Eli & His Seed

A tale of Eli a high priest of Israel
Who ministered in the sanctuary with gravity
But failed to teach his family the merit of sincerity
His snickering and scurrilous sons lacked all solemnity

In the Aaronic priesthood, Levites planted no food
They were to live off the sacrifices of their brethren
But the offerings must be holy and consecrated wholly
To God first by fire, before the priest takes his desire
A portion for living not for lucre or gluttony’s leaven

But the two sons of Eli; Hophni and Phinehas
For greed and not need, fed fat with sacrifices
They took a tax of raw meat from worshippers
Leaving the residue for the Lord, second-best was his due
Israel became a nation of fractional sacrifices
A half-lamb or quarter goat as the priest pleases
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Hannah: Sows In Shiloh, Reaps In Ramah

The woman from Ramah was praying in silent anguish
Tears flowed down rapidly at first then slowed
Around her lips, grounded by a wordy stream
From her heart that poured out from the body part
Called the mouth in noiseless, rippling prayer

Eli the priest was seated in the Shiloh Tabernacle
Diligent at his duty post as the keeper of Divine Oracles
He saw the woman mouthing inaudible nothings
What! Another phoney first from the Hophni generation?
A drunken reveler babbling in the place of consecration?

He approached Hannah with a sarcastic admonition
Hannah did not erupt at the false accusation
She demurred and explained her childless situation
For her humility Eli blessed her with supernatural possibility
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Boaz: The Willing Kinsman

Boaz was a wealthy kinsman of Elimelech
A native of Bethlehem, son of Salmon and Rahab
This son of a saved stranger was soon be the leading light
In the fight to right the wrongs of Naomi’s perilous plight

Naomi and Ruth had arrived Bethlehem bereft and bankrupt
Naomi had lost her estate, she and Ruth deserved a peasant’s fate
Would they forever lean for support on the right to glean?

Naomi wanted far better for her Gentile daughter
She must have rest, a living space in this land of the blessed
She directed her to the feet of Boaz to meet and greet
And perhaps find favour to provide a lasting succour
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Ruth: Faith & Service

Ruth refused to turn after Orpah had departed
She had ample reason to-for a precedent had been set
But she was dogged, resolute and as gritty as a nut
Case, for who would abandon her country to face
Living with strangers and an even stranger God
From a free-born citizen to a refugee, a thorn
In a garden of Israelites or an object of scorn

Ruth is a type of the true believer who would sever
Ties with unbelief’s country and migrate to a new faith
Among a strange people, moving by faith, not minding fate
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Naomi: Forerunner Of Ruth

There was once a woman of Bethlehem-Judah
Her name was Naomi and her life is a wonderful story
A life dissected with pain, but ends with a hallelujah

Naomi was married to Elimelech and blessed with two sons
The family grew and prospered until the weather faltered
Famine struck the fair land of Bethlehem-judah
The place of God’s bread became a place of scarce dread

Those were trying times, and drying ones too
For the rains ceased and the earth withheld her yield
Soon the barns were empty, farewell to the era of plenty
Pockets then ran dry, no more harvest sales and supply
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Samson: Agony and Triumph

Samson’s proclivity for the fairer sex was a fatal flaw
Yet it was the source of his greatest victories
Pleasant paradox of perfect strength in perceived weakness
Showing God can achieve glory from even the debris of character

This strong man then had a jaunty plan to see
A harlot in Gaza, as a Jew he should not have gone that far
Location and intent were wrong, but desire’s pull was strong
While Samson was holed up in the city that night
His enemies lay in wait planning to strike-kill him at first light
Samson sprang a surprise, emerging at midnight not sunrise
The city gates were shut, but the power of God was not

Samson lifted the gates on his shoulders and walked
Away to the hill of Hebron while his enemies vainly stalked
That was Samson at the height of his elemental powers
The hilltop conqueror, the triumphant terror of Philistine warriors
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Samson: Early Promise

The Philistines were terrorizing Israel again
She had forgotten her Lord and He turned His back
To her merciless mistreatment by men with evil intent
Soon mercy returned and the victims went on the attack

The Angel of the Lord appeared to a barren woman
And assured her that she would bear a child of promise
To be the incubator for this strong deliverer
She must avoid vine’s fruit, fine wine and strong drink
And not be so foolish or mean as to eat unclean food

Strict clauses aid worthy causes for the blessed child
Would be consecrated to God’s purpose from the womb
A Nazarene from birth should not be corrupted by earth’s vices
His was to be a life of godly service from cradle to tomb
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