Poems

Gideon

Sep 2015    

Was it mockery,

a diatribe against his timorousness,

brought on by Israel’s descent

into the maelstrom of despondency,

as scavenger tribes plundered

the fruit of its labour,

powerless to resist

their savagery and greed.

How effete to beat out wheat

secretively

in a wine press

hidden in a cave!

 

How could this Angel of the Lord

whom he had met

under the pistachio tree

at Ophrah

call him, the least

of the tribe of Manasseh

cowering in a cave,

Valiant Warrior!

 

He was no halcyon youth

brimming with zeal

to redeem a fallen nation;

nor had he the prowess

of a young Nimrod,

or the might of Samson.

No man so unexceptional,

or undistinguished

as he.

 

The age of miracles

must lie in the mythical past

for why had Adonai

not saved the nation

against gentile swarms,

numerous as locusts

as He had once done?

 

But the Angel of the Lord

gazed upon him so intently

that there was no spectre of a doubt

that incredibly,

the mantle lay on him

to deliver Israel

from the hands of Midian.

 

For Adonai looks beyond

the tatters and the tawdriness

into the interior of the soul

and sees the latent seeds of growth

and of what a man shall yet

become.

 

Judges 6:11-24

Picture by Jorg Hackemann/Bigstock.com

Dr Oliver Seet is a member of Wesley Methodist Church and a Board Director of the Metropolitan YMCA.

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