May 27, 2012 ~ March 3, 2013

Joshua at Jericho

These walls, they tower above me
erupting from this soil, impenetrable
tipped with crests and angry spears
Curses falling from those ramparts
land ineffective around my dusty feet
passing once again that scarlet cord
I've walked by twelve times before.
Looking up at the window it connects
to this dust I see hopeful faces peer
as disbelieving deliverance had come.

Before me dust is stirred beneath holy feet
the air loud with the sound of trumpets,
bright with glory beaming from gold.
Guiding us, this sound, this glory,
leads us around these walls, silent,
but for our thoughts, our pounding blood.
What those behind me were thinking
I do not know, but I, I had seen Pharaoh
felled from his place as a tree for fuel.
I, I and one other, had seen part the sea,
The Sea! walking dry within it,
followed by the army of our enemy.
We danced on the shores of freedom
as it crashed upon that panicked horde.
Free! We were free! Four Hundred years
and finally we are FREE!

And the sadness long years ago
when giants scared them off
even the three of us could not
turn this tide of fear and bore the years
for their faithless foolishness.
How many men lay beneath desert sand
whose children now here march
silently, expectantly, knowingly;
trusting God to open these walls.
Merest babes when their parents quailed
they now claim their own this land
having not seen Pharaoh humbled as a child
for whom Sinai was but a story of the aged.
These, THESE! now marched in faith
to claim the land their fathers feared.

Dust dances excited in the afternoon
reminiscent of the smoke on Sinai
as I crowded upon its flanks, Moses
facing the thundering voice of God.
He had seen God as friend sees friend
and I, I saw on his face the reflection
of the glory that gave him power.
I shared his anger at Sinai's foot
where false gold gleamed bright
amid the tumult of celebration,
palely imitating that gleam and sound
before me marching sure.
"How could they?" I recall my mind
bare days from their slavery
feet yet wet from the sea
thrilling tambourines played in joy
scarce silent, they could do this?
And, amazed, saw the mercy spare
what should have died.

Forty years among that faith
more often weak than strong
and now, today, its test
did that crucible of time
make them strong or brittle
these people that encourage me
"Be strong, and courageous."
It matters not, I and mine will go with God,
This circling of forbidding walls
mere ceremony, merely a claim
to what has been ours forever.
I alone, had God told me,
would have marched in silence
these six days past
these twelve marches past
this past march almost done.
I and I alone, had God told me,
would have knocked down these walls
with but a glare at the sin it shields
at those angry crests above me;
not fearing these insults hurled
through the air as spears in war.
They would not have touched me
for I am God's!

Would that Moses could have seen
what I am seeing now,
this last circuit almost complete
first feet almost touch first print,
finding myself gathering breath
anticipating the sole action we have
practicing the reach for my sword
ensuring it slides easy from its sheath
as we marchers have slid easy from
the sheath where God has held us.
I am ready, it matters not these others
what they will do. I and I alone
could take this place, had God told me.
And foot touches print and I smile
as the din of victory resounds
encircling these walls from before me
to behind. Faces on the ramparts gaze
confused that our cries of joyous praise
precedes the breaking of their walls
the deaths of these defenders.
Confusion turning to amazement
and to terror, as these most solid walls
in all this land of ours begin to shake
(our yells now encircling this city,
a mighty shout to God most high
our act of worship as He told us).
Our yells scarcely falter as we see
CRACKS! appear beneath those whose fear
had fueled their hate all week
staggering like men late drunk
spear cast aside, useless, for handhold
themselves useless
as these mighty walls crumbled
before a far more mighty God.

Come what may in years to come
today is a good day to live
as I and those with me turn,
running, toward the ruin of rebellion
our yells of praise continue
none can stand our rush
as we reclaim what is God's
making holy once again,
what man has debased.
Would they would remember,
as I and mine most truly will,
down the years ahead of them
that today, TODAY! God fought for us
as He had within Egypt
as He had within the sea
as He had within the desert
for forty years defending
a people no more worthy than these now dead.
Would they would remember,
as I and mine most truly will,
that he who is not for God opposes
He who brooks no foe.