Thursday, April 28, 2011

The 2nd Judge - Ehud

At home in heaven, Othniel had hardly been gone when

The people of promise had perverted their way

Sinning in the Lord’s sight & serving other gods. The

Lord’s choler was kindled & his countenance was

Changed toward the children of his chosen Israel

Amalek and Ammon, led by Eglon the Moabite

Invaded Israel and instituted a tyrannical rule.

For 18 years, they yearned for yesterday’s freedom

And lamented their loss of liberty to no avail.

Finally, they faced the fact that forgetting the Lord

Had caused their calamity. They cried out to the Lord

To forgive their failure & free them from their foes.

The gracious God heard their groanings & granted

The people a pardon by providing a deliverer

To lead them to liberty. The Lord raised up Ehud

To break their bonds and battle the Moabites.

The 12 tribes at that time were under tribute to Eglon

& were forced to give gifts to the greedy warlord

Ehud carried that cargo to the king of Moab

But he had hidden a weapon, a handmade dagger which he

Had run in under his raiment on his right thigh.

So as Eglon sat in his summer parlor

Ehud, Israel’s emissary entered his presence &

Presented the portly prince with the present they sent.

Then Ehud said, “Sir I have a secret errand to thee.”

The king told the courier to keep silence until he had

Told all of his attendants To take leave of him

When Ehud and Eglon were alone in the chamber

Ehud came close to him and quietly said to the

Morbidly obese Moabite “I have a message from God.”

Then he lifted his left hand and lunged with his dagger

Blunting the blade into the belly of Eglon

Where His fat folded over and fastened the dagger.

As Eglon gave up the ghost & groaned his last, Ehud with

All his strength struggled to extricate his dagger

From the flesh of the fallen warlord

Pull and pry as he may the weapon was

Held fast by its haft in his huge stomach.

Unable to draw the dagger he darted for the windows

And winged his way off to the wilderness of Seirath

But before he broke loose he bolted the doors

Of the prince’s parlor to prevent the entry

Of soldier or sentry till he was safe in Seirath

There he rallied resistance to rout the Moabites

And end the enslavement of every Israelite

Eglon’s servants, surprised to see that their master

Lingered so long in the locked parlour

Waited in the wings wondering what to do.

They knocked & knocked but none answered.

It would be embarrassing to barge in on Eglon, but

Too much time had gone by to tarry any longer.

They called for a key, came into the parlour &

were dumbfounded to find the fallen Eglon

Lying down dead upon the deck of his chamber.

- Steven L Anderson, 2011

The 1st Judge - Othniel

In the conquest of Canaan Caleb, the son of Hezron

Had inherited Hebron through hard-fought warfare.

Then came Caleb to Kirjathsepher and said to his

Soldiers, “He that smiteth Kirjathsepher shall marry

Achsah, the apple of my eye and only daughter

Of my old age.” And Othniel, the son of

Kenaz, Caleb’s brother conquered Kirjathsepher.

He was Caleb’s Kinsman and Achsah’s admirer.

He had proven his prowess & thus procured him

The favor of the fair Achsah & her famous father. He

Had earned a beautiful bride because of his bravery.

But after, Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord

And so came a cruel king Chushanrishathaim,

Monarch of Mesopotamia, and made them serve 8 years

In bitter bondage. They begged the Lord

To forgive their follies & defend them from this

Powerful opponent & the pain he had caused them.

So Othniel went out to war with weapon in hand.

The Holy Ghost of God would give him the victory.

The fighting was fierce as famous men and their

Faithful followers fought with all their might.

Bright blades clashed & broken bodies collapsed

Amid the clank & clamor caused by the killing.

But by and by, the battle’s outcome was clear,

Obvious to all. Othniel had dealt

A decisive defeat to the devilish Canaanites.

Israel praised Providence for preserving their lives &

Freedom, forgiving their faults, and raising up

A daring deliverer to defy their enemies

& a respected ruler to rebuke unrighteousness.

And so, for forty years, he faithfully ruled them

Preserving peace, and preaching righteousness.

-Steven L Anderson, 2011

Book of Judges Intro

The tale of twelve judges and a tyrant king,

Bad Abimelech, bastard son of Gideon.

Wayward and wanton, he was a wicked king

Who had killed his own kin as Cain had done.

In the dismal days after the death of Joshua,

A lack of leadership had led the children of Israel

To leave the law of the Lord and learn the ways

Of the heathen hordes inhabiting Canaan.

God’s anger grew as they forgat his mercies

And his many miracles in the midst of Egypt

When he had haled the Hebrews to freedom

& punished Egypt’s people with the plagues of his wrath.

They had come to Canaan but could not drive out the

Whole of the inhabitants thereof, having broken

The laws of the Lord and leaving his covenant.

Then being brought into bondage because of

Their sins, they served as slaves in their own land

To the kings of Canaan or the clans of the Philistines.

Hard-pressed & harrowed, the Hebrews called out

To the Saviour of souls to show mercy on them

& give his children a chance to change their churlish ways.

So our gracious God gave them the opportunity

To keep the covenant which was commanded them &

walk in the way of the Lord without departing from it. He’d

Raise up a righteous ruler that would rally the people

To fight against their foes and defend their nation

From the wicked warlords who wasted their substance

And enslaved their sons. Then safe from their enemies

Prosperity, peace, and plenty returned. But when

Their deliverer was dead they degenerated again &

Gat them gods made of gold and silver

Forgetting the fate of their fathers who had forsaken

The Lord. Leaderless their liberty vanished

Until their tribulations would turn them back to

The God of glory. A great judge would rise

And so the cycle would start again.

In the times of these trials and tribulations for Israel

Many a mighty man meted out judgment

Whose daring deeds deserve to be remembered.

- Steven L Anderson, 2010

Ode to Border Patrol

On eastbound interstate 8 one night
I encountered an all too familiar sight
A random checkpoint, like you’d expect to see
In the USSR or Nazi Germany

Why do I have to stop and show my papers. Hey!
Aren’t we still in the USA?
I haven’t crossed any borders today
In fact, isn’t Mexico 50 miles away?

We have to search you, for our dog has said,
“Woof! Woof! He has drugs or a body that’s dead!”
“I’d like to know what that means, if I may!”
But the dog was quickly ushered away

And if we’re still living in a free nation…
Where’s your warrant upon oath or affirmation?
Aren’t these the rights for which our forefathers died?
“Why not let them search you, if you’ve nothing to hide?”

This isn’t liberty; the way you behave
Would make the founding fathers roll over in their grave
Don’t you love America; what makes you so bold
To trample the constitution you’re sworn to uphold?

Have Jefferson and Adams been forever replaced?
By Janet Napolitano’s ugly face!
Has Homeland Security reached new heights
That it supersedes the Bill of Rights?!

That I’m an American is plain to see
You’ve already run my plates and know I live in Tempe!
I’m an American citizen on my way home from work
If I won’t consent to searches, does that make me a jerk?

I’m not required by law to open this door!
I’m protected by amendments five and four!
My pleas were met with a laugh and a jeer
“Don’t you get it? your rights don’t matter here”

“We’ll search without a warrant, and if you won’t say ‘yes’
Then we’ll just call the DPS!”
So the DPS arrives on the scene
In order to assist the federal goons in green

Officer, I’m innocent; What have I done!
If I’ve broken a law, then please name one!
Be reasonable, officer, will it really hurt?
To bring the dog back out and see if it will alert?

Do you protect the citizens of Arizona anymore?
Or have you simply become the federal government’s whore?
But the Border Patrol knew the truth, you see
They knew that dog wouldn’t alert to me

“I’ll place you under arrest, if you won’t bow
For failure to obey me right now!
I told you before, I’m an officer of the law
When I say ‘jump,’ you say ‘how high’

“In fact, by now you’ve sealed your fate
I’ll tase you for twenty seconds straight!”
Unfortunately I was fooled by Agent Diaz’s lies
“There’s gonna be glass, so cover your eyes!”

He really just wanted me not to see
The ambush to my left being laid for me
Officer Mitchell broke the passenger window with a smile
Then decided he might as well tase me for a while

The border patrol’s five swings of the baton
And now my driver’s side window was gone!
And as the electricity continually flowed
My driver’s side window began to explode

And because he felt I had given him sass
Agent Spoonamore shoved my face in the broken glass!
My head was pressed into the glass on the door
Blood gushed out of every pore

Fifty thousand volts flowed through my chest
A regular police brutality-fest
Next I was rolled to the ground, and to my dread
A border patrol agent stepped on my head!

I remembered a quote from a book I had read
1984, and here’s what it said:
“If you want to know the future of the human race
Just picture a boot stamping upon a human face”

They finally searched my car, and what did they find?
No drugs, no bodies, and nothing of the kind
“Then they let you go, I assume?”
No, my next stop was the emergency room

So after all the stitches were added to my head
And the nurses had cleaned up all the places I’d bled
I was taken to the station of the DPS
Then from there to the jail where I was told to undress

They had underwear in two sizes: extra-large and small
So I took extra-large and made my single phone call
I was put into cell where the lights are on 24-seven
And lay down to sleep with my stitches eleven.

And so we’ve reached the end of my tale
Me sleeping soundly in the county jail
What was my crime? What had I done?
I stood up for my rights as an American.

- Steven L Anderson, 2009