“In the Grandstands,” poem by Day Williams

He threw a football three hundred yards.
“Broke a trellis in his neighbor’s yard.”

He jumped higher than the clouds.
“He’s too self-centered, too proud.”

He ran a marathon in record time.
“He should be charged with many crimes.”

He lifted more weight than any man before.
“The man’s performance is a snore.”

As a lifeguard, he saved a thousand lives.
“He’s had trouble with his wives.”

Three men on, he hit a grand slam.
“Hand me the raspberry jam.”

He swam the sea from Spain to Greece.
“I read the stupid press release.”

He dove 5000 feet into a pool.
“The dude oughtta go back to school.”

He pitched ten consecutive perfect games.
“He’ll do anything to build his name.”

He rounded up 1000 cattle in an hour.
“Phew! Man needs to take a shower.”

The heavyweight champion–he knocked him out.
“Man’s a loser, loafer and lout.”

He pole-vaulted through the stratosphere.
“He might get better next year.”

He outran a cheetah on Serengeti’s plains.
“Bind the man in iron chains.”

~Day

SECOND CHRONICLES CHAPTER TWENTY

SECOND CHRONICLES CHAPTER TWENTY

1 Moab and Ammon’s armies, as well as

               The Meunites, warred with Jehoshaphat

               Later on. 2 Messengers told him an army

From Edom to the east of the Dead Sea

Has struck against our land; they have already

Come to En-Gedi.” 3 And Jehoshaphat.

Afraid, asked God what he should do, then he

Told Judah’s people they should fast to show

Their sorrow. 4 They immediately left for

Jerusalem to ask for the Lord’s help,

5 And after everyone from Judah and

Jerusalem had come together at

God’s temple, Jehoshaphat then stood

In front of the new courtyard 6 and he prayed:

Lord, you’re the God our ancestors did worship;

From heaven you rule every nation in

The world, and you’re so powerful that no

One can defeat you. 7 Our God, you forced

The nations out who had resided in

This land before your people Israel

Came here, and you gave it to progeny

Of your friend Abraham forever. 8 Our

Ancestors lived within this land and built

A temple to give you honor. 9 They believed

That when this land is struck by war or by

Disease or famine, your own men can pray

To you, Lord, at the temple, and you’ll hear

Their prayer and save them. 10 You can see that

Armies of Ammon, Moab, as well as

Edom are striking us! Those are the nations

You would not let our ancestors invade

Along their way from Egypt, so these nations

Were not destroyed. 11 Now they are coming to

Take back the land you gave us. 12 Will you not

Punish them? We won’t stand a chance when this

Army attacks. We don’t know what to do—

We’re begging for your help. 13 While every man,

Woman, and child in Judah stood beside

The temple, 14 the Lord’s Spirit suddenly

Spoke to Jahaziel, a Levite from

The Asaph clan, 15 then Jahaziel said:

Your Majesty and everyone from Judah

And from Jerusalem, the Lord says that

You need not be afraid or to allow

This mighty army to discourage you. God

Will fight for you, 16 so here is what you have         

To do: The armies of the enemy

Will march tomorrow through the desert ‘round

The town of Jeruel. March down and meet

Them at the town of Ziz as they come up

The valley. 17 You won’t even have to fight.

Just take your places: Watch God rescue you

From your own enemy; don’t be afraid.

Do as you’re told; as you march out tomorrow,

The Lord will be with you; 18 Jehoshaphat

Bowed to the ground and everybody worshiped

The Lord, 19 and then some Levites from the

Kohath

And Korah clans stood up and shouted praises

To the Lord God of Israel, 20 and early

On the next morning, as all got prepared

To leave for wilderness close to Tekoa,

Jehoshaphat stood up and said, “My friends,

Hear: If we trust the Lord God and believe

These prophets’ words, the Lord will help us, and

We will succeed;” 21 then he explained his plan

And he appointed men to march before

The army and to praise the Lord for his

Own holy might by singing: “Praise the Lord!

For his love never ends.” 22 As soon as they

Began to sing, the Lord confused the camp

Of enemies, 23 so that the Ammonite

And Moabite troops struck and wiped out those

From Edom, then they turned against each other

And fought until the whole camp was destroyed;

24 When Judah’s army reached the tower that

Overlooked wilderness, they saw each soldier

Within the army of the enemy

Was lying dead on ground; 25 Jehoshaphat

And troops thus went into the camp to take

Off everything of value, and they found

A giant herd of livestock, clothes, equipment,

And other costly things, and it took them

Three days to carry it away, and there

Was still some stuff left over, 26 then on Day

Four, everybody came together in

Beracah Valley and sang praises to

The Lord, and that’s why that place was known as

Praise Valley, 27-28 then Jehoshaphat did lead

The crowd back to Jerusalem, and ask

They marched, they played their harps and blew their trumpets;

They were quite happy, for the Lord had let

Them triumph over enemies, so when

They reached the city, they went straight up to

The temple. 29 When the other nations heard

How God had fought against the enemies

Of Judah, they were too afraid 30 to raid

Judah, and the Lord let Jehoshaphat’s

Whole kingdom be at peace. 31 Jehoshaphat

Was thirty-five years old when he became

The king of Judah, and he governed from

Jerusalem for twenty-five years; now

His mother was Azubah daughter of

Shilhi; 32 Jehoshaphat obeyed the Lord,

Just as his father Asa had done, 33 but

He did not take down local shrines, so people

Still worshiped foreign gods, instead of serving

Serving the God their ancestors had worshiped.

34 Everything else Jehoshaphat did while

He was the king is written in the records

Of Jehu son of Hanani that are

Included in The History of Kings

Of Israel, 35 and while Jehoshaphat

Was king, he did sign a peace treaty with

Ahaziah, bad king of Israel,

36 Where they agreed to build some seagoing

Ships at Ezion-Geber, 37 but the prophet

Elieze did warn Jehoshaphat,

“The Lord will wreck these ships because you have

               Supported Ahaziah,” and the ships

Were wrecked and never sailed out of their slips.

SECOND CHRONICLES CHAPTER ELEVEN

SECOND CHRONICLES CHAPTER ELEVEN

1 Now after Rehoboam came back to

               Jerusalem, the king decided to

               Strike Israel to take back his control

Of the whole country, so he called together

               One hundred eighty thousand soldiers from

               The tribes of Judah and of Benjamin,

2 And in the meantime, God had told a prophet,

               Shemaiah, 3 to tell King Rehoboam

               And those from Judah and from Benjamin,

4 “God warns you not to war against the people

               From northern tribes—they are your relatives.

               Go home! The Lord is who has made these things

Occur.” King Rehoboam and his army

               Obeyed God’s message and did not attack

               Jeroboam and his troops. 5 Rehoboam

Ruled from Jerusalem and had some cities

               In Judah changed to fortresses so he

               Could use them to defend his country. These

Cities included 6 Bethlehem and Etam,

               Tekoa, 7 Beth-Zur, Soco and Adullam,

               8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish,

Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron.

               And after he had fortified these cities

               In areas of Benjamin and Judah,

11 He had an army captain rule each one

               And stocked them with supplies of food and wine

               And olive oil, 12 as well as shields and spears.

He used these forts to keep control of Judah

               And Benjamin. 13 The priests and Levites from

               The northern tribes of Israel gave their

Aid to King Rehoboam, 14 and since he

               And kings of Israel that followed him

               Would not allow the Levites to be priests,

Most Levites left their towns and pasturelands

               In Israel and moved into Jerusalem

               And other towns in Judah. 15 Jeroboam

Chose his own priests to serve at local shrines

               In Israel and at the worship places

               At which he had erected statues of

Goat-demons and of calves. 16 Some Israelites,

               Though, strove to worship the Lord God, just as

               Their ancestors had, so they followed priests

And Levites to Jerusalem, where they

               Could offer sacrifices to the Lord,

               17 And for the next three years, they lived

in Judah,

Loyal to Rehoboam and his kingdom,

               Just as they had been loyal to King David

               And to King Solomon. 18 King Rehoboam

Wed Mahalath, whose father was a son

               Of David, Jerimoth, whose mother was

               Abihail daughter of Eliab and

Jesse’s granddaughter. 19 Rehoboam and

               Mahalath had three sons named Shemariah,

               Jeush, and Zaham. 20 Rehoboam next

Married Maacah, who was daughter of

               Absalom. Their sons were Abijah, Ziza,

               Attai, and Shelomith. 21 King Rehoboam

Had eighteen wives, but he wed sixty other

               Women, too, and he fathered twenty-eight

               Sons and another sixty daughters. King

Rehoboam did love his wife Maacah

               The most; 22 he therefore chose their oldest son

               Abijah as the next king. 23 Rehoboam

Was wise enough to put one of his sons

               To supervise each fort inside his kingdom.

               He provided them their required supplies

And food, and for them he found many wives.