the sight of the people,
So they would respond with accord;
The people believed God had seen their affliction,
And worshipped their covenant Lord.

Then Moses and Aaron spoke boldly to Pharaoh,
The words of the God of Israel:
Let My people go for a feast in the desert.
But Pharaoh did not answer well.
Who is the Lord God that I heed and obey Him?
I will not let Israel go.
For why should I listen to One whom I know not?
He flatly refused, even so.

Then Moses and Aaron said further to Pharaoh,
Now let us go three days, we pray;
The God of the Hebrews has recently met us
And bid us to journey away;
And there we shall sacrifice unto Jehovah,
But if we go back on His word,
He may fall upon us and smite us with sickness,
Or cut off our life with the sword.

But Pharaoh gave orders to all his taskmasters:
Do not give this people their straw.
But let them all gather their own straw hereafter,
And make the same bricks as before.
The people dispersed and they gathered the stubble,
Which rendered their toil more severe.
The officers came with their grievance to Moses,
And voiced their complaint in his ear.

They said unto Moses and Aaron his brother,
The Lord look upon you and judge.
You’ve made us abhorrent in sight of our masters;
And now it is harder for us.
So Moses returned to the Lord with their grievance:
Why hast Thou brought trouble like this?
For since I have spoken to Pharaoh the monarch
Events have gone further amiss.

The Lord said to Moses, Now shalt thou discover
The wonders I’m going to do;
Then Pharaoh will drive you from out of his country;
With force he will let you go through.
And I will give Israel the fair land of Canaan,
A heritage only for them.
So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel,
But they would not listen to him.

The Lord then proceeded with further instructions,
And Moses was told what to say:
For Aaron thy brother shall be as thy spokesman;
The king must send Israel away.
When Pharaoh says unto you: Show a sign wonder.
Then Aaron shall cast down his rod.
They went before Pharaoh and did as commanded,
And wrought the sign wonder from God.

But Pharaoh’s magicians did so in like manner;
Their rods became snakes by their art.
Then Aaron’s rod swallowed up all of the others,
But Pharaoh just hardened his heart.
Then God said to Moses, Tell Aaron your brother
To stretch his rod over the Nile.
He smote the Nile waters in sight of the Pharaoh;
They turned into blood and stank vile.

Again the magicians did likewise before him;
But yet he was hardened again.
Then frogs came and entered their bedrooms and chambers,
Creating discomfort and pain.
Amidst all the turmoil the Pharaoh relented,
But when the small creatures were gone;
He hardened his heart once the crisis was over;
And so the afflictions went on.

Adversities followed, distressing the country,
With lice and with flies and murrain.
The king was reluctant to turn from his evil,
And hardened his heart yet again.
Then hailstones and locusts and boils came upon them,
And darkness fell over the land.
But though he had witnessed such great signs and wonders,
He still disobeyed God’s command.

So finally God said to Moses His servant,
Yet once will I harass this land.
Then Pharaoh will thrust you from out of his country;
With no more recourse at his hand.
Speak now in the hearing of Israel My people,
Let each ask for silver and gold;
For thus shall there rise up a cry over Egypt
Like none that has ever been told.

For I will destroy all the firstborn of Egypt,
The firstborn of human and beast;
The one that is born unto Pharaoh the ruler,
And that which is born to the least.
But I will distinguish between the Egyptians,
And those who are called unto Me;
For I will perform this great wonder in Egypt,
And Pharaoh will let you go free.

The children of Israel prepared their departure,
With every house taking a lamb;
A male of the first year without any blemish:
The sacrifice chosen for them;
They slaughtered the lamb on the fourth day at twilight,
While keeping back some of the blood;
Then placed the blood onto their lintels and doorposts;
A symbol respected by God.

At midnight the Lord struck the firstborn of Egypt,
And Pharaoh rose up in the night.
The angel of death went and struck every household;
The people cried out in their fright.
Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron before him:
Rise up and get out with your folks!
The people went out as a newly born nation,
Their kneading bowls bound in their cloaks.

They journeyed to Succoth, a mixed congregation,
And camped by the wilderness edge.
The Lord went before them by day and by night-time,
With cloud and with fire as a pledge.
They came to the sea where their journey was halted,
As Pharaoh pursued with his host.
The people cried out to the Lord in their anguish,
For they were hemmed in at the coast.

The Angel of God, who was leading the people,
Moved back of the campsite that night.
Thick darkness descended upon the Egyptians,
While all of God’s people had light.
Then Moses said, Fear not, but see the salvation
The Lord will accomplish for you;
Behold, these Egyptians you’ve seen with their horses
Shall shortly be gone from your view.

The Lord said to Moses, Thus say to the people:
Go forward! But lift up thy rod.
Stretch forth thy hand over the sea and divide it,
And you shall go over dry shod.
So Moses stretched forth his hand over the waters;
The Lord caused an east wind to blow;
The waves were divided with dry land between them:
A path where the people could go.

The children of Israel went into the Red Sea;
The waters walled up on both sides;
Then Pharaoh pursued with his chariots and horses,
But God quickly hindered their rides.
He took off the wheels which retarded their progress.
They drove them with difficulty;
They said, Let us flee from the face of this people;
The Lord is our adversary.

When all of the people had passed through the waters,
With everyone safe on the shore;
The Lord gave instructions to Moses His servant
To stretch forth his hand as before.
The waters returned and engulfed the pursuers;
The Lord saved His people with power;
Thus Pharaoh together with all of his army
Were drowned at the very same hour.

Then Moses and all of the people were fearful,
And lifted their voices in song:
The Lord is triumphant; His reign is forever.
I’ll sing of His victory long.
So Moses led Israel away from the Red Sea,
And into the desert of Shur;
For three days they journeyed without any water;
The desert was barren and bare.

At Marah the water was unfit for drinking;
They murmured at Moses and said,
What are we to drink? but he gave them no answer,
And cried to Jehovah instead;
Who showed him a tree, which he cast in the water.
The Lord changed the bitter to sweet.
They went on to Elim, a shady oasis,
But later had nothing to eat.

They murmured and said unto Moses and Aaron,
We wish we had died in that land;
Where we had our flesh pots and ate bread aplenty;
But now there is nothing on hand.
You’ve brought us in order to kill us with hunger.
For now they were greatly distressed.
The Lord said to Moses, I’ll rain bread from heaven,
And prove them by means of a test.

The Lord God provided for soul and for body;
He met every need on the way.
Their nourishment, clothing and daily provision;
Their guidance by night and by day.
They came to the mountain of God in the Sinai,
And set up their camp by the mount;
The Lord spoke to Moses that day from the summit:
The words he would later recount.

You’ve seen what I did to your foes the Egyptians,
So now if you listen to Me;
And diligently heed My commandments and do them,
A kingdom of priests you shall be.
Then Moses repeated these words to the people;
They said, We will do as He says.
Be ready in soul and in body, he warned them;
The Lord will come down in three days.

The third day at morning brought thunders and lightning;
The mountain was covered in smoke.
The sound of a trumpet grew louder and louder,
And God answered Moses who spoke.
The Lord called to Moses who went up the mountain,
And heard strict procedures for all:
Go down and give warning lest any should venture
To gaze... and they perish and fall.

The Law was delivered to Israel at Sinai;
The mountain where God came to speak.
The people who witnessed divine revelation,
Were told they must rest once a week.
For six days all work shall be done by the people;
The pattern Jehovah had set.
In six days the Lord made the earth and the heavens;
So all man’s provision was met.

The practice of justice and moral behaviour,
Was taught at this covenant mount.
Instructions for making the tent of the meeting,
Were detailed in fullest account.
The articles gracing the tent of His presence;
The ark of acacia and gold;
The mercy seat, speaking to all generations
Of grace that would later unfold..

The people were waiting while Moses was absent;
His stay up the mount was delayed.
They said unto Aaron, Come, make us an image!
They ate and they drank and they played.
Then Moses came down for the Lord had informed him:
The people are turned from the Way.
Their hearts were not resting on matters eternal,
But vanities passing away.

And such was the trend of their wilderness roaming;
A stiff-necked, rebellious mob.
The spies who brought evil reports from their mission,
Conduced all the people to sob.
But Caleb and Joshua were trusting the Captain,
Who’d promised to give them the land.
While others could only remember the giants,
Forgetting the One in command.

So Israel continued to roam in the desert,
Till that generation had died.
While Moses was teaching their children who followed,
The precepts of law as a guide.
But Moses could not lead the people to Canaan,
His patience ran out in the end.
He struck at the rock and the water came gushing;
So God reprimanded His friend.

A man was selected to take up the baton;
The leadership came on his head.
So Joshua was chosen to lead them in battle,
For Moses, God’s servant, was dead.
There has not arisen a prophet like Moses,
A man whom God knew face to face;
The meekest of those who are born of a woman
Was Moses, the prophet of grace.


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For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak,
and of Samson...who through faith subdued kingdoms...

Hebrews 11:32,33

The children of Israel cried out to Jehovah,
Because of their Midianite foes.
The Lord sent a prophet reminding the people,
Of why they were having these woes.
I brought you from Egypt where you were in bondage,
And freed you from out of their hand.
I drove from before you all those who oppressed you
And freely I gave you their land.

For I am Jehovah, your Lord and your Master,
So fear not the Amorite gods;
The gods that are served by this people before you;
But you have not heeded My words.
Then came forth an Angel and sat ‘neath the oak tree;
The one by the way of Ophrah;
Pertaining to Joash the father of Gideon,
And spoke to his son who was there.

The young man was threshing some wheat in the winepress,
For fear of the Midianites.
He knew they would plunder the grain from the harvest
If once it came into their sights.
The Angel addressed him, Jehovah is with thee,
Thou mighty and valiant man!
But Gideon said, If Jehovah is with us,
Then why has this trouble began?

For where are the miracles which we have heard of;
The ones which our fathers have seen?
And did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?
But now we are caught in between.
The Lord looked upon him and gave him an order:
Go forth in your strength and your might!
For you shall save Israel from those who oppress them,
And rescue them out of their plight.

He answered, My Lord, how can I save this people?
My house in Manasseh is poor.
And I am the least in the house of my father.
A claimant for grace to be sure.
I’ll surely be with you, the Lord reassured him,
For you shall defeat them as one.
He said, If You really are He who is speaking,
Then show me a tangible sign.

Please stay here until I return with my offering.
He answered, I’ll wait here for thee.
So Gideon made ready the food for the offering,
And brought it forth under the tree.
The Angel said, Take of the meat and the cereal,
And place them here onto this stone.
He reached with His staff as He touched both the offerings;
They burned in a flame and were gone.

The Angel departed as Gideon stood watching;
The young man was sorely afraid.
The Lord reassured him his life would not perish,
Because of the glory displayed.
He built there an altar to God who had met him,
And called it Jehovah-shalom;
And even today it is still seen in Ophrah;
The Lord God of Peace, He is known.

The Lord gave instructions that night unto Gideon,
Take now a young bullock with thee;
And tear down the altar of Baal at your father’s,
And build on this rock one to Me.
He took a few servants from those who were with him,
And did so as he had been told;
However, he did it while others were sleeping,
For Gideon was not very bold.

The men of the city arose in the morning,
And found there the altar destroyed.
And there on the altar that Gideon constructed,
An offering unto the Lord.
They said to each other, Whoever has done it?
And when they enquired round about;
They heard it was Gideon the offspring of Joash;
So calling they said, Bring him out!

But Joash confronted these men who opposed him,
For they sought the life of his son.
Let him who is pleading for Baal and his altar,
Be punished by death before noon!
At that time the Midianites gathered for warfare,
As did the Amalekite hordes;
They came and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel;
Their army too many for words.

The Spirit of God came on Gideon the leader,
Who sounded a loud trumpet call.
Then gathered behind him his tribal companions,
Manasseh and tribes four in all.
For Gideon sent messengers calling to Asher,
To Zebulun, Naphtali too.
So gathered together the Israelite army,
All thirty-two thousand and true.

Then Gideon enquired of the Lord for a favour,
If You will save these by my hand;
I’ll put forth a fleece overnight on the flooring,
And this is the test I have planned:
If there should be dew on the fleece in the morning,
Although it is dry on the ground;
I’ll know You will save by my hand all this people,
And what You have said is profound.

He rose the next morning and squeezed it together,
And filled up a bowl with the dew.
But yet he was still not completely persuaded,
Requesting another sign too.
O do not be angry, he said to Jehovah,
I’ll speak to You only once more;
Now let it be dry on the fleece in the morning,
And let there be dew on the floor.

He rose up and found the fleece dry in the morning;
The ground was all covered with dew.
The Lord gave assurance to Gideon His servant;
For such He is able to do.
Then Gideon arose and the men who were with him,
And camped by the well of Harod.
And while they looked down at the army before them,
There came forth a message from God.

The Lord said to Gideon, Your men are too many;
If I give them victory here;
They’ll claim for themselves all the glory for winning,
So go and proclaim in their ear:
Whoever is fearful depart from this mountain.
So twenty-two thousand returned.
Thus leaving ten thousand to fight with the masses.
But still more had yet to be learned.

The Lord said, The ones who remain are too many.
Go down to the watering site.
Whoever laps water like dogs when they’re drinking
Shall be the ones chosen to fight.
The number who put hand to mouth was three hundred,
The rest of them got on their knees.
The Lord said to Gideon, Retain the three hundred,
I’ll save all My people with these.

The Midian host were below in the valley.
The Lord said to Gideon that night,
Arise and go down for I’ve given thee vict’ry;
But if thou art troubled with fright,
Take with thee thy servant and hear what they’re saying,
And thou shalt be strengthened as well.
He went down and heard someone telling his neighbour,
I dreamt that a barley cake fell.

It tumbled right into the camp of the Midians,
And struck down a tent on its way.
The other man said, This is nothing but Gideon;
We shall be defeated today.
Then Gideon worshipped the Lord God of Israel,
Who’d sent him this comforting word.
Returning, he told all the men who were with him,
Arise, we have won by the Lord.

He then split them up into three groups of hundreds;
In this way he marshalled his band.
He gave each a trumpet, a torch, and a pitcher
To cover the torch in his hand.
When I blow the trumpet then all of you follow,
And blow on your trumpets with me.
They came to the camp in the midst of the darkness,
All set for their great victory.

They blew on their trumpets on hearing the signal,
And shattered the pots in their hands.
The sound of the trumpets and sight of the torches,
Affrighted the Midianite bands.
The Lord set the sword of each man at his neighbour.
The soldiers just panicked and fled.
Then Gideon sent word to the warriors of Ephraim,
Who helped him to slaughter the dead.

The Lord uses those who are weak for His glory;
For such is the depth of His grace.
He chooses the dumb and the poor and the helpless,
And gives them a privileged place.
The Lord took the debt that was written against us;
He died so that we could be free.
Our debt has been cancelled; His blood was the ransom.
He did it for you and for me.


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And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson:
and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.   

Judges 13:24

A man called Manoah who lived at Zorah,
Did not have a child by his wife.
An Angel appeared to the woman with news:
Announcing a forthcoming life.
He said, You are barren but you shall conceive,
And you shall give birth to a son;
Now therefore be careful and do not drink wine,
While bearing the child that shall come.

The Angel continued, Concerning the child,
No razor shall come on his head;
For so shall the child be the day he is born,
A Nazirite chosen by God.
And he shall begin to release Israel,
From under their Philistine foes.
She came to her husband, describing the Man,
And told him the things He disclosed.

Manoah entreated the Lord with his prayer,
O Lord, let the Man come again;
And teach us how we can provide for this child:
A task which he hoped to attain.
The Lord heard the words of Manoah’s request,
And came to the woman once more;
The Angel appeared as she sat in the field;
But she was alone as before.

She ran to her husband as fast as she could,
And told him the Man had returned;
Manoah rose quickly and followed her out;
For so was he duly concerned.
He said to the Angel, Now are You the Man
Who spoke to this woman indeed?
He answered, I am; then Manoah went on
To ask how their lives would proceed.

What manner of life shall it be for the child?
And what sort of work will he do?
The Angel repeated the former commands,
His wife must observe and pursue;
She may not consume that which comes from the vine
Nor anything vile or unclean;
So let her observe all that I have declared,
Relating to food and hygiene.

Manoah responded, Please linger awhile,
And we shall make ready a kid.
The Angel replied, Though you ask Me to stay,
I will not partake of your bread.
And if you are thinking of bringing a gift,
Then offer it unto the Lord.
Manoah knew not that the Person who spoke,
Was He whom the angels adored.

Manoah presented the things he prepared,
And offered them as he was told.
So while they looked on as the offering burned,
A wonder, so great to behold.
The Angel went up in the flame of the fire,
And both of them fell on their face.
He said, We shall die for we’ve looked on the Lord!
But she rested firm in God’s grace.

When Samson was grown he went down through the land,
And noticed a Philistine maid.
He came to his parents, reporting his find,
Intent on enlisting their aid.
They said, Is there not a more suitable one
Among your own brethren and kin?
But Samson insisted they get her at once,
For she was well-pleasing to him.

His parents did not understand this event,
Or that it had come from the Lord;
Who sought an occasion to harass their foes,
Who ruled them by fear of the sword.
They went down to Timnah to visit her home,
And came to a vinery field;
A lion came roaring, surprising their son,
But he had a heavenly shield.

The Spirit of God came on Samson with power;
He ripped the wild creature apart.
He did not inform them of what he had done,
But kept this event in his heart.
He came back to look at the carcass one day
And saw there a new honeycomb;
He took of the honey and gave to his folk;
Who did not know where it was from.

Now Samson made ready a feast for the men,
For such was the custom to do.
Then thirty companions were brought in with them;
He said, I’ve a riddle for you.
If you can explain it and solve it for me,
I’ll give you a new change of clothes;
But if you cannot when a week has gone by,
Then thirty coats you must dispose.

He said, From the eater came something to eat,
And sweetness came forth from the strong.
But they could not solve this conundrum of his,
Although they considered it long.
And so by the weekend they made a resolve,
And coming they spoke to his wife;
Get smart with your husband and solve it for us,
Or else it will cost you your life!

She wept before Samson and said through her tears,
You don’t really love me at all!
You have not explained this conundrum to me;
While he just continued to stall.
But then by the weekend he granted her wish,
For she kept on pressing him hard.
He gave her the answer, and she told the men,
Who came and spoke as they had heard.

What’s sweeter than honey and strong as a lion?
He knew they had talked with the girl.
If you had not ploughed with my heifer, he said,
You would not have solved it at all.
The Spirit came mightily on him again;
He went to a town further on,
And killed thirty men; having taken their clothes,
He brought them and gave to the men.

His anger was kindled because of this thing,
And so he returned to his house.
The woman he’d married, and left for a while,
They gave to his friend for a spouse.
At time of wheat harvest he paid her a call,
And brought along with him a kid;
His father-in-law would not let him go in,
And offered her sister instead.

Then Samson resolved with regard to these folk,
He could not be blamed for their harm;
And now they would carry the brunt of his wrath,
For he could no longer stay calm.
He captured some foxes: three hundred in all;
And tied up their tails two by two;
And then he released them with fire on their tails
To where all the sustenance grew.

The grain was ignited which stood in the fields,
The vineyards and olive groves too.
Thus all of the harvest was burnt to the ground,
Which sparked off a local to-do.
They heard it was Samson who’d taken revenge,
Because of his father-in-law;
Who’d given his wife unto one of his friends;
Foreclosing the marital door.

They came up and took their revenge on this house,
And she and her father were burned.
But Samson avowed, Since you’ve done such a thing,
Yet soon will my vengeance be turned.
He laid into them with incredible strength;
Attacking the men hip and thigh.
Then Samson went down to the rock of Etam,
And dwelt in the cleft by and by.

The Philistines camped in the Judean land,
And spread themselves out in Lehi.
When asked for the reason of why they had come,
They gave their defiant reply:
We’ve come here for Samson to do unto him,
The same as he’s done unto us.
Then three thousand men from the Judean tribe,
Went down to the rocky fortress.

They said unto Samson, We’ve come here for you,
To hand you to these Philistines.
He answered, Now swear you won’t kill me yourselves,
When I am bound up in these twines.
They gave him assurance and bound him with ropes,
And brought him forth out of the rock.
The Philistines came and they shouted at him,
But soon they were in for a shock.

The Spirit came mightily on him again;
He quickly broke free from his bands.
And finding a jawbone left there from an ass;
He reached out and took with his hands;
Then wielding the jawbone he slaughtered the men,
And called the place Ramath Lehi;
For there he recited his victory verse:
A thousand men slaughtered, have I.

His thirst was severe so he called on the Lord,
O Thou hast delivered today;
But now shall I die from this terrible thirst,
And fall in the hands of my prey?
The Lord split a hollow place there in the ground,
And water came out from the same;
So when he had drunk and his spirit revived,
He called it En Hakkore by name.

He went down to Gaza, and seeing a whore,
He had a relation with her.
The Gazites, on hearing that he was in town,
Surrounded the area there.
They waited all night at the main city gate;
So Samson could not get away.
Resolving to kill him when daylight had come;
But things did not happen that way.

He laid low till midnight and then he arose,
And came where the entrance was found.
Then taking a grip on the gateposts and doors,
He pulled them both out of the ground.
With scarcely an effort he shouldered the lot,
Including the crossbar and all;
And carried them off to the hill at Hebron,
As though he was having a stroll.

Now after these things he was charmed by a maid,
Who lived in the Vale of Sorek.
The lords of the Philistines came up to her,
For they were devising a trick.
If she would entice him to strictly confide,
By what means his strength was sustained,
They promised to give her a sizeable sum,
If he could be conquered and chained.

She said to her lover, Now please let me know,
By what means your strength does abound;
And what does prevent you from being disarmed,
When you can be conquered and bound.
He said, If they bind me with strings of a bow
That have not been thoroughly dried,
Then I shall be weakened as all other men.
The Philistines waited outside.

They brought up the bowstrings and gave them to her;
And she bound him up with the string.
She said, Look out Samson, they’re coming for you!
But this was a trifling thing.
She said, You have mocked me and told me a lie,
Please tell me what binds you secure.
He said, If they bind me with ropes newly made,
Then I shall be weakened for sure.

She took the new ropes and she bound him again,
And called out as she did before.
He broke off the shackles as though they were threads,
And cast them all onto the floor.
She said, You have lied and have mocked me again,
Now tell me what binds you indeed.
He said, If you weave all my locks in the loom...
She wove them with womanly speed.

She called out a third time, They’re coming for you!
But he simply pulled them apart.
She said, You profess that you love me indeed,
Yet you have not told me your heart.
See now, you have mocked me already three times,
But still you’ve not answered my plea.
And so she persisted to such an extent,
That Samson got weak at the knee.

He got so annoyed that he told her his vow;
No razor had come on his head.
For if I am shaven my strength will depart,
And I shall be weakened instead.
Now when she perceived he had spoken the truth,
And told her what lay in his heart;
She called to the lords, and they brought her the sum;
So now she could play her last part.

She lulled him to sleep as he lay on her knees,
And called for a man to come in,
Who shaved off his hair while he slept unaware,
His strength was no longer within.
She called out a fourth time, They’re coming for you!
He woke and assumed he was free;
Not knowing the Lord had departed from him...
They seized him and took him away.

They brought him to Gaza and bore out his eyes,
And bound him with fetters of bronze;
Then threw him in prison and set him to grind,
And left him to toil in his bonds.
But then, as it happens, with passage of time,
His hair started growing again.
The Philistines glorified Dagon and cried,
Our god has delivered this man!

The rulers assembled to worship their god,
And offer a great sacrifice;
And when they were merry they called for a play,
From Samson their captive and prize;
So calling for him he was brought from the jail,
And rendered an object of sport;
And then he was stationed between the two posts
On which the whole place had support.

Then Samson said unto the lad by his side,
Who led him along by the hand,
Let me feel the pillars supporting the place,
So that I can lean where I stand.
The temple was filled with both women and men,
The lords of the Philistines too;
In fact there were three thousand folk on the roof,
Observing what Samson could do.

Then Samson, in weakness, called unto the Lord,
Remember me Lord as before!
That I may take vengeance for both of my eyes!
O strengthen me only once more!
He then took a hold of the two middle posts,
And bowed as he flexed with his might;
The temple came crashing and fell on them all;
So Samson had fought his last fight.

The number he killed on the day that he died,
Were more than he killed all his days.
His household came down and they carried their son,
Back home to his burial place.
There was neither prophet nor king in his time;
He judged Israel twenty years.
His faith has reserved him a lasting reward,
Along with his God-fearing peers.


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… and, behold, the mountain was full of horses
and chariots of fire round about Elisha.  
2 Kings 6:17

Elijah returned to the land of his fathers;
A mission awaited him yet.
He found a man ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen,
Elisha the son of Shaphat.
A conflict had risen because of king Ahab,
Who’d brought in the worship of Baal.
The contest concluded with Baal on Mount Carmel,
Where God showed His power to all.

Elijah passed by as Elisha was ploughing
And cast his cloak over his heir.
Elisha left off from his soil cultivation
And quickly ran after him there.
He said, Let me farewell my father and mother,
And then I will follow with you.
Elisha provided a feast for his people,
Then started his service anew.

When time was fulfilled for Elijah’s departure,
And he would be taken away.
He said to Elisha, Whatever you ask for,
I’ll do while I’m with you today.
Elisha said, Let me have double your spirit,
And let it rest on me, I pray.
Elijah replied, You have asked for a hard thing,
But listen, for this I will say.

Now if you should see me when I am departing,
Then shall it be so unto you.
But if you do not, then you shall not receive it,
By this you shall certainly know.
As they were still talking, a chariot and horses
Of fire came and parted the two.
Elijah was taken aloft in a whirlwind,
And soon disappeared from his view.

Elisha cried out as his friend was departing,
And tore up his garments in twain.
He took up the mantle that fell from Elijah
And stood by the Jordan again.
Where is the Lord God of Elijah? he questioned,
While striking the waters below.
The Jordan divided both this way and that way.
He crossed in the midst of the flow.

The sons of the prophets from Jericho met him,
And bowed themselves low to the ground.
They said, Let us send out and search for Elijah,
Perhaps he’s in valley or mound.
You shall not send anyone, answered Elisha;
But when they kept urging him more,
He gave his consent, but the searchers found nothing.
He said, As I told you before.

The men of the city said unto Elisha,
Please notice this city is fair.
The water, however, is bad for which reason,
The ground is both barren and bare.
He said, Bring a bowl and put salt in the vessel.
They did so and brought him the bowl.
He went to the source and threw salt in the waters;
They came forth productive and whole.

He went up to Bethel, but as he was going,
Some lads hurled abuse in his face.
Despising his office as God’s holy prophet,
They called out with words of disgrace.
He stopped, and he turned, and he looked at these mockers,
And cursed them in God’s holy name.
Two she-bears came out of the woods round about them,
And mauled forty-two in their shame.

A woman, the wife of a son of the prophets,
Cried out to Elisha and said,
Thy servant, my husband, feared God as thou knowest,
But now that my husband is dead,
The creditor wants my two sons as a payment;
Their lives will no longer be free.
Elisha said, What dost thou have in thy household?
And what shall I render for thee?

She said, There is one jar of oil in my larder.
Go borrow some more, he replied.
Proceed to your neighbours and gather the vessels,
And bring all the empties inside.
Then when you have gathered as much as you’re able,
Shut in both yourself and your sons.
Then pour in the oil to the jars you’ve collected,
And set aside all the full ones.

She did as Elisha had given instruction,
And filled all the jars to the top.
And when there were no other empties remaining,
The oil promptly came to a stop.
She then came and told him; Elisha responded,
Go sell them and pay off your debt.
And what you have left you will have to support you.
Thus all her requirements were met.

One day when Elisha was visiting Shunem,
A woman of note saw him there.
She urged him to dine every time he was passing,
Then sought how to further his care.
She said to her husband, This man comes by often,
I know he is God’s holy man;
Please make him a room with a bed and a lampstand,
So he may turn in when he can.

Elisha was resting one day in the chamber,
And spoke to Gehazi his aide:
Go ask of this woman if I may reward her;
Enquire if she has any need.
She said, I am dwelling among my own people.
But she had no son of her own.
Gehazi informed him her husband was ageing.
He called her to come in the home.

He said as she stood in the doorway before him,
Next year you shall fondle a son.
She said, No my lord, do not lie to your handmaid.
She did not think such could be done.
The woman conceived at the time he predicted,
And brought forth a child in her joy.
Then later when grown he went out to the reapers,
But sickness befell the young boy.

They carried him back to his mother directly;
He sat on her knees until noon.
And then he expired; so she took the young body
Up into her visitor’s room.
Then shutting the door, she called out to her husband,
Send one of your donkeys, I pray.
And one of the young men to go along with me,
I must see the prophet today.

Her husband said, Why go today on a journey?
It’s neither new moon nor Sabbath.
She said, It is well; so she saddled the donkey,
And started her ride down the path.
She said to her servant, Go hard, do not slacken!
And when they arrived at Carmel;
Elisha enquired how her kindred were keeping,
She answered and said, They are well.

She came and caught hold of the feet of Elisha;
His aide thought to push her aside.
Elisha perceived that her soul was embittered,
A matter which God chose to hide.
She said, Did I ask for a son of my master?
And do not deceive me, I pray.
Elisha said unto his servant Gehazi,
Get ready and go right away.

Take with you my staff in your hand and go quickly,
Do not greet a soul on the way.
Nor answer to any if they should salute you.
He sensed there must be no delay.
And when you are come to the place where he’s sleeping,
Then lay my staff onto his face.
The woman avowed she would not leave Elisha,
So both followed after apace.

Gehazi did thus as Elisha commanded;
The child did not move on the bed.
He went back to meet them, relating what happened,
The boy did not wake from the dead.
Elisha went up where the young boy was sleeping,
And when he had shut himself in,
He prayed to the Lord who brings comfort in sorrow,
And makes people whole from within.

He stretched himself out on the child as he lay there;
The flesh of the boy became warm.
He walked back and forth then repeated the process;
His life was beginning to form.
He sneezed seven times, then his eyes became opened;
They called for his mother to come.
She came and fell down at the feet of Elisha,
Then picked up her dearly loved son.

Now Naaman was captain of Syria’s army;
A man well esteemed by his king.
For by him the Lord had brought vict’ry to Syria;
But Naaman’s success had a sting.
He suffered a wasting disease in his body;
A sickness no doctor could cure;
And though he was mighty and valiant in battle,
His sickness seemed set to endure.

The Syrians had raided the country of Israel,
And captured a girl on their raid.
She served in the household of Naaman her master,
And worked for his wife as a maid.
If only my master was there with the prophet,
She said to her mistress one day;
He’d surely be healed from his sickness completely.
Then Naaman took note right away.

He went to the king and repeated her sayings,
This girl has disclosed thus and thus.
He answered, Go now to the monarch in Israel,
And take him a letter from us.
So Naaman departed with gifts for the monarch;
Of silver and raiment and gold.
He came to the king and delivered the letter,
And this was the message it told.

Now be thou advised when thou readest this letter,
My servant I’ve sent unto thee.
And now I request that thou healest my servant,
And cure him of his leprosy.
The king tore his clothes and his anger was kindled.
He thought this was some sort of trick:
Am I as the God, both to kill and make living,
That I should recover the sick?

Elisha soon learned of the monarch’s displeasure,
And hearing the man was unwell.
He said, Send him here and he will know for certain
A prophet is in Israel.
So Naaman went up with his horses and chariot
And stood at the holy man’s door;
Who sent out a message: Wash seven times in Jordan,
Your flesh shall be clean as before.

But Naaman was furious on hearing this message,
He thought he would come face to face,
And call on the name of the Lord God in Israel,
And wave his hand over the place.
Are not the Abana and Pharpar much better
Where I could be washed and be clean?
So Naaman went off in a huff with his servants,
Who thought they must now intervene.

They came near and said unto Naaman their master,
My father, if he said to you,
Go do some great thing, would you not go and do it?
Should not this be easy to do?
So Naaman went down as the prophet had told him,
And dipped seven times in the flow.
His flesh became clean like the flesh of an infant,
He came out both healed and aglow.

Returning, he came once again to Elisha,
His faith sought occasion to speak:
There is not a God save the true God in Israel.
The God who alone is unique.
So Naaman went home as a newborn believer,
A different man in his soul;
His leprosy gone and his sins all forgiven,
The Saviour had rendered him whole.

The deeds of Elisha, like those of the prophets,
Are there as examples to learn.
The wonders performed, both forgiveness and healing,
Are blessings no mortal can earn.
Throughout human history God has been working,
But one day His working will cease;
And those who have trusted the blood of the Saviour
Shall rest in His glorious peace.


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Why have I found grace in thine eyes,
that thou shouldest take knowledge of me,
seeing I am a stranger?

Ruth 2:10

It came to pass in Judah, when judges ruled the land,
A famine struck the country, with stress on every hand;
In Bethlehem resided, a man, Elimelech;
Who took his wife Naomi, and went forth on a trek.

They went to live in Moab, a country very near;
Perhaps he thought their fortunes would fare much better there;
But very soon thereafter, Elimelech had died;
Then both his sons got married and took a local bride.

And then a decade later his sons had passed away;
Their widows still surviving to live another day.
Naomi was bereft now of those who won the bread;
And then she heard some tidings that quickly turned her head.

She heard that in her homeland the Lord had answered prayer,
And visited His people with bread enough to spare.
So rising with her daughters, she started back for home;
But on the way she pondered, Perhaps they should not come.

Return again my daughters, unto your mother’s house;
The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have with your spouse;
I pray the Lord will grant you, repose in your homestead;
Dwell safely with your husbands: the ones you choose to wed.

And so Naomi kissed them and bid them both goodbye;
But they could find no comfort and both began to cry;
We surely will go with you and to your people there.
Because they loved Naomi and sought her future care.

Naomi reasoned with them, for well she knew the truth;
She could not bear more husbands for Orpah or for Ruth.
If she should have a husband and sons to call her own,
Would they still tarry for them and wait until they’re grown?

Again they burst out crying, their hearts were deeply sore;
Then Orpah kissed Naomi whom she would see no more.
But Ruth just kept on clinging, she would not leave her side.
While Orpah chose to turn back to where she would reside.

Naomi tried persuading that Ruth would follow on;
Go back now with your sister; return where she has gone;
She’s gone back to her people and to her gods of old.
But Ruth might have been thinking, They’re only bits of gold.

Entreat me not to leave you; I’ll go where you will go;
And where you have your lodging, there I will lodge also;
Your people be my people; your God within my heart;
And where you die, I likewise; for only death can part.

Naomi left off speaking, she knew her mind was firm.
So both of them together set off for Bethlehem.
The city got quite stirred up, when everyone could see;
They said to one another, Naomi? Is it she?

Do not call me Naomi, it’s not so pleasant now;
I went out full and happy, I well remember how;
But now just call me Mara, I’m full of bitterness;
The Lord has dealt so harshly and brought me much distress.

So Ruth came with her in-law to dwell at Bethlehem;
They did not have their menfolk who could look after them;
But God is always watching His own in everything;
Now they were just beginning the barley harvesting.

Naomi had a kinsman, a man with real estate;
The kinsman’s name was Boaz, whose wealth was very great.
So Ruth said to her mother, Now let me go, I pray,
And glean among the grain fields; whoever favours me.

She answered, Go, my daughter; for as is widely known,
The poor among God’s people are cared for by their own.
So Ruth went out and happened to light upon some ground:
The barley fields of Boaz; so grace did much abound.

Now as the reapers laboured and Ruth gleaned after them,
So Boaz came to visit, from home in Bethlehem.
He said, The Lord be with you! they said, The Lord bless thee!
And then he turned and queried, This damsel, who is she?

The foreman of the reapers then answered him this way,
She is the Moabitess who came the other day.
She turned up here this morning and asked if she could glean,
And she’s continued working, save for a rest between.

Then Boaz spoke politely, requesting that she hear:
Stay close beside my maidens and glean just where they are;
And when you’re feeling thirsty, drink which the men have drawn;
The young men shall not touch thee, for them I did forewarn.

Then Ruth bowed down before him and fell onto her face,
How is it that a stranger, as I, should find such grace?
Then Boaz answered, Truly, I’ve surely heard of thee,
How thou hast loved Naomi and left thy family.

The Lord reward thee fully and recompense thee well,
Beneath whose wings you’ve trusted: the God of Israel.
She said, May I find favour as seemeth good to thee;
Thy words have brought me comfort and greatly heartened me.

At mealtime she sat with them and so she ate her fill;
For Boaz had invited that she should share the meal.
And then he charged the young men, See now you let her glean,
Among the sheaves of barley; and keep your conduct clean.

So Ruth gleaned until even, then beat out what she’d gleaned;
A bushel weight of barley; for grace had intervened.
Naomi asked her daughter, Where have you gleaned today?
She told of meeting Boaz and what he had to say.

Naomi blessed the Lord God, when hearing of this news;
She said, He is a kinsman, someone who’s near to us;
It’s good that you should stay with his maidens as a shield,
So you are not molested in any other field.

Now at the end of harvest with wheat and barley reaped,
It was the time for threshing where all the grain was heaped.
Naomi knew her daughter would need security;
And also that her kinsman was where the grain would be.

She said, Our kinsman Boaz is winnowing tonight;
Go down to where he’s working, but wait, keep out of sight.
And when he’s sleeping soundly, be watchful and discreet;
Just steal up very quietly and lay down at his feet.

Moreover he will tell you whatever you should do.
Naomi knew that Boaz was virtuous and true.
Responding to Naomi, Ruth went as she was bid;
And when Boaz was sleeping she lay down by his bed.

At midnight he was startled; a form came into view.
He saw a woman near him; he asked her, Who are you?
She said, I’m Ruth your handmaid, spread over me your cloak;
A kinsman you are truly; so thus she softly spoke.

He blessed and reassured her, so she would have no doubt;
And all that she requested would soon be carried out.
So Ruth remained till dawning was very nearly due;
Then went back to her lodgings so no one ever knew.

He went into the city and sat down at the gate.
There was a nearer kinsman who first must predicate.
The man he sought was passing; he bid him, Turn aside!
So with ten of the elders they sat down to preside.

Naomi’s land was selling and needed to be bought,
By one who would redeem it; whichever kinsman sought.
The one who bought the parcel would also raise up seed;
The firstborn God provided would have the title deed.

The man was not desirous of buying back the land;
And so he told those watching so they would understand.
Then taking off his sandal he testified to all:
The customary gesture performed in Israel.

Then Boaz told those present, You all are witnesses,
That I’ve bought from Naomi what rightfully is hers;
And Ruth the Moabitess I’ve purchased for a wife,
So that which they inherit shall not be cut from life.

The people and the elders then joined as one to say,
We truly have borne witness to these events today.
May God make this young woman with whom you are to dwell,
Like Rachel and like Leah, who built up Israel.

So Ruth and Boaz married and God gave them a son.
Naomi came and took him and nursed him as her own.
They named the infant Obed, and he in turn would be,
The one in line to David, the youngest of Jesse.

We read in Matthew’s gospel that Ruth became the heir,
Together with those listed and evermore will share,
The everlasting honour a Gentile can acquire,
Of being in the bloodline of Jesus the Messiah.


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And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,   
until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.  
Luke 21:24

When Israel and Judah were no longer free,
Because they had broken God’s gracious decree,
The times of the Gentiles began to unfold;
For this is the age that the Bible foretold.

It happened when Babylon came to be great,
And Nebuchadnezzar was head of the state;
The Lord gave Jehoiakim into his hand,
And so he was taken to Chaldea’s land.

Along with the king certain princes were brought,
To train them for service in Babylon’s court;
To teach them the language and Chaldean books.
Young men without blemish and having good looks.

Among them was Daniel and Hananiah,
Together with Mishael and Azariah.
To each man was given a Chaldean name,
Which sought to discredit their God-given claim.

In order that they should look healthy and good,
The king had allotted the best of his food.
But Daniel had purposed he would not partake
Of that which defiles, for the covenant’s sake.

Now God had brought Daniel to favour and grace,
With chief of the eunuchs in charge of the place.
So Daniel requested just water and herbs;
The steward allowed his request with reserve.

The diet would prove at the end of ten days,
How well they appeared to their diligent gaze;
If they became leaner or looked underfed,
The chief was in danger of losing his head.

Their faces waxed fatter and fairer than those
Who ate the king’s portion, as had been proposed;
The wine and the dainties were taken away;
These four grew in wisdom and skill every day.

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king had a dream;
He called in together his men of esteem.
Not knowing the details, they must ascertain,
And tell him the meaning or they would be slain.

The Chaldeans answered, There is not a king
Who ever demanded or asked such a thing!
The king became angry and gave a command:
Destroy all the wise men in Babylon’s land!

So Daniel was sought with his friends to be killed,
As they too were numbered with those who were skilled.
Then Daniel answered and said to the guard,
What’s prompted this hasty decree I have heard?

So Arioch made the thing known unto him,
How no one could tell or interpret the dream.
Then Daniel ventured and asked of the king,
More time so that he could interpret the thing.

He went to his house where he made the thing known,
And told his three friends of the charge from the throne;
That they would seek mercy from God the Most High,
Concerning this secret, that they should not die.

The dream was revealed in a vision at night;
And Daniel was given interpretive light.
He blessed the Lord God who is mighty and wise,
And darkness is light to His all-seeing eyes.

Then Daniel spoke to the man with command
To slay all the wise men that lived in the land:
Destroy not the wise men but let me go in,
And I will interpret the dream for the king.

The king said to Daniel, Now can you explain
The dream I have seen and interpret the same?
Then Daniel answered, The thing you demand
Cannot come from wise men you must understand.

The God in the heavens hath shown unto thee,
What surely shall come and shall hitherto be;
The dream and the visions you had in your head;
And what you have seen as you lay on your bed.

O king, what you saw was so great to behold;
An image before you with head of fine gold.
Its chest was of silver and so were its arms;
Its belly and thighs were constructed of bronze.

Its legs were of iron; a solid display.
Its feet partly iron and partly of clay.
A stone was cut out without hands as you watched,
And struck at the feet which were broken and crushed.

Thus all of the image was crushed by the stone,
And carried away like the chaff that is blown.
The stone then became a great mountain so vast,
It filled all the earth with its might unsurpassed.

Then Daniel continued explaining the dream:
Four kingdoms would rule the political scene;
As each of the metals prefigured their power;
Successively, they would be strong in their hour.

Thou only, O king, art this head of fine gold;
The strength of thy kingdom is already told.
Another shall rise but inferior to thee;
A third one of bronze shall successively be.

The fourth of these kingdoms shall be very great;
But just as the iron and clay cannot mate;
Not mixing as one they are clearly discrete,
With strength and fragility both in their feet.

The final great kingdom will smash all before,
And rule under heaven and so evermore;
For this is the stone that was cut without hand,
And nothing opposing shall prosper or stand.

Then Nebuchadnezzar fell onto his face,
And gave unto Daniel a privileged place.
He said unto Daniel, Your God is the Lord,
Since He has revealed all the secrets you heard.

Then Daniel spoke on behalf of the three,
Who shared in his faith and were Jewish like he.
These men were promoted in matters of state;
While Daniel was sitting within the king’s gate.

The king caused an image of gold to be made;
A symbol which boasted his power displayed.
When they gave the signal by musical sound,
Then all within hearing must fall to the ground.

If anyone did not comply with this call,
The king gave a sentence applying to all.
A person who dared to incur the king’s ire,
Would find themselves cast in a furnace of fire.

Then some of the Chaldeans sought to accuse,
And spoke to the monarch concerning some Jews:
O king, live forever, you’ve made a decree,
That all men shall worship that image of thee.

There are certain Jews who have set thee at odds;
They do not regard thee nor worship thy gods;
They do not fall down to the image of gold.
The king became livid when thus he was told.

When they stood before him, he said, Is it so?
O Shadrach and Meshach and Abed-Nego,
You serve not my gods nor the image I’ve set?
I’ll give you one more chance to fall down as yet.

But be it known unto you, if you do not,
You’ll find yourselves cast in a furnace so hot.
They answered, O Nebuchadnezzar, we say,
There’s no need to answer you in any way.

Our God whom we serve is well able to save,
And keep us from even a fiery grave;
He’ll surely deliver us out of your hand,
But if He does not, we won’t keep your command.

The king, when he heard this, distorted his face,
And glared at these men in a venomous rage.
He charged that they heat up the furnace yet more,
Till seven times hotter than had been before.

The three men were bound in their clothing attire,
And bodily thrown in the furnace of fire.
But those who had seized them and bundled them in,
Were killed by a flame which came out from within.

The king was astonished and turned to exclaim,
Did not we cast three men bound into the flame?
But I see a fourth who is walking with them;
The form of the fourth one resembles God’s Son.

He called on the three to come out of the fire,
And so they emerged with no singe on their hair;
These men were unharmed by the terrible heat;
Their bodies unmarked from the head to the feet.

The king gave an order and made a decree,
That anyone found saying words contrary,
Or speaking amiss of the God of these men,
Be cut into pieces as fitting for them.

These three were promoted in matters of state,
As Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged how great
The God who delivers in ways such as this;
The things he had seen left him greatly impressed.

One day as the monarch was boasting his power,
A message was sent at that very same hour:
O Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is said,
The crown thou art wearing is gone from thy head.

Thus he was deprived of his wealth and his pride;
He ate of the grass in the wild countryside;
His body was wet with the dew from on high;
His hair grew like eagles’ that fly in the sky.

When time was fulfilled and his reason returned,
He came to acknowledge the lesson he’d learned;
He blessed the Most High who eternally reigns,
And no mortal being can hinder His plans.

The first year Belshazzar acceded the throne,
This Daniel had visions and facts became known;
Predicting by symbols and various signs,
Events that would finally wind up the times.

He dreamed of four beasts which came out of the sea,
And how they would dominate citizenry;
The fourth had ten horns representing ten kings;
A little horn rose at the time of these things.

This horn went to battle and wore out the saints,
And sought to throw off all existing restraints;
But judgment was given, and justice was wrought,
And sentence was passed by the heavenly court.

Belshazzar the king made a feast for his lords;
They feasted and wined as they lauded the gods;
Of gold and of silver, of iron and stone,
Which have no perception nor cannot be known.

They drank from the vessels ordained for the men,
Who served in the temple at Jerusalem.
They gave God no honour nor due accolade.
Instead they just worshipped the things that are made.

Amidst all the feasting some writing appeared;
The king when he saw it was shaken and feared.
His knees started knocking, his countenance changed;
The joints of his hips became loose and deranged.

He called out to bring in the augural men,
Who use divinations in form of omen.
Whoever will show me the sense of this thing,
Shall rule in the land as the third to the king!

But none of his wise men were able to tell,
The words of the writing they saw on the wall.
The king was perplexed and his lords with him too;
He looked so aghast as he searched for a clue.

The queen, when she heard of this state of affairs,
Came forward and said, Do not harbour your cares.
There is in your kingdom a man who is wise;
He used to be chief of the astrologers.

When Daniel was brought he was quizzed by the king:
I’ve heard you have wisdom and understanding.
Now if you can read this strange writing we see,
I’ll make you the ruler of state beside me.

I’ll clothe you in purple; you’ll wear a gold chain,
If you can interpret and make it all plain.
Then Daniel answered, Thy gifts unto thee,
And let thy rewards unto other ones be.

Thy father was given by God the Most High,
A kingdom and honour and all majesty;
He slew whom he would and he kept some alive;
And some he promoted and some he deprived.

But then when his heart was uplifted with pride,
They drove him out where the wild donkeys reside,
Until he acknowledged that God is the One,
Who rules from on high in the kingdoms of men.

But you as his son have not humbled your heart,
Although you had knowledge of this from the start;
You’ve lifted yourself in defiance of God,
Misusing these vessels like dust that is trod.

The God who gives breath and who owns all your ways,
Him, you have not glorified these many days;
You’re weighed in the balance, your want has been found,
Your kingdom divided and brought to the ground.

Then Daniel was honoured with purple and gold,
And made the third ruler as previously told.
Belshazzar was killed on that very same night;
The Medes took his kingdom, his wealth and his might.

The next king, Darius, appointed some men
As satraps and governors over the realm.
This Daniel excelled himself more than the rest,
Because of the spirit with which he was blessed.

The king thought to set him ahead of them all;
The other men sought how to cause him to fall;
But finding no fault in his conduct or life,
They plotted to trap him and land him in strife.

They came to the king and put forward a plan,
That any found praying toward anyone,
Except to the king for a forty day term,
Be thrown to the lions and eaten by them.

The king signed the writing, thus making it law.
When Daniel knew of it he knelt on the floor;
And three times that day he gave thanks before God,
So thus he continued as always he had.

When finding that Daniel was praying alone,
And that his petitions were not to the throne;
They said to the king, There is Daniel, a Jew,
Who makes his petition, but not unto you.

The king had no option, the law had been set;
So Daniel was thrown to the animals’ pit.
The entrance was sealed with the king’s signet ring,
That nothing be changed with regard to this thing.

The king was unable to sleep all that night;
He’d wanted to save his good friend from his plight.
He rose the next morning and went to the den,
To see if the lions had injured this man.

He called out, Has God whom you serve night and day,
Delivered you out of your hazardous stay?
Then Daniel answered, My God He has sent
His angel, for thus was I found innocent.

He closed up the mouths of the lions so strong,
And also, O king, I have done you no wrong.
The king was exceedingly glad for him then,
And charged that they take him up out of the den.

The men who conspired and accused Daniel,
Were brought with their wives and their children as well;
The king gave commandment and so they were thrown
And fed to the lions which broke every bone.

Darius decreed that all people revere,
The God of this Daniel with trembling and fear;
The Lord who is living and near every hour,
Who rescued this man from the animals’ power.

The first year Darius was king of Chaldea,
The number of years that were set became clear;
For Daniel took knowledge from one Jeremiah,
Who’d written of things that would shortly transpire.

Threescore and ten years was the specified span,
The Lord had determined in setting His plan;
For this was the time that was purposely set,
That Jerusalem should remain desolate.

Then Daniel went prayerfully naming his sin,
And those of his people there dwelling with him:
O Lord Thou art righteous, but we are in shame,
We have not obeyed Thee nor honoured Thy name.

Now therefore, O God, lend Thine ear to my prayer,
And see now the city called after Thee there;
O let Thy face shine on Thy sanctuary still;
The place that lies ravaged on Thy holy hill.

While Daniel was speaking and making his plea,
An angel called Gabriel appeared visibly:
O Daniel, because you are greatly beloved,
I’ve come to reveal what the Lord has approved.

Threescore and ten weeks are thus set to begin,
To finish transgression and terminate sin;
To seal up the vision and prophecy too,
Anointing the One who is Holy and True.

He added, Know therefore and now understand,
That as from the going forth of the command,
To rebuild Jerusalem’s wall and its street,
There shall be first sixty-nine weeks to complete.

The one week remaining will herald for some,
A man who’s revealed as the prince that shall come;
This man shall confirm with the many one week,
A treaty of peace they unwittingly seek.

Midway through the week he will bring to an end,
Both offering and sacrifice which will portend,
A time of great trouble for greatest to least,
Who have in their bodies the mark of the beast.

These things told to Daniel concerning end times,
Are not merely words that are put into rhymes.
The times of the Gentiles are running out fast,
The age of Messiah is coming at last.


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For how can I endure to see the evil
that shall come unto my people?   

Esther 8:6

Now in the days when Persian kings were ruling on the earth,
There was a royal festival for those of noble birth.
The king sat with his noblemen and feasted with them all;
The food and wine were plentiful; they really had a ball.

A feast was made for womenfolk invited by the queen;
Now Vashti was quite beautiful in all the courtly scene.
And when the king had spent a week of insobriety,
He sent to bring queen Vashti in for all the guests to see.

But she would not comply with this intemperate command.
And so the king was very wroth and sought her reprimand.
Consulting with his wise men he enquired what he should do;
For such a breach of etiquette would only cause a stew.

Then certain of the noblemen came forward with a plan;
For Vashti by her wilfulness had injured every man.
When all the women hear of it they’ll denigrate their spouse,
And husbands will take second place in almost every house.

So let there be a royal charge made known throughout the realm;
That Vashti no more enter in nor see the king again,
And let there be another one selected in her stead,
Then every husband in the land will be the rightful head.

Now when the dust had settled and the wrath had been appeased,
His servants gave the king advice which made him rather pleased.
Young virgins would be gathered in from all provincial towns;
And each would go before the king dressed in their regal gowns.

Within the city Shushan there abode a certain Jew,
Descended from the captives when their land was broken through.
He had a fair step-daughter with the name of Hadassah;
Her parents were deceased so Mordecai adopted her.

This maiden known as Esther was escorted to the rooms,
Along with other virgin girls for washing's and perfumes;
But Esther found much favour with the male custodian;
And she received the beauty aids provided by this man.

Now Mordecai had charged her not to talk about her race;
Nor speak about her family for such was not the place.
And every day he asked about her situation there;
Amid the preparations with the perfumes and the myrrh.

So at the end of twelve months with the purifying done,
The maidens were presented as they entered one by one;
And Esther too was called upon to stand before the king;
She’d asked the women’s keeper for advice on what to bring.

Of all the women that he saw the king loved Esther more,
And she received more favour than she’d ever had before;
The royal crown was taken up and placed upon her head,
And she became Queen Esther as the one in Vashti’s stead.

In those days two men made a plot to put the king away;
But Mordecai soon heard of it and came without delay;
He told the plot to Esther who conveyed it to the throne;
The men were duly sentenced for the crime which they had done.

An Agagite called Haman was promoted by the king,
And made the chief of princes in the courtly inner ring.
The king had charged his servants who obeyed him at the gate,
Show reverence to Haman and respect his high estate.

But Mordecai would not bow down before this prince of men;
When Haman saw he would not bow it filled him with chagrin;
He scorned to lay his hands upon this Jewish man alone;
But wipe out all his people who were governed by the throne.

This superstitious Haman made a comprehensive plot;
And came up with a deadline which was set by casting lot.
The Jews would be annihilated on a certain day.
Their personal possessions would be taken for a prey.

The thing was put in written form; the Jews would be destroyed;
The charge was carried far and wide with couriers employed.
So Haman sat down with the king who entertained his guest;
While in the city Shushan there were scenes of great unrest.

When Mordecai perceived the plot his bitter cry arose;
He clothed himself in sackcloth having torn away his clothes;
The Jews in every province were aghast with sudden grief;
The news was devastating with no comfort or relief.

The news came through to Esther, Persia’s newly chosen queen.
Then Mordecai decided she must promptly intervene.
She could not stay in silence in her place beside the throne;
For who knows whether she had come that this might not be done?

To go within the inner court without a royal call,
Brought instant death to anyone and this was known to all.
The only one exception to a positive disgrace,
Was if the king held out his sceptre, signifying grace.

Queen Esther gave her answer as she bid her maidens fast;
She’d go into the palace when three days had duly passed.
She knew the risk of breaking through a governmental law;
So if I perish, let it be; for I can do no more.

And so upon the third day Esther put on royal dress,
And went into the palace court with due respectfulness.
The king on seeing Esther standing in the inner court,
Held out his golden sceptre and enquired of what she sought.

She came and touched the sceptre and requested if she may,
Invite the king and Haman for a banquet on that day.
The king replied, Bring Haman quickly ready for the feast;
Do as the queen’s requested for there is no time to waste.

So after they had wined and dined the king enquired of her,
What is the favour you request to which I may defer?
She said, If it is pleasing and as such seems good to you,
Please come again tomorrow with our guest attending too.

Then Haman went forth joyfully, his heart was filled with glee;
But when he saw the man again who would not bow the knee;
His indignation mounted up against this Jewish man;
However, he restrained himself and went on to his home.

He told his wife and family about his rich estate.
And yet it counted nothing while the Jew sat at the gate.
They listened to his accolades and then they told him straight,
Let there be made some gallows for that wretched man you hate.

That night the king was sleepless as he lay upon his bed;
And so he gave commandment that the records should be read.
They read to him the incident when two men sought his life;
How Mordecai had made it known and saved the king from strife.

The king said to his servants, What reward was given him?
What honour did the man receive? he asked the chamberlain.
They told him that no honour was bestowed for what he wrought.
And then the king broke off and said, Who’s that inside the court?

Now Haman had just made his way inside the palace yard,
To speak about the gallows which his servants had prepared,
To ask the king that he should hang this fellow Mordecai;
For he could not rest peacefully till he had seen him die.

The servants of the king replied, Lo, Haman stands outside.
The king said, Let him enter! for he’d let this man decide.
What honour shall be given to the highly favoured one?
He whom the king delights in, just suggest what shall be done!

Now Haman thought, The king would honour no one else but me;
For no one but myself is such a real celebrity.
Let whom the king is honouring be given royal fare,
And let him ride on horseback through the city streets out there.

And let a proclamation go before him in the way,
Thus shall it be to him in whom the king delights today!
Then spake the king to Haman, Do exactly as you’ve said,
And go to Mordecai and place my crown upon his head.

So Haman took the robes and set up Mordecai’s array;
Who sat upon the horse’s back as Haman led the way,
Proclaiming to the people and to everyone in sight,
Thus shall it be to him in whom the king shall take delight.

Then Mordecai went to the gate and Haman hurried home;
His head was draped in mourning cloth with so much to bemoan.
He told his wife and friends about the humbling and the gall.
They said, If he’s a Jewish man then surely you will fall.

Now as they were still talking so the chamberlains appeared,
To take him to the banquet which Queen Esther had prepared.
So both the king and Haman were transported to the feast;
The king said to his hostess, What indeed is your request?

She said, If I’ve found favour and it’s pleasing to the king,
And were the matter pressing just a mere domestic thing,
I would have held my tongue in case the king should be annoyed.
My people have been sold away! Our lives will be destroyed!

The king with indignation, answered, Who and where is he?
And who is such a person who would do so callously?
She said, This wicked Haman is our enemy and foe.
Then Haman listened terrified, his heart was filled with woe.

The king went in the garden as his anger burned within;
While Haman sought indulgence as he pleaded with the queen.
He saw that evil loomed ahead determined by the king,
And so he begged the queen that she would nullify the thing.

The king came from the garden as the matter reached a head;
He found the prince had fallen down and lay on Esther’s bed.
Will he assault the queen, he said, while I am in the place?
And while the king was speaking thus they covered Haman’s face.

A servant said, Behold the gallows fifty cubits high,
Are standing now at Haman’s home prepared for Mordecai;
Who spoke good on the king’s behalf and gave a good report.
Take Haman there and let him hang! came back the king’s retort.

And so they hanged this Haman on the gallows he’d prepared,
To hang the one he hated so and never would have spared.
The pride and fame of Haman fell before the noble Jew,
And Mordecai was given rank and gained much favour too.

To save the Jewish people and to help them in their plight,
The king proclaimed an edict which enabled them to fight.
So in the month of Adar they stood firm against their foes;
And fear beset those hating them and all who did oppose.

The Jews remember Esther their beloved Persian queen;
And Mordecai her guardian and regard them with esteem;
They keep the feast of Purim for two days in every year;
For God preserved His people, even those He reckons dear.


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Joseph and Mary
…Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to
take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that
which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 1:20

Joseph and Mary were due to be wed,
After the Jewish tradition;
They were betrothed as the record has said,
Such was the normal condition.

When she was told that a Child would be born,
Though her virginity tarried;
She could be faced with intemperate scorn,
Seeing that she was unmarried.

God had selected this couple of old,
Keeping His promise recorded;
Joseph and Mary did as they were told,
As the occasion afforded.

So there was born in a world full of sin,
One who was pure and anointed;
Those who are known as His brethren and kin,
Never will be disappointed.


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Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23:6

A lady called Hannah could find no relief;
The gibes of her rival compounded her grief;
Peninnah had children but Hannah had none;
The Lord whom she worshipped had closed up her womb.

She prayed in her heart as she offered a vow:
O Lord in Thy grace wilt Thou look on me now;
Forget not Thy handmaid but grant me a son,
And he shall be Thine till his life span is done.

The Lord duly answered her reverent plea,
And soon she was nursing a son on her knee.
She called his name Samuel for so she inferred:
I asked for a son and the Lord He has heard.

Her son was in service throughout his career;
A servant of God with the office of seer.
The elders of Israel demanded a king;
But sadly, their cry had a secular ring.

The Lord told His servant to heed their desire,
But warn them of things that would surely transpire.
Your king will take tithes of your wine and your food,
And you will cry out in your desolate mood.

The Lord gave them someone both handsome and tall.
A popular man well regarded by all.
He started his reign with discretion and power;
But fell into sin at a critical hour.

He broke the commandment decreed by the Lord,
And made an assumption which had no accord;
Because of rebellion his sin was severe;
It brought with it jealousy, envy and fear.

King Saul was rejected from that moment on.
The Lord God regretted the thing He had done.
While Samuel was mourning his painful demise,
Because he had offered a vain sacrifice.

The Lord said to Samuel, How long will you mourn?
Prepare for a journey and fill up your horn;
Go forth unto Jesse the Bethlehemite,
For one of his sons shall inherit the right.

The offspring of Jesse passed by in a line,
But none were accepted though seemingly fine.
For God does not look on the outward appeal;
He looks on the heart where the person is real.

There was yet another son tending the sheep;
He guarded the flock that was left in his keep.
They brought in this bright-eyed, good-looking young man,
The Lord said to Samuel, Rise, this is the one!

So David was chosen from out of his kin;
The Spirit of God came and rested on him;
Conversely, the Spirit departed from Saul;
A troublesome spirit replaced His recall.

The servants of Saul saw their monarch’s distress,
And so they suggested a soothing redress:
Let someone be found with a harper’s prowess,
And play for the king when he comes under stress.

Now David was gifted with musical skill,
So he was selected as filling the bill.
Whenever the spirit was troubling Saul,
The harping of David would banish the pall.

The Philistines gathered their forces for war,
At Sochoh in Judah nearby Azekah.
They put forth a champion formidably strong,
Who challenged his enemies loudly and long.

Goliath was six cubits tall and a span.
He called out to Israel to send forth a man.
But no man of Israel was fit for the fight;
When they saw his stature they trembled with fright.

Three brothers of David had followed with Saul,
For he was in charge of the troops overall.
Their father sent David with food he’d prepared,
For Jesse sought news how his brothers had fared.

He came to the camp as the armies went out.
Goliath was taunting his foes with a shout.
The army of Israel retreated in fear;
But David was stirred by this blasphemous smear.

When Saul heard that David was there with the host,
He had him brought into his garrison post;
For David was asking of several groups:
Who is this reviler who threatens the troops?

He said to the king, I will fight with this man.
But Saul had misgivings about such a plan.
You are but a youth not as seasoned as he!
Then David shared some of his life history.

I fought with a lion and also a bear,
When they took a lamb that was under my care.
I smote those marauders and rescued the lamb;
And so shall this Philistine perish like them.

The Lord will deliver me out of his hand;
As when the wild predators roamed on the land.
When Saul heard these words he was clearly impressed,
And so he agreed to his formal request.

He proffered his armour and tunic of mail.
But they were to David of little avail.
The weight of the armour was more of a drag.
He picked up five stones which he put in his bag.

Goliath and David drew near for the fray;
The giant disdained this unwonted display.
Am I just a dog that you fight me with sticks?
He’d never encountered such insolent tricks.

Then David responded, You come with a sword,
But I come to you in the name of the Lord.
The Lord does not save with a sword or a spear,
And all this assembly shall know it and fear.

Goliath moved forward: a towering hulk;
But David was not overawed by his bulk;
He reached for a stone and selected his spot,
Then let fly a missile with accurate shot.

The giant was struck in his head frontal bone;
He stopped in his tracks as he let out a groan,
Then fell on his face like a toppling tree;
Thus David prevailed with his sling weaponry.

He drew out the sword from the Philistine’s sheath,
And cut off his head as he lay on the heath.
The Philistines saw that their champion was dead;
With no hesitation they panicked and fled.

Then David was given the general’s role;
He led out the armies on every patrol;
Behaving most wisely wherever he went;
The people received him and gave their assent.

But Saul was displeased by this vocal acclaim;
He viewed with suspicion his rise into fame;
The women were singing of David’s success;
But rated the feats of their monarch much less.

While David was playing his music to Saul,
The king threw a spear at him onto the wall.
For Saul was afraid of his growing esteem,
Moreover, he saw that the Lord was with him.

The king’s disposition soon led to a feud.
A state of hostility quickly ensued.
While David was fighting in Israel’s war,
His name was accredited yet even more.

The king made a plot to kill David in bed;
But David’s wife Michal outfoxed him instead.
She let down her spouse through a window at night,
So when they arrived he was nowhere in sight.

He lived as a fugitive dwelling in lairs,
And gathered some debtors with troublesome cares;
The king hunted David wherever he went,
And made a foray at the slightest event.

Now Saul had a son who was called Jonathan;
He loved David dearly; they both were as one.
Though he was the natural heir to the throne,
He did not regard it as being his own.

The two made a covenant, pledging their trust;
But Saul grew suspicious because of his lust.
So Jonathan stayed in the royal domain,
And David did not see his comrade again.

While David was down with his men at Paran,
He heard of a prosperous business man;
This man known as Nabal was shearing his sheep;
So David sent word for some welfare and keep.

He sent a few men with a greeting of peace,
Requesting some food for his men on release;
But Nabal would not give a morsel away;
They turned on their heel with a look of dismay.

When David was told of this churlish rebuff,
He strapped on his sword: this was more than enough.
He’d make Nabal pay for this obvious snub.
His pride had been injured: and that was the rub.

A servant, discreetly, informed Nabal’s wife.
She sensed that this incident savoured of strife;
Not telling her husband she loaded some food;
For Nabal was in a detestable mood.

She went to meet David with requisite speed;
While trusting the Lord that her plan would succeed;
On meeting with David she fell on her face,
And made an appeal for forgiveness and grace.

When David had heard her emotional plea,
He blessed the Lord God for His emissary;
For such intervention averted much blood;
And overcame evil by virtue and good.

The Philistines gathered their forces for war,
While Saul with his army encamped on Gilboa.
On seeing the legions he trembled with fear,
And prayed to the Lord but the Lord did not hear.

He sought out a woman who plied the occult;
A foolish procedure for any adult.
He veiled his identity: changing his dress;
For witchcraft was outlawed by royal address.

He came to the medium: a witch at Endor;
Requesting she bring someone up through the floor.
But she was reluctant to do such a thing,
Aware of the statute enforced by the king.

But Saul gave an oath that she’d suffer no harm;
He sought to assure her by offering balm.
She asked him which person he wanted to see,
He said to her, Please bring up Samuel for me.

At Samuel’s appearance she let out a bawl;
Why have you deceived me? she said unto Saul.
But Saul tried to calm her, Now what did you see?
The gods coming up from the earth, answered she.

He asked of the form of this one from the dead;
An old man attired in a mantle, she said.
When Saul thus perceived it was Samuel the seer,
He bowed himself earthwards in reverent fear.

Why have you disturbed me? the prophet enquired.
The monarch admitted his hope had expired.
I’m deeply distressed at the ongoing war.
The Lord does not answer my prayers anymore.

Then Samuel foretold what was looming ahead,
Tomorrow both you and your sons will be dead;
On hearing these words Saul collapsed on the floor;
He’d eaten no food for a whole day before.

Then after much coaxing he got up and ate.
The following day saw his ultimate fate.
The archers hit Saul in the heat of the fray;
And Jonathan fell on the very same day.

When David was told of this double deathblow,
He made his lament in the Song of the Bow;
The beauty of Israel is slain on your hill,
The mighty have fallen; their weapons are still.

Ye daughters of Israel, weep over your king,
Who clothed you in scarlet and every fine thing;
Who decked your apparel with trinkets of gold;
His sword did not vainly return to its fold.

O Jonathan, Saul, you were dear to my heart;
In life and in death you were never apart;
Yet swifter than eagles; made strong for the kill;
The mighty have fallen; their weapons are still.


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The Good Samaritan
Which now of these three, thinkest thou,
was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
Luke 10:36

A man who knew the law by recitation;
And quoted it with little hesitation;
Put forward a request,
Which really was a test,
To justify his mental aberration.

The Lord replied with verbal illustration;
For well He knew the lawyer’s motivation.
A man set out to go
En route to Jericho,
But on the way he suffered deprivation.

A band of men waylaid him with aggression;
For robbery by force was their profession.
They left him lying there,
Without a shirt to wear,
And made off with his clothes in their possession.

A priest came by upon this sad occasion;
And saw the man was needing medication;
But having changed his stride,
Across the other side,
He carried on toward his destination.

A Levite came along and saw the victim;
And straightaway his sense of duty pricked him;
But he did not delay
To tarry on his way;
Yet what he saw continued to convict him.

Another man came down where he lay bleeding;
And saw the urgent help that he was needing;
With gentleness and care,
He bound his wounds up there,
And put him on the beast that he was leading.

He brought him to an inn where he was rested;
And cared for him by any means suggested;
Upon the coming day,
Before he went away,
He made arrangements for this man divested.

He paid the owner for the keep and rental:
For such he knew were very instrumental.
He asked him to attend
The welfare of his friend,
And he would reimburse the things essential.

This parable describes a true relation;
And illustrates a person’s inclination.
A neighbourly concern
Gives help at every turn,
Wherever there’s a needy situation.


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And they chose Stephen,
a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 6:5

The Spirit came down after Jesus ascended,
And filled those who waited and prayed.
The Church was created that Pentecost morning,
God’s kingdom on earth was delayed.
The Jews had rejected Messiah from heaven,
And chosen a felon instead;
The patent result of their free will decision
Would shortly return on their head.

But God in His grace gave a forty-year season
Before they were scattered abroad.
The Church multiplied as the Lord added daily,
And shared all their goods with accord.
The men representing the Jewish religion
Resented this threat to their name.
They tried to suppress them with jailing and beatings,
But every attempt was in vain.

Then after Gamaliel had made a pronouncement,
Restraining the council from blood;
And Peter, along with the other apostles
Had vowed their commitment to God.
A murmur arose over serving of tables,
A ministry daily observed;
The Greek-speaking widows were being neglected:
Their tables were not being served.

The twelve called together the other disciples,
Recalling their role in the Church:
We do not see reason for leaving our studies,
Nor leaving our friends in the lurch;
So let us seek men with a good reputation,
Both filled with the Spirit and wise;
Whom we may appoint over matters before us;
The saying seemed good in their eyes.

They chose seven men full of faith and the Spirit,
Commending their service with prayer.
Then one of their number, a man known as Stephen,
Did signs among those watching there.
There rose up a sect called the Synagogue Freedmen,
Who argued with Stephen at length;
But they were unable to cope with his wisdom,
Nor withstand his spiritual strength.

They secretly suborned some men to say falsely:
We’ve heard this man speak blasphemy.
So stirring the people, the scribes and the elders,
They seized him without any plea;
Then bringing him into the council they stood him,
And all those who sat in the place;
Looked steadfastly at the accused man before them,
Beholding his angelic face.

The high priest demanded he answer their charges;
He said to him, Are these things so?
Then Stephen began his defence of the gospel,
Recalling events long ago.
The God of all glory appeared to our father,
Before he had dwelt in Haran;
Get out of your country and from your relations:
The message He gave Abraham.

God promised to show him this land which you dwell in,
And give to his seed on the earth.
Although he was childless when God gave the promise,
Eventually Sarah gave birth.
The ones who descended from Isaac her offspring
Would dwell in an alien land;
Then after four centuries living in bondage,
God freed them by royal command.

Then Stephen recalled the events which came after;
Of Moses their leader of old;
Who led them through waters and wilderness roaming
And prophesied as he was told:
The Lord God will raise up a Prophet among you,
To Him you shall give earnest heed.
Your fathers rejected this Moses as leader
And did a degenerate deed.

They said unto Aaron, the brother of Moses,
Make gods who will go on before;
We don’t know what’s happened to this fellow Moses!
In fact they were playing the whore.
So God gave them up to their lusts and their passions,
To worship the bodies above;
They took up the image of Moloch and Remphan,
And turned from the God who is love.

God gave them a witness, a tent in the desert,
The pattern which Moses received;
And this tabernacle they brought in with Joshua,
Possessing the land God bequeathed.
Then David resolved that a house more substantial
Than tent cloth and curtains be found.
However, the Most High does not dwell in temples
Constructed by men on the ground.

For heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool;
What house will you build? says the Lord.
Or what is the place of My rest or reposal?
Have I not made all things accord?
But I will draw near to the lowly and humble,
Who tremble at My holy Word;
Reviving the heart that is contrite and broken,
A sacrifice sanctioned and heard.

You stiff-necked and hardened in heart and in hearing!
Thus Stephen continued to say.
You keep on resisting the same Holy Spirit,
Your fathers resisted that day.
For which of the prophets were not persecuted
And slain by your fathers of old?
But you have dishonoured and murdered the Just One;
The One whom the prophets foretold.

When they heard these sayings the men became angry,
Because they were cut to the heart.
The gospel of God is the sword of the Spirit,
Which Stephen had used from the start.
But he being full of the Spirit gazed upwards,
And saw something high in the sky.
Behold, he said awesomely, heaven is open!
But they found no words to reply.

They rushed him and cast him outside of the city,
And stoned him with great enmity.
The witnesses laid down their coats by a young man,
While Stephen besought his last plea:
Lord Jesus, he called out, receive Thou my spirit!
Do not charge these men with this sin!
And when he had said this he fell into slumber;
His message lives on after him.

So Stephen was martyred like many before him,
And others who’ve suffered his fate.
The time of his death saw a great persecution
From those who were poisoned with hate.
Whenever the Spirit of God is convicting,
And speaking to those who are lost;
They either will humble themselves in repentance,
Or harden their hearts at all cost.

The gospel of God which these men were rejecting,
Was promised far back at the Fall;
For Adam and Eve needed pardon and cleansing,
As much as did Stephen and Paul.
So just at the right time our Lord left His glory,
And came at the Father’s behest.
By bearing our sins He brought life and forgiveness,
And all who receive Him are blessed.


Christian Poetry by Maurice Dyson
CLICK HERE to download Maurice Dyson's 100 POEMS OF PRAISE. (Approx. 1MB download)
Christian Poems by Maurice Dyson
Poems of Praise by Maurice Dyson