Psalm 89 is the 3rd longest Psalm, so I had the blues to start it and put it off for a couple of weeks. But once I started writing, I was surprised how quickly it went. Since it is the last Psalm of Book 3, note the benediction at the end.
I will sing of the LORD's great devotion forever;
and your faithfulness to generations, declare.
For your unfailing love will be built up forever;
you'll establish in heaven your faithfulness there.
You said, I've made a covenant with one I've chosen;
I have sworn unto David my servant, alone:
I'll establish your seed and descendants forever,
and for all generations, I'll build up your throne.
Let the heavens give glory, O LORD, to your wonders;
with angelic hosts praising your faithfulness, too.
Who compares with Jehovah throughout all the heavens?
And what heavenly being, O LORD, is like you?
In the council of saints God is feared by the holy,
far more awesome than any surrounding your throne.
Blessed, LORD God of Hosts, is there any more mighty?
For your faithfulness garbs and surrounds you alone.
You rule seas that are raging, tame storm-driven oceans;
when the waves start to rise you bring squalls to a close.
You have humbled and slain the great sea monster, Rahab;
with your powerful arm you have scattered your foes.
All the heavens are yours and the earth is yours also;
you have founded the world and the fullness it springs.
You've created the north and the south you have fashioned;
between Tabor and Hermon, what joy your name brings!
Your strong arm is endowed with such power unending;
your strong hand — your right hand is exalted and raised.
And your justice and judgement are your throne's foundations;
and your mercy and truth go before all your ways.
Oh how blest are those hearing the call for your worship,
and who walk in the light of your glorious face.
They rejoice all day long in your name and your goodness;
they're exulted themselves on account of your grace.
Because you are the glory of our strength and power;
by your favor is our horn exalted above.
For the LORD is our shield and our constant protection,
and our king is the Holy One, Israel's love.
Once you spoke in a vision to your faithful people.
You said, I have bestowed on a warrior my help;
I have raised up a young man from out of my people,
I've exalted and chosen their hero myself.
I have found and identified my servant, David,
and with my sacred oil I've anointed his heart;
with my hand I'll sustain him and see him established,
and to him, my arm's strength will I surely impart.
And his enemies will not deceive nor defeat him;
nor the sons of the wicked afflict him with might.
I will beat down and crush every foe seen before him,
and defeat those who hate him and put them to flight.
My devotion and love will be faithfully with him,
and his horn through my name and my power will grow.
I will set and extend his rule over the oceans,
and his powerful right hand on rivers that flow.
He will call out to me and say, You are my Father;
you're my God, and my Rock of salvation alone.
And I also have chosen to make him my firstborn,
and the highest of kings that the earth's ever known.
I will love and preserve him forever and ever;
and my covenant with him will stand fast and sure.
I'll establish his seed and his offspring forever,
and his throne for as long as the heavens endure.
If his children would ever forsake my instructions,
or they chose not to walk in the judgements I've made;
if my laws were profaned and my statutes were broken,
and commandments I'd given would not be obeyed;
then with rod would I punish their sin and transgression;
and with stripes on their backs would their guilt be repaid.
But I'll never withdraw from him my lovingkindness,
nor my promise I've vowed will be ever betrayed.
For my covenant with you will never be broken;
I'll not alter a thing that I've uttered to you.
I've sworn once and for all by my name which is holy;
I will not lie to David, but always be true.
His descendants will always continue forever,
and his throne, like the sun in the heavens on high.
And his kingdom will last as the moon shines eternal,
like a witness of faith in the heavenly sky.
Now he's outcast, rejected, because you have spurned him,
you're enraged with the one you anointed and found.
Now your covenant has been renounced with your servant,
and his crown has been sullied and thrown to the ground.
You have broken through all of his walls of protection;
you have brought down his strongholds to ruin and waste.
All who pass by have robbed him and left him despoiled;
he is scorned by his neighbors and wholly disgraced.
You've exalted his enemies' right hand with power;
you've enabled his foes to rejoice evermore.
You have blunted the edge of his sword so its useless,
and refused to sustain him and aid him in war.
You have ended his splendor and taken his glory;
you have cast down his throne to the ground with his fame.
You have shortened the days of his youth and his vigor;
you have made him disgraced and have clothed him in shame.
O Jehovah, how long, LORD, will you remain hidden?
And, how long will your anger continue to flame?
Oh, remember how fleeting and short is my lifespan!
Have you made man and all of his children in vain?
For what man can cheat death and keep living forever?
Who can save his own soul from the hand of the grave?
Where, O LORD, is your loving, unfailing devotion,
and that promise to David, your servant, you gave?
LORD, remember the jeers and reproach of your servants;
how I bore all the insults the nations would make.
How your enemies slandered the one you have chosen,
and mocked every footstep your anointed one takes.
May we bless LORD Jehovah again and again!
And forever praise YAHWEH! Amen, and Amen!
The Last Word on Job
This is my last post concerning Job . . . for a while, at least.
Last year (in January 2019) I purchased a Chronological Study Bible and started reading it at a leisurely pace in the hopes of gaining new Biblical insight as well as writing some poetry along the way. So, that January, while reading through Genesis, I wrote five poems. There was a poem that included a few themes in Genesis, called In the beginning; one about Abraham NOT sacrificing Isaac in The Lord will Provide; another about Jacob in Jacob, the Deceiver; about Joseph in Have you heard the latest?; and, finally, about Jacob blessing his twelve sons in The Blessing, found in Genesis 49.
Chronologically-speaking, Job follows directly after Genesis. I had never read Job before and I couldn't believe what I was reading — as I was literally reading it for the first time. I came into Job with the idea of writing four or five poems but, after reading a few chapters, I couldn't decide which chapter to zero in on (since they were all so good!) So, I went back to the beginning of the book.
The first two chapters of Job contain the narrative that sets up Job's story. Chapter 3 really begins the poetic conversations between six characters that continue into the final chapter, Chapter 42.
Starting with Chapter 3, I ended up writing a total of 40 chapters. And, God was good! I truly felt the hand of God as I was being guided and helped along the way — being inspired with words and ideas for every verse.
It took me five months to write the forty poems — on average, nearly 2 per week. I'd set the alarm for 5a in order to write before work. I was writing late at night and into the next morning. I was jotting ideas down throughout the day. I was totally consumed by this project.
I used to blog about it as well. But, there were weeks when I would write 2, 3 — even 4 poems and it just got to be too much for me to keep up with the blogs, the newsletters, and the writing — and I ended up cutting everything out but the writing. All I wanted to do was to write!
I spent the rest of 2019 reading and rereading the poems to really fine-tune them and to smooth out the rough areas.
The booklet above is a little side-by-side view of my poetry along with the Bible, using a variety of versions. It contains six poems — one for each of the 6 characters: Job, his three friends, a fourth guy that really surprised me when he suddenly showed up, and then, finally, God. Each of them speak with a different meter — a different rhythm to their speech.