At the Gates

  At the Gates

Lift up your hands in praise
At the gates of the King
And lay at Jesus’ feet
The offerings you bring.

May your works survive fire,
May crowns be on your head,
May your name be in the Book
When Heaven’s words are read.

May you sing with your heart
While kneeling at His feet.
May love burn within you,
And may your songs be sweet.

~Day

Evening News

       Evening News

No need of morphine to anesthetize:
The Mideast bombs, the famines and the quakes,
Decapitated bodies, leaders’ lies,
Race riots, civil wars, polluted lakes–

AIDS patients, gangs of kids who terrorize
Their neighbors, robbers, thieves, religious fakes,
Child porno peddlers, murderers’ wild eyes,
Perverts and whores, policemen on the take:

This is enough to numb the heart and soul.
Yet though the TV desecrates my core
With vice and venom spitting from its screen,

A peace descends in knowing God’s control,
And that the blood of Jesus is a door
To take away the sins and wipe me clean.

~Day Williams

SECOND KINGS CHAPTER TEN

SECOND KINGS CHAPTER TEN

1 The sons of Ahab (seventy in all)

Were in Samaria, so Jehu wrote

Letters and sent them to Samaria:

To Jezreel’s civil servants, to the elders

And to the guardians of Ahab’s children.

He said, “You have your master’s sons with you

And you have chariots and horses, with

A city fortified and weapons; 2 now

As soon as you have read this letter, 3 choose

The best, most worthy of your master’s sons

And set him on his father’s throne, then fight

For your own master’s house,” 4 but they  were scared

And said, “If two kings could not resist him,

How can we?” 5 So the palace manager,

The city governor, the elders and

The guardians sent out this message to

Jehu: “We are your servants and we will

Do anything you say. We won’t appoint

A man as king; you do whatever you

Think best.” 6 Then Jehu wrote a second letter

To them and said, “If you are on my side

And will obey me, take the heads of your

Own master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel

This time tomorrow.” 7 Now the royal princes,

Seventy of them, were with leading men

Out of the city, who were rearing them,

And when the letter came, these men took all

The princes and they slaughtered them. They put

Their heads in baskets and sent them to Jehu

In Jezreel. 8 When the messenger arrived,

He said to Jehu, “They have brought the heads

Of all the princes.” Jehu ordered, “Put

Them in two piles beside the entrance to

The city gate ’til morning.” 9 The next morning

Jehu went out. He stood before the people

And said, “You’re innocent. I was the one

Who did conspire against my master and

Killed him, but who killed all these?  10 Know that not

A single word the LORD has spoken toward

The house of Ahab will go wrong. The LORD

Has done what he announced through his  own servant

Elijah.” 11 Jehu therefore killed all those

In Jezreel who remained of Ahab’s house,

As well as all his chief men, his close friends

And priests, so he had no survivor, 12 then

He set out and went toward Samaria

And at Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 13 he

Met with some relatives of Ahaziah

The king of Judah and asked, “Who are you?”

They said, “We’re relatives of Ahaziah,

And we’ve come down to greet the families of

The king and the queen mother.” 14 He commanded,

“Take them alive!” So they took them alive

And slaughtered them beside the well of Beth

Eked–forty‑two of them. He left no

Survivor. 15 After he left there, he came

On Rekab’s son, Jehonadab, who was

Coming to meet him. Jehu greeted him

And said, “Do you agree with me, as I

Agree with you?” “I do,” Jehonadab

Replied. Then Jehu said, “Give me your hand.:

He did, and Jehu helped him up into

The chariot, 16 and Jehu said, “Come with

Me and you’ll see my zeal for God,” then he

Had him ride with him in his chariot.

17 When Jehu reached Samaria, he killed

All those left there of Ahab’s family;

He slaughtered them, according to the word

Of God Elijah heard, 18 then Jehu brought

Together all the people and told them,

“Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will

Serve him a lot; 19 now summon all the prophets

Of Baal, his servants and his priests. See that

No one is absent, for I am going to

Hold a great sacrifice for Baal. A man

Who fails to come will live no more,” but Jehu

Was tricking them to kill Baal’s servants. 20 Jehu

Said, “Call up an assembly in Baal’s honor.”

So they proclaimed it, then he sent the word

Throughout the land of Israel, and all

Baal’s servants came; not one stayed home.

 They crowded

Into Baal’s temple ’til it was packed full

From one end to the other. Jehu told

The wardrobe keeper, “Bring the robes for all

Baal’s servants,” so he brought out robes for them.

Then Jehu and Jehonadab the son

Of Rekab went into Baal’s temple. Jehu

Said to Baal’s servants, “Look around and see

That nobody who serves the LORD is here

With you–nobody but Baal’s servants,” 24 so

They went in to make sacrifices and

Burnt offerings. Now Jehu had assigned

Eighty men to stay outside with this warning:

AIf one of you lets any man I place

Into your hands escape, it will be your

Life for his life.” 25 As soon as Jehu was

Done making the burnt offering, he ordered

The guards and officers: “Go in and kill

Them; let none flee,” so they cut them down

With swords, and guards and officers threw bodies

Out, then went in the inner shrine of Baal’s

Temple, 26 and they brought out the sacred stone

And burned the temple, 27 and demolished Baal’s    

Sacred stone and tore down his temple, and

The  people have used it for a latrine

Up to this day, 28 so Jehu wiped the worship

Of Baal out in Israel, 29 but he

Did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam

The son of Nebat, which he had induced

Israel to commit: The worship of

The golden calves at Dan and Bethel. 30 God

Told Jehu, “As you’ve done well in attaining

What is right in my eyes and have done to

The house of Ahab all I had in mind to do,

Your progeny will sit upon the throne

Of Israel to the fourth generation,”

31 Yet Jehu did not keep with care the law

Of God, the God of Israel, with all

His heart, for he did not turn from the sins

Of Jeroboam, which he had induced

Israel to commit. 32 In those days God

Began to cut the size of Israel.

Hazael overpowered the Israelites

Throughout their area 33 east of the Jordan

In all the land of Gilead (the region

Of Gad and Reuben and Manasseh), from

Aroer by the Gorge of Arnon through

Gilead up to Bashan; 34 as for other

Events of Jehu’s reign, all that he did,

And his achievements, aren’t they written in

The annals book of kings of Israel?

35 Then Jehu rested with his ancestors

And he was buried in Samaria

            And his son Jehoahaz took his place

As king; 36 so Jehu reigned in Israel

Within Samaria as potentate

A lengthy time: his years were twenty-eight.