Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Son of Korah

About 3,000 years ago lived a man called Heman, who was obscure in his day and concealed in ours. He was a son of a notorious rebel, Korah. His ancestor had been killed for his sin and his surviving children were forever scarred by this connection. So lived Heman.

At one point in his life his beloved walked away from him, his friends left him and he was alone. Desperately alone. During this time, he wrote a short poem which has endured and been given the imprimatur of God himself.

I spend the night on my knees before you.

 I’m camped on the edge of hell.
Abandoned as already dead,
    one more body in a stack of corpses,
 a gravestone—
    I am a black hole in oblivion.

You’ve dropped me into a bottomless pit,
    sunk me in a pitch-black abyss.
I’m battered senseless by your rage,
    relentlessly pounded by your waves of anger.

I’m caught in a maze and can’t find my way out,
    blinded by tears of pain and frustration.

I call to you, God; all day I call.

   Are the dead a live audience for your miracles?
    Do ghosts ever join the choirs that praise you?

Does your love make any difference in a graveyard?
    Is your faithful presence noticed in the corridors of hell?
Are your marvelous wonders ever seen in the dark,
    your righteous ways noticed in the Land of No Memory?

I’m standing my ground, God, shouting for help,

    Why do you make yourself scarce?

    I’ve taken the worst you can hand out, and am at the precipice.
Your wildfire anger has blazed through my life;
    I’m bleeding, black-and-blue.
You’ve attacked me fiercely from every side,
    raining down blows till I’m nearly dead.

    the only friend I have left is Darkness.

Later in time, a chronicler listing various musicians who served King David noted this about the obscure Heman.

"Of the sons of Heman were fourteen--all of these were under the supervision of their father; they were musicians in the Lord’s temple, playing cymbals and stringed instruments as they served in God’s temple, according to the promise of God to exalt [Heman]."

His  poem is known today as simply Psalm 88. Just three psalms later another work is written with an unknown author.
 I like to think its words pertain to that of Heman.

"Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Based on Psalm 88, 91 and I Chronicles 25:4-6

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