Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Friendly Wager -- by Richard C. Speaks

God greeted Satan one day
He said, "Where have you been?"
"Why, I've been haunting the earth
"Researching sin"

And then God touted Job
The most pious, upstanding man
Who was humble, yet strong
The richest of the Eastern lands

"My servant shuns all evil"
Satan was unimpressed
"Skin for skin! You pamper him!
"I say we put him to the test!"

God took Satan's bet
And sent down fiery death
Caved in the home of Job's kin
with his furious breath

Job's children were crushed
Then his servants were slain
To bring Job this tale
only one slave remained

"Master! A brutal gust
"has blown down from the east!
"It killed all your children
"while at their feast!

"Your servants were slain
"Defending your keep!
"Then God's fire came down
"Consuming your sheep!"

Job tore his robe with a wail
when he heard the news
He shaved and wallowed in ash
with nothing left to lose

All Job had was his faith
Though he doubted its worth
He turned his anger within
and cursed the day of his birth

God said, "I've severed Job's line
"And I've wiped out his wealth"
Satan said, "Test him further, Lord!
"Ruin Job's health!

"On that day he will hate You!
"From Your grace he shall fall!"
God said, "I'll see your bet, Satan!
"Winner take all!"

Oozing cankers and boils
covered Job's sagging skin
Followed by the reproach
of his three dearest friends

They said, "Surely you've sinned
"to suffer God's righteous wrath"
Job cried, "This just isn't fair!
"I never strayed from the path!

"Naked I came
"And naked I'll go
"God's mysterious whims
"are not for me to know

"I serve the one true god
"And do my best not to sin
"Please, Lord! Hear my prayers!
"And shine upon me again!"

God was moved by Job's love
Satan conceded his loss
God said, "To hell with the Devil!
"The Lord Almighty's the Boss!"


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