They Rage

(Psalm 2)
They Rage

The princes, kings,
And nations rage
While God endures
From age to age.

~Day Williams



1 Time passed, and Nahash king of Ammonites

Died, and his son succeeded him as king.

2 David thought, “I’ll show kindness to the son

Of Nahash, Hanun, for his father showed

Kindness to me,” so David sent some envoys

To signify his sympathy to Hanun

About his father, but when David’s envoys

Reached Hanun in the land of Ammonites

To signify his sympathy to him,

3 The Ammonite commanders said to Hanun,  

“Do you think David is honoring your father

By sending envoys to you to express

His sympathy? Have not his envoys come

To you to spy out and explore the land

And overthrow it?” 4 Hanun therefore seized

His envoys, shaved them, cut their garments at

               The buttocks, and sent them away. 5 When someone

Came and told David what had happened, he

Sent messengers to meet them, for they were  

Greatly humiliated. The king said,

“Remain at Jericho until your beards

Have grown, and then come back.” 6 When Ammonites

Realized that they had become a stench to David,

The Ammonites and Hanun sent a thousand

Talents of silver to hire chariots

And charioteers from Aram Naharaim,

Zobah, and Aram Maakah; 7 they hired

Thirty-two thousand chariots and drivers−

               Also Maakah’s king and all his troops,

               Who came and camped near Medeba, and as

They did, the Ammonites were mustered from

Their towns and moved out for a battle. 8 When

He heard this, David sent out Joab with

The entire army of his fighting men.

9 The Ammonites came out and drew up in

Battle formation at the entrance to

Their city, while the kings who’d come were by

Themselves in open country. 10 Joab saw

The battle lines before him and behind

Him; 11 so he picked out some of the best troops

In Israel and set them up against

The Arameans, and he put the men

Remaining under Abishai his brother’s

Command, and they were set in spots against

The Ammonites. 12 “If Arameans are

Too strong for me,” said Joab, “then you are

To rescue me; but if the Ammonites

Become too strong for you, then I’ll save you.

13 Be strong, and let us fight courageously

For our own people and the cities of

Our God, who will do what he sees is good.”

14 Then Joab and the troops with him advanced

To fight the Arameans, and they fled

Before him. 15 When the Ammonites perceived

The Arameans were escaping, they

Also took off before his brother Ab-

Ishai and went inside the city, so

Joab went back into Jerusalem.

               16 The Arameans saw that Israel

               Had routed them, so they sent messengers

And had more Arameans brought from past

Euphrates River, led by Shophak, who

Was general of Hadadezer’s army. 

17 When David heard of this, he gathered all

Of Israel and crossed the Jordan; he

Advanced against them and formed battle lines

Across from them; then David formed his lines

To meet the Arameans in a battle,

And they fought David, 18 but they ran away

From Israel, and David slaughtered seven

Thousand of their own charioteers and

Killed forty thousand of their infantry.

He killed Shophak, their army general, too.

19 When Hadadezer’s vassals saw they had

Been smashed by Israel, they made their peace

With David and became his subjects, so

               The Arameans could not be implored

To help the Ammonite men anymore.

“Nevada to Jerusalem,” poem by Day Williams


(“His word is in my heart like a fire,

    a fire shut up in my bones.

  I am weary of holding it in;

    indeed, I cannot.”–Jer. 20:9)


This is a country for a holy man:

Deserts like Moses knew, Sierra snows

As white as souls wiped clean, and tourist bands

Who come to plug the emptiness in souls

By playing slot machines: in short, a land

Where Paul and Peter might have rivaled shows,

Teaching Christ crucified upon a tree,

To fill those voids with Gospel truth for free.


A man of middle age cannot aspire

To a youngster’s speed, and plods along to court

To plead the cause of clients, rich and poor,

Sinners all. He’ll bring God a sad report

Unless his bones are burnt by holy fire,

And like a faithful witness he exhorts

Those who prefer to mock and toss the dice

Rather than seek a place in Paradise.


Angels and demons fight an unseen war,

Hendrix replaces Bach, police patrols

Bust drunks and punks, and mourn the liquor store

And crankster’s needle, symptoms of a soul

So self-indulgent Conscience works no more,

A lethal weapon on remote control.

God calls for many, is answered by few,

And battles rage on every avenue.


When Bride and Bridegroom meet in air, foreknown,

God’s trumpet call will stun the West and East,

As he, the chosen precious cornerstone

Who built a nation of his royal priests,

Returns and claims the spotless Bride, His own,

To take her to the Lamb’s Great Wedding Feast

Prepared in heavenly Jerusalem

By Him who was, and is, and is to come.

~Day Williams