Poetry Friday — Psalm 9 &10

Its Friday … which means psalms poetry!

So many of David’s psalms grapple with the enemy. For David, the enemy was usually very specific – Saul, Absalom, the Philistines and other tribal enemies. For me, a big part of engaging with the psalms is to name and fully describe whatever enemy I might be facing in that moment. And of course, my enemy must be re-described in New Covenant terms; my enemy is not another person, not a government or a worldly power, but the father of sin, Job’s Prosecutor, who mocks my weak faith and tempts me to see with physical eyes what can only be apprehended through spiritual ones.

In the Septuagint, Psalm 9 and 10 are one psalm composed as a Hebrew acrostic, so I have taken them together here in my own acrostic/chiastic poem.

The A, B, Cs of ‘My Enemy’
(Psalms 9 & 10)

Around me, my enemy has encamped
blocking all ways of escape and
pressing closer each moment

Brandishing weapons forged not from steel
but from my weakness, he assails me with words
that make me doubt You.

Crushed beneath his words piled high
like stones I am deaf to Your voice.
Why, Oh Lord, do You stand far off?

Delighting in my failure and Your silence
my enemy boasts of victory while
the world watches, unfazed.

(Enemy is everything I see that
contradicts anything You reveal.)

Deliver me, Oh Lord from my enemy
from everything that would tell me
who You are – but You.

Crush my enemy beneath the heel of
Your Word made flesh,
Jesus, whisperer to the deaf, so that

Before the congregation I can sing praise
from a whole heart with words
to tell of all Your wonders.

Around me, Oh Lord, You are a shield
turning away the arrows of my enemy and
pressing closer each moment.

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