Samuel and Henrietta Barnett, Social Reformers, 1913 and 1936
In you, O Lord, do I seek refuge; let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;
incline your ear to me and save me.
Be for me a stronghold to which I may ever resort;
send out to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the evildoer and the oppressor.
For you are my hope, O Lord God, my confidence, even from my youth.
Upon you have I leaned from my birth, when you drew me from my mother’s womb;
my praise shall be always of you.
I have become a portent to many, but you are my refuge and my strength.
Let my mouth be full of your praise and your glory all the day long.
Do not cast me away in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength fails.
For my enemies are talking against me,
and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together.
They say, ‘God has forsaken him; pursue him and take him,
because there is none to deliver him.’
O God, be not far from me; come quickly to help me, O my God.
Let those who are against me be put to shame and disgrace;
let those who seek to do me evil be covered with scorn and reproach.
But as for me I will hope continually and will praise you more and more.
My mouth shall tell of your righteousness and salvation all the day long,
for I know no end of the telling.
I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord God;
I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, you have taught me since I was young,
and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
Forsake me not, O God, when I am old and grey-headed,
till I make known your deeds to the next generation
and your power to all that are to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens;
in the great things you have done, who is like you, O God?
What troubles and adversities you have shown me,
and yet you will turn and refresh me
and bring me from the deep of the earth again.
Increase my honour; turn again and comfort me.
Therefore will I praise you upon the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will sing out as I play to you,
and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
My tongue also will tell of your righteousness all the day long,
for they shall be shamed and disgraced
who sought to do me evil.
Job again took up his discourse and said:
‘As God lives, who has taken away my right,
and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,
as long as my breath is in me
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak falsehood,
and my tongue will not utter deceit.
Far be it from me to say that you are right;
until I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
I hold fast my righteousness, and will not let it go;
my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
‘May my enemy be like the wicked,
and may my opponent be like the unrighteous.
For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts them off,
when God takes away their lives?
Will God hear their cry
when trouble comes upon them?
Will they take delight in the Almighty?
Will they call upon God at all times?
I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
that which is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
All of you have seen it yourselves;
why then have you become altogether vain?
‘This is the portion of the wicked with God,
and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty:
If their children are multiplied, it is for the sword;
and their offspring have not enough to eat.
Those who survive them the pestilence buries,
and their widows make no lamentation.
Though they heap up silver like dust,
and pile up clothing like clay—
they may pile it up, but the just will wear it,
and the innocent will divide the silver.
They build their houses like nests,
like booths made by sentinels of the vineyard.
They go to bed with wealth, but will do so no more;
they open their eyes, and it is gone.
Terrors overtake them like a flood;
in the night a whirlwind carries them off.
The east wind lifts them up and they are gone;
it sweeps them out of their place.
It hurls at them without pity;
they flee from its power in headlong flight.
It claps its hands at them,
and hisses at them from its place.
So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written,
‘Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.’
‘And this is my covenant with them,
when I take away their sins.’
As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways!
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counsellor?’
‘Or who has given a gift to him,
to receive a gift in return?’
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever. Amen.
you have broken the tyranny of sin
and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts
whereby we call you Father:
give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service,
that we and all creation may be brought
to the glorious liberty of the children of God;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.