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Poetry: I AM

Ian Campbell

Beneath the tow'ring peaks of Horeb's heights,
Behold a lowly thorn bush wrapped in flame,
Burning but not consumed, tremendous sight,
Ignited by the glory of the Name.

Long before earth's revolving stage made haste,
Amidst the speckled splendours splashed in space,
Fathomless meaning in that Name encased,
Revealed to the prudent shepherd by grace.

Eternity - that sphere beyond man's mind,
Where the rhythmic pendulum never sways:
His Name narrated to mortal mankind,
I AM - Jehovah - the Ancient of Days.

That Name did stoop beneath the badger skins,
To reside within the sweeping hour hand,
And the relentless tide of Adam's sins;
Brief years upon the patriarchal land.

The myst'ries of that Name, few could savour;
"Before Abraham was I AM", He said:
Stirring the Deceiver's sons to fervour,
That would have stoned the Everlasting dead.

By twisted olive boughs in lantern light,
The pack of baying dogs discerns the Name,
And falls to venerate the Infinite,
The glory of His Person to acclaim.

Above the railing of Jacob's nation,
Upon the tree, the Carpenter nailed firm:
The Name engulfed by humiliation,
In lowly grace could say, "I AM - a worm"!

[JND translates the bush as being "a thorn bush" Exodus 3.2. Several other translations also pick up on this fact, e.g. The Literal Translation of the Holy Bible. This interesting detail is supported by Strong's Concordance "from an unused root meaning to prick; a bramble".]

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