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No Other God
By James Vasquez
Now Moses spoke these frightening words,
To Israel as they waited there,
About to enter Promised Land,
And thus become its heir.
A land their fathers saw afar,
A land where milk and honey flowed,
Each man beneath his fig tree found,
With health and peace bestowed.
And forty years had passed since they,
The arduous journey had begun,
'Cross desert waste and dusty plain,
Through winter and the sun,
And east of Jordan now were poised,
That long-awaited hope might be,
Fulfilled as they the land possessed,
From Pisgah to the sea.
But Moses yet had this to say,
Lest ent'ring they, of conscience free,
Put out of mind what God had done,
And from his laws then flee:
"Ask now about the former days,
Since God created man on earth,
Whate'er in heaven has occurred,
Whate'er before your birth,
Has God his mighty arm revealed,
To other peoples anywhere?
Have they his voice from fire heard,
And lived his word to share?
Or has by trial, sign or war,
A god of any peoples fought,
With outstretched arm and mighty hand,
And then from bondage brought,
His people as this day you've seen,
The Lord by great and awesome deeds,
Perform for you in Egypt and,
Whose work all hope exceeds?
That you would know the Lord is God,
And he alone supreme does reign,
There is no god that man has posed,
Nor at its altar lain,
Who may compare in wisdom, might,
Or loving care that ceases not,
Who spoke from heav'n that you might hear,
And heed him as you ought.
To chasten he once spoke through fire,
And distant kin then heard him well,
Though chosen and from bondage loosed,
They yet in deserts fell,
Their offspring you have now become,
His Presence guiding through each day,
That nations greater, stronger should,
As gods with feet of clay,
Lay fully crushed before his might,
Their land your promised legacy,
That you should e'er his blessing know,
For aye his people be.
Acknowledge, then, the Lord is God,
Who all your blessing does bestow,
No other god beside him stands,
In heav'n or earth below.
And if for long within the land,
Your pleasure is to dwell secure,
Then these decrees I give this day,
Must in your hearts endure,
And thus your children, too, will live,
And ever prosper in the land,
Protected in all ways, all times,
By his almighty hand."
from the March Passover 2007 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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