Some people say that they don’t like poetry. I wonder what kind of poems they have read. All poems are not equal, you know. I happen to like all kinds. Rhyming ones. Free verse. Short. Long. Laments. Some are a little vague and hard to interpret. I prefer ones that communicate a thought directly, but with imagery. What do you like?
The Psalms are Hebrew poetry. I think I could appreciate them even more if I knew Hebrew. They don’t rhyme, but there is a rhythm to them, lots of comparisons and contrasts, and lots of imagery.
For example, Psalm One tells us that a blessed man is one who delights in God’s Word. As a result, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:3, ESV).
Do you picture a man with literal branches with leaves and fruit sticking out of his head and arms and torso? Of course not. We picture what it means to have a fruitful life, serving God faithfully, nourished by the water of the Word.
The contrast is in the next verse. “The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away” (Psalm 1:4, NKJV). What is chaff? The worthless part of the grain which is separated from the good and thrown away in the winnowing process. Who would want to be likened to that? So we get the point quickly and vividly – that it’s wise to be the person who thrives on the Scripture.
Hmm…I think I feel a poem coming on….
Dear Lord of my life,
Please help me to be
A diligent student,
A fruitful tree,
Whose roots grow deep
In well watered ground,
And whose wide-spread branches
With fruit abound.
One day I was meditating on the Scripture about Jesus being in Mary and Martha’s home. I was wondering what it would have been like to prepare dinner for Jesus (as Martha was doing) and to sit at His feet (as Mary was doing), drinking in His truth. Well, I have the opportunity to do both by drinking in His Word, which prepares me to serve Him by serving others. Either one is far better than being chaff, isn’t it?
“My Prayer” from “A Song of Love”