Biblical Poetry: Entry 1

For a few weeks now, I have been carrying the American Life In Poetry column, courtesy of the Library of Congress and the Poetry Foundation. In addition to this feature, I would also like to occassionally bring you snippets of poetry from the most important book in my life, The Bible.

At the outset, I would like to say a couple of things, the most important being that this is more than just poetry, it is the Word of God. Yes, please enjoy the writing, but also, listen to what He is saying. Secondly, this will not be a regular feature; rather I will bring these to you as I come across them in my own reading, or, as is the case with this entry, as a result of our pastor bringing a passage to my attention.

This first entry is very timely. During the Christmas season, we often criticize the crass commercialism that seems to run rampant around this and other holidays. But Haggai, the Old Testament prophet, points out that very often, love of material things is part of who we are, sometimes one of our deepest desires. He uses simple contrasting couplets to highlight the futility of this mentality.

Consider Your Ways

You have sown much,
and bring in little;

You eat,
but do not have enough;

You drink,
but you are not filled with drink;

You clothe yourselves,
but no one is warm;

And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.

Consider your ways.

~from Haggai 1:5-7 (NKJV)

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