Twas 750 BC, and All Through The House…

Twas 750…

Years before Christmas and all throughout Judah
There were idols a-plenty (of Baal, not Buddha)

The Assyrian Empire was everywhere feared
Led by Tiglath-Pilesar, whose name was quite weird

King Ahaz had buckled like the belt on my khakis
And the great nation Judah became boot-licking lackeys

They abandoned the covenant and the God who had made them
Looked to Egypt for help, which had been…um…forbaden

Their enemies were mean, they were kickers and spitters
So the people lost hope, like a bunch of lame quitters

The Devil was happy; he was pleased! he was winning!
With the king a big wimp and the people all sinning

And so without hope, they gave in to these Gentiles
As Isaiah had prophesied, a couple of exiles

The South off to Babylon, the North to Assyria
(‘fore that massive Diaspora from Spain to Siberia)

Could there ever be hope again for this covenant people?
It seems the Old Testament is in need of a sequel.

For 400 years, not a peep from a prophet
God withheld the big bomb, not quite ready to drop it

Then about A.D. 1 God said, “Now, let’s get to it—
To reverse the great curse that came down when they blew it”

The arrangements all made and the stage all prepared,
The Virgin conceived and the census declared

And up in the heavens, God let loose with his Spirit
(He doesn’t say “Ho ho ho”—when He laughs, you can feel it)

“On Raphael, on Michael, on Uriel, on Gabriel”
Operation Immanuel will kick off in a stable.

Salvation is coming; Satan’s curse is deleted,
The people redeemed and the devil defeated

Old Satan was cooked—with potatoes and gravy
How horribly embarrassing—to be trounced by a baby

So into the darkness was born a great light
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Zach Bartels

I’m pastor at Judson Baptist Church in Lansing, MI and the author of Playing Saint, The Last Con, and a few other books. I’m husband to Erin, father to Calvin, and lover of gourmet coffee and fine cigars. He's the author of Playing Saint and The Last Con