Psalm 129

psalm_129_3_Greatly oppressed since I was young
My enemies persecute
Greatly oppressed since I was young
My enemies persecute

They plowed my back and dug in deep
But have not overcome.
The Lord is good Who set me free
Their cords He has cut off.

May all who hate Jerusalem
Be turned back in defeat
As useless as the withered grass
Half-grown and good for naught
May all who see them never say,
“May God bless you today.”

© J Dan Small

Psalm 82

CourtroomAll rise, Elohim the great Judge,
Has arrived to hold court with mankind
He calls to the stand elohim*
To declare what has been on His mind.

“Your judgments unjust I deplore
You are partial to wicked and vile
How long must injustice prevail
And a mockery make of each trial?

“Give justice to orphans and weak
While the rights of oppressed you defend
They in ignorance wander about
When the moorings of truth break and bend.

“Hear My verdict now, you elohim*
Though I made you all sons of Most High
Like the princes of earth you will fall
And as mortals are condemned to die.”

Rise up, Elohim, take Your bench
In righteousness judge the whole world
For to You all the nations belong
Let the banner of truth be unfurled.

© 2014 J Dan Small

*In Scripture the Hebrew word elohim when accompanied by singular verbs refers to God. In plural context it can mean gods (pagan deities), magistrates (judges), or powers (authorities). The Psalmist here makes full use of the term to distinguish earthly rulers from the Ruler of the earth while, at the same time, suggesting a unique god-likeness infused into humanity.

Psalm 76

In Judah God is known
In Israel great His name
Jerusalem His throne
From Zion spreads His fame.

The weapons of our foes
Sharp arrows, swords, & shields
Lay broken and disposed
Scattered across the fields.

Majestic are You, Lord
Like lofty mountain heights
Their brave and mighty horde
Have lost their final fight.

With one rebuking breath
The horse and rider fell
Cast down in sleep of death
The grave is where they dwell.

In stillness and in fear
The earth before You bows
When they Your judgment hear
Your wrath has been aroused.

In judgment You will standJudgment
And rescue the oppressed
When You make Your demands
Man’s wrath is then suppressed.

Man’s temper even serves
Your glory to enhance
Bring God what He deserves
With tributes now advance.

Make vows unto the Lord
And keep them without fail
He breaks the princes sword
All kings before him hail.

© 2014 J Dan Small