James Roberts (21 October 1981 / Saginaw, Michigan)
Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered,
let those who hate Him flee before Him!
As smoke disperses, they disperse;
as wax melts when near the fire,
so the wicked perish when God approaches.
But at God's approach, the virtuous rejoice,
exulting and singing for joy.
Sing to Yahweh, play music to His Name,
build a road for the Rider of the Clouds,
rejoice in Yahweh, exult at His coming!
Father of orphans, defender of widows,
such is God in His holy dwelling;
God gives the lonely a permanent home,
makes prisoners happy by setting them free,
but rebels must live in an arid land.
God, when You set out at the head of Your people,
and marched across the desert, the earth rocked,
the heavens deluged at God's coming,
at the coming of God, the God of Israel.
God, You rained a downpour of blessings,
when Your heritage was faint You gave it strength;
Your family found a home, where You
in Your goodness, God, provided for the needy.
The Lord gives His couriers the news,
'Shaddai has scattered a huge army.'
Kings are in flight, armies in flight,
the women at home take pick of the loot.
Meanwhile you others were lolling in the sheepfolds.
There were dove-wings covered with silver,
on their pinions the sheen of green gold;
jewels were there like snow on Dark Mountain.
The peak of Bashan, a mountain of God?
Rather, a mountain of pride, the peak of Bashan!
Peaks of pride, have you the right to look down on
a mountain where God has chosen to live,
where Yahweh is going to live for ever?
With thousands of myriads of divine chariots
the Lord has left Sinai for His sanctuary.
God, You have ascended to the height, and captured prisoners,
You have taken men as tribute,
yes, taken rebels to Your dwelling, Yahweh!
Blessed be the Lord day after day,
the God who saves us and bears our burdens!
This God of ours is a God who saves,
to the Lord Yahweh belong the ways of escape from death;
but God will smash the heads of His enemies,
the hairy skull of the man who parades his guilt.
The Lord has promised, 'I will bring them back from Bashan,
I will bring them back from the bottom of the sea,
for your feet to wade in blood,
for the tongues of your dogs to lap their share of he enemy.'
God, Your procession can be seen,
my God's, my king's procession to the sanctuary,
with cantors marching in front, musicians behind,
and between them maidens playing tambourines.
Bless God in your choirs,
bless the Lord, you who spring from Israel!
Benjamin, the youngest, is there in the lead,
the princes of Judah in brocaded robes,
the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Nephtali.
Take command, God, as befits Your power,
that power, God, You have wielded on our behalf
from Your Temple high above Jerusalem!
Kings will come to you, bringing presents.
Rebuke the Beast of the Reeds,
that herd of bulls, those calves, that people,
until, humbled, they bring gold and silver.
Scatter those warmongering pagans!
Ambassadors will come from Egypt,
Ethiopia will stretch out her hands to God.
Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
play for the Rider of the Heavens, the ancient heavens!
Listen to Him shouting, to His thundering,
and acknowledge the power of God!
Over Israel His splendour, in the clouds His power,
God in His sanctuary is greatly to be feared.
He, the God of Israel,
gives power and strength to His people.
Blessed be God.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Psalm 68 by James Roberts )
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