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THE LESSON OF JOB

THE LESSON OF JOB
21.05.1989

PART 1

THERE WAS A MAN IN THE LAND OF UZ
WHOSE NAME OF OLD IS JOB;
HE PROUDLY PROSPERED IN UPRIGHT CAUSE,
THIS FILLED HIS HEART WITH HOPE.

BUT SATAN THE FALLEN CHERUB CAME:
HE STOOD BEFORE THE LORD,
ACCUSED DEAR JOB THEN PRESSED ON TO BLAME
GOD SELF FOR PLAYING SPORT.

THE LORD IN FULL WISDOM SPOKE:
"ALL HIS IS IN YOUR HAND;
YET, TOUCH HIM NOT: LEAVE HIS WIFE, HIS CLOAK
AND LET HIM KEEP THE LAND."

ALL WEALTH DESTROYED, HIS CHILDREN NOW DEAD,
JOB MOURNED WORSHIPPING GOD:
"NAKED CAME I INTO THE WORLD," HE SAID,
"NAKED TO LEAVE I OUGHT.

THE LORD GAVE AND THE LORD TOOK AWAY,
BLEESED BE THE LORD'S NAME."
JOB THOUGH IN SORROW SINNED NOT THAT DAY,
HIS FAITH REMAINED THE SAME.

ENVIOUSLY THE DEVIL BESOUGHT
TO TAKE THIS JUST MAN'S LIFE:
ONCE AGAIN HE CAME, STOOD BEFORE GOD
AS FOUNTAINHEAD OF STRIFE.

"WHAT WILL YE? INTEGRITY IS HIS,"
GOD SAID, "WHY SHOULD I SCATHE?"
"BECAUSE," REPLIED LUCIFER, "OF THIS
THE TRUTH IN TEARS WILL BATHE:

SKIN FOR SKIN, MAN SELLS HIS SOUL FOR LIFE!
YOUR HAND PUT FORTH NOW, TOUCH
JOB'S FLESH 'N BONE, HIS PRIDE AND HIS WIFE;
SO WILL HE CURSE YOU MUCH."

"DO AS YOU DESIGN BUT LET HIM LIVE,"
THE ALMIGHTY AGREED;
FOR HE KNEW ONLY TRUE LOVE CAN GIVE
THE STRENGTH, WHICH FAITH WILL NEED.

HENCE WENT SATAN FORTH TO SMITE 'N LIE
WITH BOILS FROM FOOT TO CROWN;
JOB'S WIFE MOCKED HIM, SAID, "CURSE GOD AND DIE,
IN CALAMITY DROWN!"

"WHAT?! SHALL WE RECEIVE GOOD AT GOD'S HAND
AND NOT EVIL AS WELL?
FOOLISHNESS YOU SPEAK, WHICH BREAKS THE BAND
THAT KEEPS US SAFE FROM HELL."

THIS JOB SAID AND SAT AMONG ASHES,
SCRAPED HIS SORES LIKE A THIEF;
HIS WIFE'S TREASON WITH KNOUTING LASHES
INCREASED HIS ARRANT GRIEF.

PART 2

WAILING WITH LOUD LAMENT WAS NOW HEARD,
THREE FRIENDS OF JOB ARRIVED;
SEVEN DAYS AND NIGHTS SAT THEY: NO WORD
NO IDEA CONTRIVED.

JOB THEN CURSED HIS BIRTH, LONGED DEAD TO BE.
"ALL SMALL AND GREAT ARE THERE,"
SAID HE, "SERVANTS FROM THEIR MASTERS FREE;
WHY HAS IT COME THAT I FEAR?"

ELIPHAZ TEMANITE THEN DID LAUD
SUCH THINGS HIS EYES HAD SEEN:
"SHALL MORTAL MAN BE MORE JUST THAN GOD,
PURER THAN GOD HAS BEEN?

AFFLICTIONS COME NOT FORTH OF THE DUST
OR TROUBLES OF THE GROUND;
YET SPARKS FLY UPWARD, INDEED THEY MUST,
MANKIND'S BLIGHT IS PROFOUND.

IN DAYLIGHT DARKNESS AND EVIL MEET,
GROPE IN NOONDAY AS NIGHT;
SAVE LOVE, FAITH AND TRUTH THEM BOTH DEFEAT!
REJOICE! IN GOD DELIGHT!

HAPPY ARE THEY WHOM GOD CHASTISES,
DESPISE NOT HIS VIRTUE,
PURGING ARE ALL HIS ENTERPRISES:
TEACH YOURSELF TO SUBDUE."

"MY SINS ARE LIKE SPIRITS IN BOTTLES
BOUND WITH A HANGMAN'S ROPE:
OUR DAYS SWIFTER THAN WEAVERS' SHUTTLES
PASS ON WITHOUT A HOPE.

WHEREIN I HAVE ERRED I CANNOT TELL;
TEACH ME, MY TONGUE I HOLD;
MY RIGHTEOUSNESS IS BY ALL KNOWN WELL,
SHOULD I NOT THEN BE BOLD?"

THESE THIGS INQUIRED JOB OF HIS FRIEND
SEARCHING TO JUSTIFY
A LIFE HE HAD RELIGIOUSLY SPENT
SEEKING AN ALIBI.

BILDAD SHUHITE TOOK WORD, SPOKE HIS PIECE.
"DOES GOD JUDGEMENT PERVERT?
WITHOUT MIRE RUSHES GROW IN EASE?
LENGTH OF SPEECH IS ABSURD.

ROOTS OF THE WICKED WITHER AWAY,
THEIR MEMORY FADES OUT;
MEN BORN OF WOMAN EVERY DAY
LIKE WORMS WIGGLE ABOUT."

"TRUTH! HOW SHALL A MAN BE JUST WITH GOD?"
READILY JOB AGREED.
"AS PARCHED FLOWERS IN SOME BURNING SOD
HE DISAPPEARS UNFREED!"

ZOPHAR NAMATHITE THEN CAME TO WORD.
"HOW IS IT YOU SPEAK LIES?
SMOOTH 'N FREE YOUR TALK GLIDES LIKE THE BIRD
UNASHAMEDLY FLIES.

YOUR BONES ARE FULL OF THE SINS OF YOUTH,
WICKED TRIUMP IS SHORT;
IT IS AS VINEGAR TO A TOOTH:
A JOY WHICH MUST ABORT!

WOULD GOD SPEAK FROM HIS LIPS AGAINST YOU!
WHAT CAN YOU DO OR KNOW?
WITHOUT SPOT LIFT UP YOUR FACE, BE TRUE
LEST YOUR VANITY SHOW."

"HOW LONG WITH WORDS WILL YOU VEX MY SOUL?
TEN TIMES HAVE YOU REPROACHED,"
REPLIED JOB AND SAID, "I WOULD BE WHOLE,
ALBEIT DEATH ENCROACHED.

NATHLESS I KNOW MY REDEEMER LIVES:
YEA, ONE DAY SHALL TAKE BIRTH;
I SHALL SEE THE SALVATION GOD GIVES
STAND THE LAST DAY ON EARTH.

HAVE I ERRED? IT WITH MY SELF REMAINS:
RIGHTEOUSNESS I HOLD FAST;
MY SOUL WILL NOT CARRY SHAMEFUL STAINS.
WERE I AS IN TIMES PAST…  

GOD PRESERVED ME THEN, HIS CANDLE SHONE,
BY HIS LIGHT DID I WALK.
WOE! NOW THEY YOUNGER THAN I INTONE:
WITH DERISION THEY TALK!

MY HARP IS TUNED TO MOURNING,
MY VOICE AND ORGANS WEEP;
GOD'S PRECEPTS I'VE KEPT, HEEDED WARNING,
YET WITH DEATH MUST I SLEEP."

THE THREE GUIDES THUS CEASED TO ANSWER JOB
WITH NOTHING MORE TO SAY:
SELFRIGHTEOUSNESS WAS JOB'S WINE TO TOPE
TILL COME HIS JUDGEMENTDAY.    

PART 3

A YOUNG BOY, ELIHU BAR ACHEL
OF THE KINDRED OF RAM,
WITH RAGE FLOWED OVER: A SURGING WELL
TO DROWN THIS MUNDANE SHAM;

COME HE HAD TO HEAR THE SAGES BLESS
BUT FOUND THEM TO CONDEMN:
NO REAL ANSWERS, SOLUTIONS A MESS,
HIS NEW WINE WOULD THEM STEM.

"MY PEACE I'VE HELD FOR STILL I AM YOUNG,
ELDERS ARE YOU TO ME;
AFRAID I WAS TO LOOSEN MY TONGUE,
LET MY OWN VIEW FLOW FREE.

DAYS SHOULD SPEAK AND YEARS SHOULD WISDOM TEACH,
THOUGH THE SPIRIT IN MAN
INSPIRED UNDERSTANDING MAY REACH
CONSULTING GOD'S RIGHT HAND.

JUDGEMENT NOT ALL AGED COMPREHEND,
GREAT MEN AREN'T ALWAYS WISE;
LEST I BURST WITH NEW BOTTLE INTENT:
ALLOW NO COMPROMISE!

LET THERE BE NO RESPECT OF PERSONS,
NOR HOLD TO FLATTERY,
SELFJUSTICE BE MET WITH AVERSION:
IT'S GOD DAMNED HERESY!

GOD SPEAKS ONCE, TWICE, MEN PERCEIVE IT NOT:
THROUGH DREAMS IN NIGHT VISIONS
WHILE IN DEEP SLUMBER UPON THE COT
GOD SEALS HIS DECISIONS.

HE OPENS UP THE EARS OF MANKIND
TO GIVE FORTH HIS INSTRUCTION;
EVIL AIMS MAYHAP ARE LEFT BEHIND
WITH PRIDE AND SEDUCTION?

WHAT MAN IS LIKE JOB WHO DRINKS UP SCORN
AS IF WERE IT WATER?
WHO HOLDS NO DELIGHT TO HAVE BEEN BORN,
GIVES GOD'S GRACE NO QUARTER?

SURELY OUR LORD GOD OF OLD IS JUST,
SHOWS NO INIQUITY;
YET JOB REBELS, REFUSES TO TRUST
IN GOD'S SINCERITY.

'THOUGH HE SLAY ME, YET WILL I TRUST IN HIM…'
CLAIMS JOB WITH CONFIDENCE,
BUT HE'LL KEEP HIS OWN WAY IN EACH LIMB
CONSTRUCTING SELFDEFENSE.

WHY DESPISE CLEANSING OF HIDDEN SIN?
WHERE ARE THOUGHTS TO REPENT?
JOB'S RELIGIOUS, PIOUS PRIDE WITHIN
SPURS HIS HEART TO RESENT.

HEAR THIS, O JOB! CONSIDER GOD'S WORK:
THE ALMIGHTY IS GREAT,
HIS PROMISES TO MANKIND HE'LL NOT SHIRK
OR HIS MERCY ABATE!"

PART 4

THEN FROM A WHIRLWIND ANSWERED THE LORD
ALL CONTENTIONS OF JOB.
IN FEAR WERE ALL SILENT WHILE GOD POURED
QUESTIONS BEYOND MEN'S SCOPE…

"BEHOLD, I AM VILE!" JOB CRIED, "LORD, WHAT?
YOU HAVE MADE ME TO SEE
I UTTERED THAT I UNDERSTOOD NOT;
I REPENT: FORGIVE ME!"

WROTH GOD WAS WITH JOB'S THREE FRIENDS INDEED,
THEIR FOLLY HE REBUKED.
"LET JOB PRAY FOR YOU," GOD SAID, "THERE'S NEED
FOR EVIL TO BE PUKED!"

AND SO GOD TURNED JOB'S CAPTIVITY
WHEN HE PRAYED FOR HIS FRIENDS:
RESTORED HIM IN THE END TWICE FULLY,
IN MERCY MADE AMENDS.



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THE LESSON OF JOB


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