God is the master communicator !.
He uses all different types of methods to communicate. When He speaks, He uses stories, types & shadows, letters, visions, pictures, sermons…and…poetry !. Why ?. Because poetry has a way of getting into places in our mind, will & emotions that other methods cannot reach.
For example, would you rather hear God say “I love you” only ?. Or would you like to read;
“Behold !…you are fair my love !. Behold you are lovely !.” (Song of Solomon 1:15)
As you can see, poetry adds to the vividness of what God is trying to communicate. It adds another dimension to the norm.
He uses different type of poetry too. He uses “love” poetry. He even uses acrostic poetry: read Psalm 119 and notice the heading of each stanza…it’s the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. (Jesus said “I am the Alpha & Omega”…the 1st & last letter of the alphabet & everything in between. This is seen in poetic form in Psalm 119; the Psalm about the Word !).
I am glad God is not boring; especially when it comes to communication !.
Here are some biblical poems. We don’t have the rhythm of the Hebrew, but nevertheless, we get the message !.
The greatest of them all ?
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. (Psalm 23:1-6 NKJV)
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV)
Here’s Isaiah 7:2…
“…so his heart, and the heart of the people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind.”
Song of Solomon 2:10-13…a cracker !…
My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away. For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!
What are your favorites ?
Oh…another one, a descriptor of Jesus in contrast to His words in John 10:17-18, where He said He willingly laid down His life; that no one takes it from Him…look at the Old Testament sacrifice;
Psalm 118:27 “God is the Lord
and He has given us light
bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar”
The Old Covenant sacrifice was an unwilling sacrifice. The New Covenant sacrifice was very willing. David was giving us this revelation in a poetic and descriptive way. Can you see the sacrifice kicking and screaming, and bucking to stop the priest tying it down to the altar ?.
Old Covenant :
Aaronic priesthood (ceased)
Once and for all
…all from one line of a poem !.
PS. We receive truth by information and emotion. We persuade (or assure) our hearts by information and emotion. That’s why God uses poetry !.