What sort of job is this?...
Keeper of dank, dark, foetid den,
Caretaker of forsaken men
Incarcerated, waiting death
With curse and cry on every breath,
Wielder of whip, inflicting pain,
Master of unrelenting chain,
Custodian of heavy key
That blocks the path to liberty...
What sort of job is this?
What sort of man am I?...
Who earns a wage through hopelessness,
Dismay, despair and deep distress.
‘The keeper of the key’ – that’s me,
A figure of authority,
Yet also bound by chains, my sin
At war, in conflict, deep within.
The bonds tighten relentlessly,
Is there a freeing key for me?...
What sort of man am I?
What sort of men are these?...
The stocks, the chains which bind their limb
Seem imperceptibly quite dim.
As midnight churns through darkening hour
They sing and praise God for His power,
Their faces shine with radiant light
Dazzling as if at noon-day bright.
Imprisoned by the cell-door key?
No! Inexplicably they’re free...
What sort of men are these?
What falling judgement this?...
Wild forces tremble, shiver, shake,
Fierce seismic power, a great earthquake
Raves madly with each violent crash
As edifices fall and smash.
Doors burst a-wide without a key
Unravelled chains shout ‘prisoners free’
My livelihood is gone, I fall
And take a sword to end it all...
What falling judgement this?
What startling mercy this?...
Each prisoner in place remains,
Paul speaks – my fatal deed restrains.
God’s earthquake shakes my heart in waves
I cry ‘Sirs, how can I be saved?’
The answer true, the only one -
Believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son!
Great mercy! As God turns the key
To set my soul at liberty...
What startling mercy this?
What superb Love is this?...
God sent His Son to die for me
To take my place at Calvary.
He took my sins, my guilt, my strife,
He poured in His abundant Life.
I’m filled with joy, to Him I bring
Each new day as an offering
To spread His Word to all I see,
So those who’re bound may find the key...
What superb Love is this?
The Philippian Jailer
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