The Soldier

“Tell me a story, Daddy!” the little boy exclaimed.

Looking down at his son, the Dad did not see a little boy, but a future soldier. A man who was in training to face the battles of real life, someone who would one day face the world and need to be prepared for it.

So the Dad softly began the story.

“Once upon a time there was a soldier, who served a mighty king. One day, the mighty king called all his soldiers to battle. Like a good man, our soldier responded and headed for the battle.

“The enemy was fierce and terrible. It was said that the enemy was as fierce as a roaring lion. At first this intimidated the soldier, but he pressed on because the king had called him.

“The fighting was intense and many men died. The enemy ravaged the towns and villages of the countryside, burned buildings and killed families. It was brutal. But still the soldier fought on, knowing his king would not let him fight alone.

“At one point, the enemy fought especially hard. It seemed like there was no way for the kingsmen to live out the fight. Some soldiers fled, but our soldier sent a petition to the king and the king sent reinforcements that drove the enemy away—but not after a long night’s fighting. During the night, the enemy made a surprise attack and our soldier was injured. The kingsmen took him aside and comforted him, but eventually they all went back to their fighting.

“The soldier felt all alone. It was dark and he could hear the screams and horrors of the battle. He almost despaired, but just then he felt a firm hand and heard a friendly voice say, ‘I am with you, soldier! Don’t give up; you will be healed if you make it through the night!’ It was the army’s great physician, who had come to help!

“The soldier was encouraged and able to tolerate the darkness a little more after this. But it was still so very lonely. He could hear the enemy making a great noise and he was intimidated.

“Soon the sun began to rise. The soldier could see the glimmer in the far eastern sky. Already the soldier could tell that whatever the great physician had done was healing his body. He sat up and looked around. By now the fighting was over, and had moved to a different place, but the destruction was obvious. The enemy had killed and destroyed, burned and plundered, what hope was left?

“The soldier wondered if there was hope. He saw the destruction from the battle and wondered what good could come from it? Could anything beautiful ever arise again? The soldier looked at his arms and legs, all bruised and bloody: could he ever live normally again?

“Questions and doubt plagued his mind. At first he resigned to the destruction, realizing there was no way around it. This was reality. But as the soldier crawled through the dirt and the ashes, he became angry. Why hadn’t the king responded sooner? Why did the king allow the army’s numbers to become so depleted? Hadn’t the king failed?

“But just then, the soldier looked up, and right there, right in front of him stood the king.

“‘The enemy has been routed and the nation has been saved,’ the king said.

“The soldier was ashamed at his thoughts and anger and looked down mournfully. ‘I am sorry to doubt you,’ said he.

“‘Do not be ashamed, sir,’ said the king. ‘But come and arise, we are victorious!’ And with that the king grabbed hold of the soldier’s shoulders and hoisted the man to his feet.

“‘There is nothing to fear because I will always protect you,’ affirmed the great king. ‘You will never be alone, but always safe under my protection. So go now walk in my joy because you are my victorious soldier.”

The Dad looked at his son who was now fast asleep. It was his story: the Dad was the soldier, and Jesus was the king. One day the little boy was going to face the same experience and the same struggle. He was going to be hurt and would need healing; he was going to doubt, and would need renewed faith. But until then, he would sleep in the safe and loving arms of his dad.

Safe

Phil Wickham

To the one whose dreams have fallen all apart
And all you’re left with is a tired and broken heart
I can tell by your eyes you think you’re on your own
But you’re not alone

Have you heard of the One who can calm the raging seas
Give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet
With a love so strong it never lets you go
No you’re not alone

You will be safe in His arms. You will be safe in His arms
The hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made, He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms

Did you know that the voice that brings the dead to life
Is the very same voice that calls you now to rise
So hear Him now, He’s calling you home. You will never be alone

You will be safe in His arms. You will be safe in His arms
The hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made, He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms

Cause these are the hands that built the mountains,

the hands that calm the sea
These are the arms that hold the lame

and they are holding you and me
These are the hands that heal the leper

pull the lame up to their feet
These are the arms that were nailed to the cross

to break our chains and set us free

You will be safe in His arms. You will be safe in His arms
The hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made, He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms

C.D.

Redeemed

It would probably be helpful to read Fallen: the Gospel part 2 before reading this post
A Biblical Fiction: the Gospel part 2

Call me Abahu, the teller of His story. We have heard of how the original parents of the world Tavi rebelled against the Creator and His commands by choosing to listen to the deception of Nahor, the greatest of all deceivers, by way of the shrewd Serpent.

This story starts many years after Avda and Martha tasted the death they brought into the world. When this story took place, the world of unknown possibilities had gone through dramatic change. After Avda and Martha lived and died, the world became very evil, the Devilish race of Draucthana arose—a hideous race of humans and demons—who walked about the land as powerful giants. Finally, grieved that He had ever created man, God sent a flood to destroy Tavi and start anew, annihilating all but eight of the humans—the only righteous people left. But our new story takes place even long after the flood, in a city called: Bustan.

Bustan was a thriving city filled with hustle and bustle during the day, and the wickedness of man at night. Very sophisticated and advanced, the people of Bustan were content. In the city lived a prominent man named Kushi, who had three sons: Addei, Igal, and Paz. Now Kushi was one who yet feared the Great One, but only Igal, of His sons, worshipped the Creator.

This is a story about Igal.

Igal mingled among his peers at the city gates discussing the latest news of the great city Bustan. Bustan was at war with its rival, Ranan, a powerful city which controlled the southwestern lands. The two cities stood within a hundred miles of each other and constantly fell into battle. The men gathered at the gate had just received news that the Rananian army was within sight from the city, and many of the younger men were rushing to the battlements to see for themselves.

“O Great One, deliver us!” Igal prayed inwardly as he made his way to the battlement.

With sword at his side and hair cut half the length of his neck, Igal stood out among his peers as a brave warrior and one to be respected. He told no lies and listened to no lies. Most of all, he was known for his reverence for the Creator.

As he gazed out into the long stretch of mostly desert land, he could see far away a hue on the southern horizon. It looked like a sandstorm but Igal knew what it was: the mighty Rananian army.

The Bustanites were known for their skill in battle, but the Rananians were known for their mighty men and weaponry. If the Rananians approached within ten miles of the city, it would no doubt be conquered, pillaged, and burned. The tensions were high in the city, at the rate the Rananian army was moving, the Bustanian army had twenty-four hours to execute their plans. Igal knew that the Great One would protect him whether Bustan fell or not, but he could not shake the feeling that the Great One would have mercy upon his city.

Indeed, twenty-four hours passed, and the Bustanites completely destroyed the Rananian army and continued on to the small fortress city of Yogel, half-way between the two power cities. The elders of Bustan expected this victory would secure another five years of peace for their city and its outer villages, while Ranan recovered.

The atmosphere of the city changed over night. Everyone, even the children, came out into the streets and danced and celebrated long into the night. But Igal, his wife, and their servants remained inside their home praising the Great One for safety. Igal knew that the next several days, inside the city would be unsafe, for a completely different reason than before. The men of Bustan were not holy by any definition. Yet, the city was protected and Igal had a promising future ahead of him as a Bustanite leader. However, it was a future he was not to have.

“Igal! Come out! Come out from among these people, away from your father and brothers. Take your entire household and go to the land I, the Lord, will show you.”

Against the reasoning of the men in the city, Igal obeyed the voice of the Lord and left his father’s family, taking only his household and his nephew’s household with him.

He set out not knowing where to go, but waiting for the Great One to tell him in time. He lived a life as a wanderer relying on the Great One’s promise to make him a man with many descendants, despite Igal and his wife having no children.

“Igal, do you see the many stars I have made?” said the Creator. “I tell you, your children will be as numerous as these. The number of your descendants will compare to even the sand which you cannot count.”

Igal journeyed on throughout the land from north to south, even visiting the city Ranan, until one day three men visited him. They told him that in one year from that day Igal’s wife, Bithiah, would give birth to a son. But Bithiah only laughed because she and Igal were by now both over ninety years old.

True to His word, the Great One gave them a baby boy whom they named: Chaziel. He grew to be the second of three great ancestor’s of a large nation who were specially chosen by the Great One to proclaim His name unto the peoples of the earth.

Igal loved his special child, dearly: he had hung all his hopes—had given up so much—for the promise of Chaziel. Once when the boy was very young, Igal took him along to visit the shepherds. While Igal inspected the sheep, the boy wandered off up a hill out of sight. Igal did not realize his beloved son was missing until he heard the sound of a boy screaming and an animal growling up on the crest of the hill. The father immediately dashed away toward the sound and found Chaziel hiding in a thick bush while the wolf growled and paced back and forth, waiting for its prey to surrender. Shouting with all his might, Igal charged at the beast and tackled it to the ground before it even knew what was happening. With his dagger, Igal slit the wolf’s throat, but not before he had acquired several deep gashes from the claws and teeth of the beast. But the father hardly noticed the pain—he had saved his beloved child.

One day the Creator asked Igal to kill the child. The request devastated Igal, but how could he defy the Great One? In faith, he set out for the mountain appointed, ready for a holy sacrifice.

“What will we sacrifice today, Father?” asked the young boy.

“Son, the Lord will provide a sacrifice for us,” said the father in faith.

When they reached the top of the mountain, Igal proceeded to bind Chaziel and placed him on the altar. All of a sudden, there was a great flash and a great voice shouted: “Stop Igal, Man of Faith! Now I know that you love me more than anything on the earth because you did not withhold even your most beloved son from me!” And Igal saw caught in the bushes a helpless lamb, which he used as a sacrifice in place of Chaziel’s life.

Igal went on to live a life of extreme faith, and the Great One never failed him. The Great One provided that lamb which serves as a symbol for His great plan to undo what was done in the Garden. With hope ends the story of Igal the father of the Redeemed.

THE END

C.D.

Fallen

A Biblical Fiction: the Gospel part 1

My name is Abahu, and the Master is my Father. So you want a story, do you? If you let me, I will take you away to a world of unknown possibilities—but be careful! My Father has enemies who wish to destroy you and me. But I am His son, and He is a King with unknown power. I will tell you, His story.

The world I will take you to is an old world. Many ages have come and gone since its beginning, but it started out quite simply. Well, kind of, my Father created it simply perfect. He spent days perfecting the world, making all kinds of varieties of animals and trees, fish and birds, mountains and rivers, and with one grand finale He made men—His most prized creation. His masterpiece, as it were, and He loved it. He loved everything, and called the world Tavi. To you and I it would have looked very strange, but remember now, He is a King of unfathomable power, and therefore His world had unfathomable possibilities. He placed His masterpiece in a special garden He had created for them, and gave them one rule. You see, He wanted to test their love. Can you imagine being a creature that had no choice but to love their creator? Where is the romance in that? Where is the commitment? If my Father had simply placed them there with no restrictions, there would be no story!

My Father loved this first couple; He took countless strolls in the Garden with them, but one of my Father’s highest ranked servants grew jealous. He revolted against the Creator and filled the Heavens with his pride. Since my Father is a justly jealous God, He can share His glory with none other because none other deserves His glory. The humans were most satisfied when they dwelt in His glory, and He was not about to give it away. My Father banished His servant and a third of the angels that had followed in the jealousy. They fell from Heaven to the new world.

Now this highly ranked servant, whose name was Nahor, was cursed to roam back and forth upon Tavi. One day, the lady human, Martha, was walking through the Garden with her husband, Avda. Being the newest creation she was naturally curious and full of talk—a trait well kept among the more fine featured of her descendants.

“Husband,” said the lady, “where is the Master today?”

“He has not yet come, my Love,” replied the man. “But He is watching from afar, as usual.”

“Let us walk down this path,” she suggested when they had come to a junction.

“Dearest Martha, flesh of my flesh,” replied her husband, “you know that path leads to the center of the Garden, where stands the one thing we must not partake of. Let us keep walking upon this path which leads to the most delicious of our Father’s tree, called Life.”

“O, husband, how could we ever disobey our Father? Of course we will not do that one thing He commanded against! But there are many other lovely things in that area that are fair to look upon!”

“And none fairer than you, my love. Very well, let us go and look upon that which He hath made.”

And so they went taking the path which led to the center of the Garden fully conscious of the presence of that thing which was restricted of them to partake of. But the unsuspecting humans knew not that Nahor was there, the great deceiver, newly cast out of Heaven, full of hate for that which still obeyed and loved the Master. He indwelt the slithery serpent, wisest of all creatures, in order to disguise himself. Understand that it was not unusual for the humans to have interaction and conversation with the creatures my Father had made. After all, the possibilities of that world are unknown to us.

My Father had told the humans not to eat a certain fruit. He gave no explanation, and they did not need one. They had plenty of fruit to eat, their favorite being that which grows on the tree called Life.

“Hello there!” said the serpent from the tree.

“Well hello darling!” cried Martha. She was fascinated by the shrewd serpents and loved conversing with them since they were so intelligent.

“Are you coming to eat from this center tree?”

“Of course not, what ever made you think that? The Master said not to even touch it! Far be it from us or you to disobey the Master!” she scolded the serpent.

“But don’t you know that this fruit will open your eyes to the truth. You will be as the Master Himself!”

Martha hesitated, surprised at the unusual behavior of the serpent, “But God said that if we eat this fruit, we will die right away.”

“Oh, you won’t die. God knows what the fruit can do for you! He is keeping you from eating it, but it is ever so delicious!”

Martha eyed the tree suspiciously. It did look beautiful and she could smell the sweet aroma wafting toward her from the tree. She thought of the wisdom of the serpent, and how he said it would make her know things that God knew. She reached for the tree and plucked a fruit, just to have a closer look, she told herself. The lady lifted the fruit to her nose and smelled it. Oh, it smelled so pleasing. She looked at it, her heart thumping.

Avda was silent.

She brought the apple to her mouth and before she knew what she was doing, took a bite.

It was as if time came to a halt, as if the new stars my Father had made quit swirling through the heavens; one could almost hear the turning of the planets upon their axis.

Martha smiled, a thrill of excitement flashing through her whole body. She gave the fruit to Avda, who took it and pondered something before he too, ate the fruit.

Immediately shame filled the man and woman, and they fled. They ran from that place with hearts full of guilt. They knew that somehow everything would be different.

Something else had changed outwardly, as well. They realized their nakedness. They had always been naked but never before had they the guilt to shame them for their nakedness. Not knowing exactly why, they were driven to cover up by sewing fig leaves together.

Grief and shame weld up in their hearts. They became angry with each other and squabbled like school children, when suddenly they heard a voice. A voice which they vaguely recognized as God’s, but now seemed much different—they did not know how different.

“Avda! Where are you?”

Immediately they hid. What did they hide from? They hid from the Master, expecting Him to be angry. Expecting Him to come down with a great shout and cast them away as He had done to Nahor. Of course they realized now that it had been Nahor that deceived them through the serpent.

“Where are you, Avda?” he called.

“I heard your voice calling and I hid myself because I was naked,” Avda replied.

“Naked? Who told you that you were naked?” the Creator asked. “Did you eat the fruit which I forbade you to eat?”

“Martha, that woman you gave me, she made me eat it! It wasn’t my fault!”

“Avda!” God scolded solemnly.

Turning to the woman the Master asked, “What have you done, Martha?”

But she replied, “The serpent tricked me and I ate it!”

God then cursed the serpent saying, “Because of what you did, you are cursed above all the creatures I have made and shall be restricted to slither upon your belly, made to eat dust—you and your descendants. No longer will there be good relations between you and the woman’s seed, and her Child shall tread upon you, and you shall strike His heel.

“And you, woman, will have excruciating pain through childbirth and shall long for your husband, and He will be your master.”

But to Avda He said, “The ground is cursed because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit, which I had commanded you not to eat; you will toil all the days of your life to grow food, because thorns and weeds will trouble your efforts and make you sweat and bleed in order to provide for your family. In the end you will die and because I made you out of dust, to the dust you will return.”

Then my Father caste the humans out of the Garden and sent a mighty warrior angel to guard its entrance.

So ends the story of the origin of the humans of Tavi, a wretched story, one of broken love and fellowship. This is not just a fictional story; it is, for the most part, a true story, the original of which can be found in the Great Book of God. But it does not completely end here. It continues on to be the greatest story ever told: a story of how God reaches down—well, you will just have to wait and read it some other time.

THE END

C.D.