Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

6.01.2012

The Inheritance

Stone upon stone upon stoneHe was but a ringlet-headed lad, looking up into his father’s eyes which were adoring the landscape before him.  The lad wriggled his hand comfortably into his father’s. 

“Father, are we staying here for awhile?” 

The father, a rugged man, smiled radiantly down at his son through his beard.  “Seth, we are indeed.  In fact, your children will grow up here, and your children’s children, and you yourself will live here until you are a very old man, my boy!”
 
Young Seth was wide-eyed at his father’s boisterous elation, and as he picked his way down the mountainside with his father and all his kin, he found words to voice the thought that needled him: “But father, did we buy this land?”
 
The man was reaching down to loosen his sandal, and his eyes crinkled in a gentle smile aimed at Seth. 

“No, we did not.  God has given it to us.  And the Lord drove out from before us all the wicked people who lived here.[1]  We just need to defeat the last of them that yet remain.  Here, Seth,” and the father pulled out from his leather bag a smooth speckled stone.  He placed the cold weight in Seth’s hands.  “This stone is from the river and whenever you look at it I want you to remember the twelve stones that are still stacked there.  I want you to remember and never forget the power of our God to hold back the waters with His hand like he did when we crossed that river on dry land.”

Seth took the stone, and he vowed that he would never forget. 

It was a beautiful day, yet even as the mighty group wound their way down the mountainside, the sunny skies of the verdant valley were being overtaken by a dark cloud.  Hardly had Seth set foot in his new home before the attacks began.  The natives were a fierce and stubborn people, and they were determined that they would not give up their land.  The people of God were bowed in defeat in the very land God had bequeathed them. 

On the day when Seth trudged back up the mountain with his father, he was six inches taller and his father several shades grayer, and there were no smiles on their exhausted faces. 

“Father,” Seth began when they paused in the same plateau from which they had first surveyed their new home.  “I thought you said that God promised!  I thought you said my children, and my children’s children…”  He gripped the stone in the recesses of his pocket, tears gathering behind his eyes. 

“I know,” the father replied wearily.  “I thought so too, son.  But, after all, we still have all of these mountains.  It was just that little valley that we aren’t powerful enough to keep.” 

Seth nodded, even though he understood nothing, and he turned his back on the valley. 
***
The air was electric with excitement!  The spies had returned!  Nethanel raced from the stream, water buckets forgotten, his legs pumping as fast as they could go.  Soon enough, he saw the crowd of his tribe—cousins and distant aunts, and people so far removed he’d forgotten how they were related, and then he spotted his father.  He sidled over to him, and listened to the leader of the five brave men. 

“Men of Dan!” the muscular man began.  “You know that we have not had an inheritance these hundreds of years and have been forced to lie in the mountains like badgers.  I rejoice to tell you that we must arise!  Let us go up against [Laish].  Would you do nothing?[2]

Nethanel listened with bated breath as the men reported the results of their expedition.  It was a strange, wild tale to Nethanel, about a priest who performed duties for idols and yet inquired of God for the spies from the tribe of Dan.  This strange priest had immediately blessed the spies, telling them the presence of the Lord would be with them.  And so the spies had returned, full of urging for them to send off an army of men to take this new territory they so coveted. 

The crowd began to disperse, and Nethanel’s father started striding towards their dwelling.

“Father!”  Nethanel called.  “What are you doing?”
Nethanel’s father glanced down at his son.  “We’re going to go with them, son, to take our new inheritance.” 

“But I thought this was our inheritance!  Must we leave?”

“Nethanel.”  The boy’s father sighed, and bent down on one knee to level with his son.  “It is, but God did not mean for us to stay in these mountains.  We have too many people, and the land is poor.  In the land to which our spies went, we can become strong and mighty once again!  Besides, you heard what the priest said about our mission—God is with us!” 

“Yes, sir,” Nethanel replied, even though his mind was spinning. 

“Just a moment, Nethanel,” and Nethanel’s father stood up and reached into his robe.  Nethanel’s brow furrowed as he watched his father pull out an object. 
“This stone was given to me by your grandfather, and his father gave it to him before that.  It goes back over two hundred years to our ancestors who first settled here.  It is from the Jordan River, and whenever you look at it, I want you to remember your ancestors and remember to be courageous.” 

Nethanel held out his hands, and the stone dropped into them.


Look for Part Two next week!



[1] Joshua 24:18
[2] Judges 18:9
Photo Credit: Andreas-photography

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting story! It was very easy to read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

    ReplyDelete

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