Evelyn Underhill, Spiritual Writer, 1941
Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered;
let those that hate him flee before him.
As the smoke vanishes, so may they vanish away;
as wax melts at the fire,
so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God;
let them make merry with gladness.
Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
exalt him who rides on the clouds.
The Lord is his name; rejoice before him.
Father of the fatherless, defender of widows,
God in his holy habitation!
God gives the solitary a home
and brings forth prisoners to songs of welcome,
but the rebellious inhabit a burning desert.
O God, when you went forth before your people,
when you marched through the wilderness,
The earth shook and the heavens dropped down rain,
at the presence of God, the Lord of Sinai,
at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
You sent down a gracious rain, O God;
you refreshed your inheritance when it was weary.
Your people came to dwell there;
in your goodness, O God, you provide for the poor.
The Lord gave the word;
great was the company of women who bore the tidings:
‘Kings and their armies they flee, they flee!’
and women at home are dividing the spoil.
Though you stayed among the sheepfolds,
see now a dove’s wings covered with silver
and its feathers with green gold.
When the Almighty scattered the kings,
it was like snowflakes falling on Zalmon.
You mighty mountain, great mountain of Bashan!
You towering mountain, great mountain of Bashan!
Why look with envy, you towering mountains,
at the mount which God has desired for his dwelling,
the place where the Lord will dwell for ever?
The chariots of God are twice ten thousand,
even thousands upon thousands;
the Lord is among them, the Lord of Sinai in holy power.
You have gone up on high and led captivity captive;
you have received tribute,
even from those who rebelled,
that you may reign as Lord and God.
Blessed be the Lord who bears our burdens day by day,
for God is our salvation.
God is for us the God of our salvation;
God is the Lord who can deliver from death.
God will smite the head of his enemies,
the hairy scalp of those who walk in wickedness.
The Lord has said, ‘From the heights of Bashan,
from the depths of the sea will I bring them back,
‘Till you dip your foot in blood and the tongue of your dogs has a taste of your enemies.’
We see your solemn processions, O God,
your processions into the sanctuary, my God and my King.
The singers go before, the musicians follow after,
in the midst of maidens playing on timbrels.
In your companies, bless your God;
bless the Lord, you that are of the fount of Israel.
At the head there is Benjamin, least of the tribes,
the princes of Judah in joyful company,
the princes of Zebulun and Naphtali.
Send forth your strength, O God;
establish, O God, what you have wrought in us.
For your temple’s sake in Jerusalem
kings shall bring their gifts to you.
Drive back with your word the wild beast of the reeds,
the herd of the bull-like, the brutish hordes.
Trample down those who lust after silver;
scatter the peoples that delight in war.
Vessels of bronze shall be brought from Egypt;
Ethiopia will stretch out her hands to God.
Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth;
make music in praise of the Lord;
He rides on the ancient heaven of heavens
and sends forth his voice, a mighty voice.
Ascribe power to God, whose splendour is over Israel,
whose power is above the clouds.
How terrible is God in his holy sanctuary
the God of Israel, who gives power and strength to his people!
Blessed be God.
Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
‘Dominion and fear are with God;
he makes peace in his high heaven.
Is there any number to his armies?
Upon whom does his light not arise?
How then can a mortal be righteous before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
If even the moon is not bright
and the stars are not pure in his sight,
how much less a mortal, who is a maggot,
and a human being, who is a worm!’
Then Job answered:
‘How you have helped one who has no power!
How you have assisted the arm that has no strength!
How you have counselled one who has no wisdom,
and given much good advice!
With whose help have you uttered words,
and whose spirit has come forth from you?
The shades below tremble,
the waters and their inhabitants.
Sheol is naked before God,
and Abaddon has no covering.
He stretches out Zaphon over the void,
and hangs the earth upon nothing.
He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
and the cloud is not torn open by them.
He covers the face of the full moon,
and spreads over it his cloud.
He has described a circle on the face of the waters,
at the boundary between light and darkness.
The pillars of heaven tremble,
and are astounded at his rebuke.
By his power he stilled the Sea;
by his understanding he struck down Rahab.
By his wind the heavens were made fair;
his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
These are indeed but the outskirts of his ways;
and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
But the thunder of his power who can understand?’
Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I glorify my ministry in order to make my own people jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead! If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; and if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy.
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the rich root of the olive tree, do not vaunt yourselves over the branches. If you do vaunt yourselves, remember that it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you. You will say, ‘Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.’ That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity towards those who have fallen, but God’s kindness towards you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And even those of Israel, if they do not persist in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree.
Lord, you have taught us
that all our doings without love are nothing worth:
send your Holy Spirit
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.
Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ's sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.