Friday 30 April 2021


Three Photos From East Lothian

You may know the interpretation
Of each passage. But for a moment
Think of it like this - each one
Clung to something of Jesus; whether
In peace or war, whatever they confronted
They clung to Him. Oh! let me follow their
Example, cling to Christ if in conflict,
Lean on Him in worship. And if we
Can speak of one who will keep us
Without stumbling, how are we sustained?
Depending on our Lord Jesus Christ. 

This and the previous are parts of a sequence I wrote some years ago on Wood.

Thursday 29 April 2021


Benaiah, the soldier,
Could use his staff as a weapon
To wrest the Egyptian’s spear.

David, the psalmist,
Knowing God’s staff and rod
Bore his own staff to the conflict.

Jonathan, gatherer,
Used his staff at the time of his triumph
To harvest honey.

The princes, princely,
Dug with their staves
The well in the plains.

Aaron, the priest,
Was possessor of the rod which
Budded, blossomed, and brought forth almonds.

Moses, shepherd,
Had the staff of God
For authority and supply.

And Jacob, wanderer,
Home at last,
Worshipped on the top of his staff.

Sunday 25 April 2021


The Tree of Life planted within the garden
Was even then attractionless to Adam
And when at length the Lord was seen in manhood,
One Sprout of green, within a desert landscape,
Men saw no beauty and found Him unattractive.
But by God's grace saved from the power of darkness
Our taste is changed with all our hearts' reactions
So that to Christ our new affections answer:
We are replete in scenes that once seemed barren.
We love the Olive Tree whence we gain fatness;
We love the sweetness hung in the Fig Tree's 
We love the Vine which moves our hearts to gladness.

Tuesday 20 April 2021


(Gen 41: 44)

No foot or hand to be lifted

Except at the behest

Of the Man the King appointed!

(John 11: 44)

Lazarus emerged

Bound feet and hands:

"Loose him and let him go!" .

(Psalm 22: 16)

He said, the Man

Fit to command,

"They pierced my hands and my feet".

Monday 12 April 2021


(Micah 7: 19)

Since the Saviour in mercy has borne them for me,

God has cast all my sins in the depths of the seas. 

Since the Saviour has suffered to set my soul free,

God has cast all my sins in the depths of the seas.

Sin the Saviour in grace was made sin on the tree, 

God has cast all my sins in the depths of the seas.

Since the Saviour's compassion has answered my plea, 

God has cast all my sins in the depths of the seas. 

This will go to Brahms's Lullaby

Thursday 8 April 2021


Chap 1: 15
'I will yet bring to you an heir.' God keeps
His promises, and all His loving ways
Bring out the glory of the hidden deeps
Of works in purpose to secure His praise.

But what a thought of grace that we should share
As Christ's co-heirs. What boundless grace essays
To promise He will bring to us an Heir.

Chap 1: 15

Israel's glory in due time will come
Unto Adullam, the secure retreat
Where David once awaited Saul's defeat:
The warp will be united to the thrum.

Rejoice that Israel's glory in due time
Will come unto Adullam in sublime
New cloth of God's millennial paradigm. 

Chap 2: 7
God says, “Do not my words do good to him
That walketh uprightly”. It is his food
For every day; whenever life is dim
It is his light; his guard when sins intrude.

It is his tutor in the heavenly ways:
For this, and more: “Do not my words do good
To him that walketh uprightly”, God says.

Chap 2: 10

Arise ye and depart; for this is not
The resting-place - the world's conclusions loom
Weaving a shoddy mantling of gloom - 
And do not look back like the wife of Lot.

Go forth to Him, and feel the Lord's embrace
Covering you; "Arise ye" and, through grace
Depart, for this is not your resting-place.

Chap 2: 12
The whole of thee, I surely will assemble,
O Jacob, when your spirit is afflicted,
And contrite through the disciple inflicted,
And when you learn to hear God's voice and tremble.

All Israel shall be saved: the whole of thee
I will assemble; I will set you free:
O Israel, I will gather you to Me.

Chap 2: 12,13
A multitude like sheep will pour
Out of the gateway more and more
Resounding with a joyful roar:
The Breaker-through has gone before.

Chap 2: 13
Since “One that breaketh through” has gone before
We may advance whatever may ensue;
One who was once confined has burst the door
Of death, securing pasture that is new.

Discern, because of the exultant noise
The host of men since “One that breaketh through”
Has gone before to lead to heavenly joys.

Chap 2: 13

"And their king passeth on before them": see
An army with Jehovah at its head,
Triumphant in the way that He has led
To pastures where His sanctuary shall be.

A multitude: "And their king passeth on
Before them": in His mercy He has gone
To be their Saviour and their paragon.

Chap 3: 1
"And I said ... Is it not for you to know
Judgment?". Because through grace you have been taught
God's ways of judgment, and by grace been brought
Into the place where He would have you grow.

Now, striving Christians, is it not for you
To know approvingly that which is true,
And glory in the grace that bears us through?

Chap 3: 8
He told them, “truly I am filled with power by
The Spirit of Jehovah”; what he claimed
Was proved by all the blessing he was showered by
In light concerning Christ which he proclaimed.

Blest Spirit, as I see the Man I'm thrilled with
And seek to gather where His Name is named
May I have power that truly I am filled with!

Chap 4: 2
“And he shall teach us of his ways”, the nations
Will say, and bind themselves to follow in
His paths. For Christ shall bring in new relations
On earth when His millennium shall begin.

All shall redound to God the Father's praise

As He by whom the world is cleansed from sin
Shall rule, “and he will teach us of his ways. 

Chap 4: 3

The Lord shall judge, "and they shall forge their swords
Into ploughshares" to till in restfulness
And reap where God's complacencies shall bless
Those whom He has redeemed from other lords.

And they shall forge their spears to pruning-knives,
Where every person's vine and fig-tree thrives,
Within the Israel that God revives.

Chap 4: 4

And every one shall sit “under his vine
And under his fig-tree” as made replete,
Enjoying both a joy that is divine
And blessings that are succulent and sweet.

What blessedness that this is what we see
By faith, as each believer takes his seat,
“Under his vine and under his fig-tree”.

Chap 4: 6

'I will assemble her that halteth and
Will gather her that's driven out'; His grace,
Not only drawing from a distant land,
Will settle her in her exalted place.

God shall reign over them, who brought about
Their healing; they shall bow before His face
When He will gather her that's driven out. 

Chap 4: 5,6
Though other nations follow other gods
We'll walk forever in Jehovah's name
Made know in Jesus Christ, who is the Same,
Not being pierced by others' breaking rods.

Behold the grace of Jesus, which exalts
The afflicted, which assembles one who halts
And spreads the oil of grace on all our faults.

Chap 5: 1

"They shall smite the Judge of Israel
With a rod upon the cheek",
Though His deeds were always righteous,
And His ways were always meek.

"They shall smite the Judge of Israel
With a rod upon the cheek",
Though they were the needy people
Whom His love had come to seek.

"They shall smite the Judge of Israel
With a rod upon the cheek",
Though His blessing was unbounded
And His patience was unique.

"They shall smite the Judge of Israel
With a rod upon the cheek",
Since they formed, against Messiah,
A nefarious, lawless clique.

"They shall smite the Judge of Israel
With a rod upon the cheek",
In contemptuous rejection
Of the words He had to speak.

"They shall smite the Judge of Israel
With a rod upon the cheek",
Since there was no sin within Him
And no lust for sin to pique.

"They shall smite the Judge of Israel
With a rod upon the cheek",
Who will come in power and glory
To avenge the poor and weak.

Chap 5:1
Since "they shall smite the judge of Israel ...
Upon the cheek", since they will use a rod
Against God's Man, how shall they stand with God
Who loves the Man who has done all things well?

Repentantly, they will begin to crave
Their Lord, and He who graced the cross and grave
Will show them He has power and grace to save.

Chap 5: 2
He shall come forth to God “who is to be

Ruler in Israel” having achieved
All that the heart of God desired to see
And to display in those who have believed.

All nations, knowing He does all things well,
Will add to praises which He has received
“Who is to be Ruler in Israel”. 

Chap 5: 4

He gave His life for them “And he shall stand
To feed his flock”, clothed in Jehovah's strength;
The love that shepherds to their heavenly land
Is love that sought for them to such a length.

The One who is their fortress and their Rock
Has shown that He will always understand
Their needs “and he shall stand and feed his flock”.

Chap 5: 4
For the Lord shall stand
And He shall provide
In Jehovah's strength,
In God's majesty
And His dignity.
And they shall abide
For He is, at length,
Lord throughout the land.

Chap 5: 5
Rejoice - “for this man shall be peace” within
The hearts of those who call upon His Name;
For them He bore God's wrath for every sin,
While He endured the agony and shame.

Soon they will answer to the heavenly voice,
Then reign with Him when He asserts His claim
To earth “for this man shall be peace”; rejoice.

Chap 5: 5
If you are thirled to sin
And longing for release
Open your heart to let Christ in,
"And this man shall be Peace".

Temptations may assail,
Or doubts within increase:
Trust in the One who will not fail:
"And this man shall be Peace".

Soon He shall have His Bride
Without one taint or crease,
To reign in glory by His side
"And this man shall be Peace".

Chap 5: 5

And this Man shall be peace

For this is God’s delight;
He sees Man perfectly
In Christ who shall hold sway;
When all things shall be right
And this Man shall be peace.

Chap 5: 7,8
"Dew from Jehovah ... showers upon the grass":
God's people in the midst of many realms;
Those who no other nation overwhelms,
Whose freshness to God's sight will never pass.

Jehovah's blessing, soft and fresh as dew,
Which does not wait for men, shall rest on you,
And you will pullulate in heaven's view.

Chap 6: 4
"I sent before thee Moses, Aaron and
Miriam" for you were those God had redeemed,
To lead you to the land of which you dreamed,
But learn God's patience through the desert's sand.

Moses expounded for you all God's ways;
Aaron sustained you in your desert days,
And Miriam led the women in God's praise.

Chap 6: 5

That ye may know the righteousness of God
Remember Balaam's willingness to curse;
But more Jehovah's willingness to nurse
From Balaam and his works of pious fraud.

Thus in His loving-kindness God prevents
The foul effects of Moab's king's intents:
O Israel, how goodly are thy tents!

Chap 6: 8

O man, the Lord has shewn you what is good
And what the Lord requires of you. He sought
Those who were just, loved mercy, and pursued
The humble pathway with Him, as He taught.

Think of the blessedness that will ensue
With Him! O man, the Lord has shewn you what
Is good and what the Lord requires of you.

Chap 6: 9-16
Within the city, hear the voice of God
For it is wise to look unto the Name;
Acknowledging the rightness of His claim
Under His chastening, "Hear ye the rod".

Beware, because His judgment desolates
Those who have dealings in deceitful weights:
And the scant measure He abominates.

Chap 7: 7

Some light the night sky like a supernova
A moment, then implode with a dull crash
Mid showers of acrid dust and well-burnt ash:
But as for me, I'll look unto Jehovah.

I'll look unto the One who draws me near;
I'll look towards the love that casts out fear;
I'll look with confidence: my God will hear. 

Chap 7: 8
My enemy, do not gloat over me:
Although I fall I shall arise. My eyes
Shall see the light because the Lord shall be
A light to me. You will not seize His prize.

Since He has taken my iniquity,
Through grace, although I fall, I shall arise;
Do not gloat over me, my enemy.

Chap 7: 9

“I shall behold his righteousness” in One
Who walked a righteous path; and who has proved
God's righteousness upon the cross: God's Son,
By whom the power of sin will be removed.

And in the multitude who God will bless,
As both His purpose and His grace behoved,
Through Christ “I shall behold his righteousness”.

Chap 7: 9

Done with my filthy rags
And my figleafs, clad
In His best: I shall behold
His righteousness.

Grace swaddled me; grace

Had removed my stain: through grace
I shall behold His

Doubts attack; the mind

Discredits; faith struggles.
And the word assures - I
Shall behold His righteousness.

What a day when the world,

Blind now, will wonder at
The sight: all veils removed I shall
Behold His righteousness.

But eternally, because

God saw righteousness accomplished
In the cross of Christ
I shall behold His righteousness.

 Chap 7: 9
Though my soul is dwelling in night

And my sins and sorrows depress
"He will bring me forth to the light"
For the Lord rejoices to bless.

When my heart is full of dismay

With the evil flesh will incite
The Deliverer's grace makes my way:
"He will bring me forth to the light".

"He will bring me forth to the light"

When the world around me is dim;
For Christ's love is constantly bright
And He sets my view upon Him.

If to sleep through Him is His will

May I face that brink without fright
For I know His keeping until
"He will bring me forth to the light".

Chap 7: 11
In that day, when the city's walls are built,
The established limits shall recede: within,
Safety and prospering; new hopes begin
Because Jehovah took away our guilt.

And outside - see our boundaries expand
So that we taste the fulness of the land  -
According to the way God's love has planned. 

Chap 7: 18

“Who is a God like unto thee?”; our souls
Bow to the God who blesses and forgives;
Each one who knows His graciousness extols
The only One through whom their spirit lives.

God's will desired that all His saints should be
Within His presence in the grace He gives
To say, “Who is a God like unto thee?”

Chap 7: 18-20
O God, "Who is a God like unto thee ..."
Forgiving sins and passing by transgression?
Humbly I brought repentance and confession:
Thy loving-kindness has encompassed me.

Thou will perform truth unto Jacob, hold
Thy mercy over Abraham, and unfold
Thy grace, as promised in the days of old.