Psalm 105

pillar of fireO give thanks unto the Lord and call upon His name
Sing His praises, tell His wonders, spread abroad His fame
Ye who worship Adonai rejoice with gladdened hearts
Never cease to seek His presence and His strength He will impart.

Call to mind His countless wonders, untold marvels, wise decrees
Sons of Jacob, all His chosen, come before Him, bend your knees
He, the Lord our God, is righteous, faithful to His promises
For a thousand generations He will do just what He says.

Once He promised Canaan’s portion as their lasting heritage
Abra’m, Isaac, Jacob, Israel –wand’rers on a pilgrimage
God preserved them and protected “touch not My anointed ones”
Warning kings of foreign nations not to harm His chosen sons.

As His sov’reign plan unfolded, Canaan’s famine caused them grief
But He sent ahead a savior who would bring them much relief
Joseph, sold as slave in fetters, down to Egypt bound with chains
Tested, tried, and oft rejected, in dark prisons he remains.

Then, when time had reached its fullness, he would see his dreams come true
Pharaoh made him prince of Egypt, wise men sought his point of view
Then it was in Ham they settled, Jacob’s humble tribe of few
There they prospered and were hated as their numbers grew and grew.

Over time they were subjected to oppressive slavery
God had turned the hearts of Egypt planning their delivery
Moses, Aaron, chosen servants, worked His signs and wonders there
Caused the captors grievous troubles driving them to deep despair.

When the land was cloaked in darkness, Egypt would not set them free
Water turned to blood around them, frogs and flies, a scourge of fleas
Hail and light’ning shattered trees and hordes of locusts ate their fields
Hardened hearts would not surrender, still to God they would not yield.

Then the firstborn sons of Egypt, pride and joy of every home
Were the object of death’s angel, Israel now was free to roam
Throughout all the tribes of Israel no one stumbled or was hurt
Egypt gave them all their treasures, having earned their just deserts.

Out they went with cloud to shield them, fiery pillar lit night skies
Quails and manna, food from heaven, water from a rock supplies
Faithful to His sacred promise, out they came with joyful songs
Eating crops they had not planted, now the land to them belongs.

All these things the Lord accomplished, faithful to His covenant
As He promised Abraham with sacred oath and testament
So these loved and chosen people would His will and laws obey,
Follow closely all His teachings, from His precepts never stray.

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!  All God’s children sing His praise!
Shout for joy, recount His blessings, to His throne your voices raise!

© 2014  J Dan Small

Psalm 78

Plagues2The mighty wonders of our Lord must ne’er forgotten be
So listen closely to these stories from our history
We must not keep the lessons learned from these who come behind
The Lord commanded us to teach them, of His laws remind.

If we are faithful to the task and speak to them the truth
Perhaps, then, they will carry on and share them with their youth
In each new generation born there’s need for stories told
Our children cannot hope or trust if these things we withhold.

We must be honest as we share the things our forebears did
Or they won’t give their hearts to God but do what He forbids
So many times the Lord declared that they must not forget
But stubborn, selfish, rebels always end up with regrets.

The war·ri·ors of E·phra·im, well-armed for battle, fled
They turned their backs and wouldn’t walk in what their God had said
In time of crisis they forgot the wonders God had done
The miracles He had performed and battles He had won.

If only they had called to mind the time He split the Sea
And rocks were split to give them drink by His divine decree
He led His people in the cloud, at night the fire glowed
His mighty hand protected them, deliverance bestowed.

But, no, they put God to the test and doubted that He cared
Denying that the Lord Most High a table had prepared
“Oh, sure,” they said, “He struck the rock and waters He made flow
But what about some bread and meat, we need real food, you know?”

He heard the people murmuring, His anger rose up high
He gave them lots of bread and meat and then caused some to die
He gave them what their heart’s desired and they ate angel’s bread
But still refusing to believe, they chose to sin instead.

When life got really hard for them they finally sought God
Their lips declared Him as their Rock but it was all a fraud
They lied and did not want His ways, His covenant denied
Over and o’er they turned aside, God’s patience sorely tried.

Yet in His mercy He forgave and didn’t wipe them out
Remembering that they were dust, He put up with their doubt
So often in the wilderness they grieved His father-heart
Why would they not recall the past and from their sin depart.

He saw their troubled life as slaves in Egypt long ago
With ten dread plagues He set them free, His mighty pow’r did show
Rivers and streams were turned to blood and flies were everywhere
The frogs and locusts took their turn and hailstones caused despair.

Then, finally, the cup was full, destroying angels sent
In each Egyptian home that night, much wailing and lament
The firstborn son, the flow’r of youth, throughout th’ entire land
Had felt the mightiest force of all, the Lord’s all-pow’rful hand.

But His own people, like a flock of sheep were led away
He brought them to the Promised Land where they could safely stay
But unbelief was in their blood, they could not faithful stay
They worshiped idols, raised up shrines, their hearts had gone astray.

So God again rejected them, His glory from Shiloh gone
The ark was captured, swords consumed, God’s blessing was withdrawn
Young men and women slaughtered long before their nuptial songs
The priests and people also killed in judgment for their wrongs.

But then the Lord awoke from sleep and drove the foes away
And settled on Mt. Zion as the place where He would stay
On Judah’s heights His Temple built, a solid dwelling-place
The object of His special love where we could seek His face.

Then to the sheepfolds He did go, a shepherd there to seek
He wanted one who cared for those who wandered or were weak
His servant David He did choose to lead His chosen race
With skillful hand and honest heart he shepherded with grace.

© 2014 J Dan Small