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This is the third book in The Anava Chronicles, focusing on the main theme of Divine Provision. We go back in time to Israel during their Philistine captivity to interact with Samson and Samuel, first when the boys are five years old, and then again when they are twenty. We keep the feast of Tabernacles at Shiloh with Rephah's family and Samuel, showing the connection between the seven main speeches of Moses and the first seven miracle-signs in the book of John.
Category - Biblical Novels
“We have come out of the cave in Revelation Mountain!” I said with surprise, as I adjusted my “Indie” hat and took note that we were both again dressed in the clothes that we had been wearing when our trip to old Israel began. Sippore remained on Sipporah’s shoulder.
“Is this the cave where you first heard the Voice from the crack?” Sipporah asked, as she looked back at the entrance to the cave.
“Yes,” I replied. “But the cave inside was different then. Only the outside is the same.”
“I wonder how long we were gone,” she mused.
“This is only the third day since we left,” Pleiades answered.
“How do you know?” I asked.
“I feel it, of course,” she replied. “Besides, it is written by the prophets, ‘Today I perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal’.” 198
“Yes, certainly,” I said, slapping my forehead. “How could I forget? But wait! How is that you are speaking aloud here in our present time in the world?”
“Something new has happened since we left, and something has changed,” Pleiades replied. “My heart tells me that it is because Pegasus was willing to die and because he had faith to know that death was not the end of the matter. This seems to have affected our own time and place.”
“That is indeed the case,” Pegasus said. “We have received a new authority over death that has opened our mouths even in this present evil age. This is a death-ridden age that is being transformed into a new world, and our ability to speak will soon be needed. However, it would be wise not to share this knowledge indiscriminately, nor will we feel free to speak unless it is appropriate.”
“I will keep that in mind,” I said. “Men must learn a little here, a little there, line upon line, 199 so that they are not overwhelmed by more revelation than they can handle.”
We mounted the horses and descended the mountain, passing the great river that cascaded down the mountain from its exhaustless reservoir that was hidden deep within the gray, rocky urn. The trees along the river seemed to have grown taller and their leaves broader in the short time since we had last seen them not many days previously.
An eagle soared silently overhead, then changed direction, and flew quickly toward the valley below. We walked in silence for a time, contemplating the divine plan and our place in it, until once again we stepped through the thin veil and found ourselves crossing the bridge over the river in the valley. The Indian village lay directly ahead, and we made our way toward the house of Chief Hiamovi.
The Chief met us at the door and welcomed us warmly. A great white swan greeted the horses with outstretched wings, as if they were old friends, 200 and escorted them back to the pasture that was their home outside the village. We, however, were escorted into the Chief’s living room, where part of the Council had already gathered. Joseph was there, along with Atsa, Kuyani, and Kika.
“That eagle does not miss much,” I observed, nodding to Atsa.
“No,” said Atsa. “We gathered as soon as the eagle saw you coming. More are coming shortly from the towns, for word has already been sent to them. I trust you had a good adventure and that you have returned with a good report.”
“Yes,” I said, “all is well—or, at least, has turned out well. We went through a bit of anxiety when Pegasus was killed, but since he had already warned us ahead of time, we did not go into panic mode.”
“Well,” Joseph responded, “it must have turned out alright, because both horses have returned to us in good condition—except for a scar on Pegasus’ shoulder.”
“He will wear that scar with pride,” Sipporah said with a smile. “Both of the horses are actually in better condition than when you entrusted us with them. You will see.”
Joseph looked at her and then at me with a quizzical look, then smiled broadly. “I look forward to examining them fully!” Looking at the Chief, he added, “You do not suppose that the ancient prophecy has finally been fulfilled?”
“That would certainly explain the appearance of the great swan,” the Chief replied. “He came alone from the river this morning,” he added, looking in my direction.
“And I,” said Kuyani, “caught a very large fish in the south branch of the river. In its mouth was lodged a gold coin, which apparently, it could not swallow, but neither could he spit it out.”
“What ancient prophecy is this?” I asked.
“It is a prophecy, said to be as old as the stars themselves. It goes this way:
From the urn of the water-bearer,
Whose rivers come alive,
When southern fish and swans endeavor
From heaven’s starry current here arrive,
Then comes the Horse of the Fountain,
From whom glad tidings flow,
The Messenger of the Mountain,
Whose words of gold do glow.
Drink deeply from the Pierian Springs, 201
Where a flying horse first touched the earth;
Deep red roses ‘neath his wings
The Muses muse, but wise men birth.
“The great urn from Revelation Mountain,” the Chief said, “was the first sign of the fulfillment of this prophecy. Yesterday—for what reason, I cannot say—the great white swan appeared. And now Kuyani says a great southern fish has come to him.”
“I think I know what brought about this change,” I said. “Somehow the death, resurrection, and ascension of Pegasus long ago—just yesterday, by our reckoning—has brought about these events today. There seems to be a strange link in time between then and now. It is as if the events of long ago took place just yesterday, and that the swan and southern fish were constrained until we saw and felt the pain of Pegasus’s death.”
“There are unknown laws of time at work here,” Joseph said. “Time has always been a mysterious force, and one never knows how the spiritual laws of creation will link one moment of our time with one from another age. Such is the mystery of time that only the God who created the Ages fully comprehends.”
At that moment, other vehicles arrived to participate in the hastily-called Council: Paul and Maggie, Toivo and his wife, and Ruth—twelve in all—and soon I was giving them an account of our latest mission to a time long past that had altered the present.
“The Voice told us before the start of our journey,” I said, “that He would show us the abundance of His provision wherever the need might arise. That provision is based upon Love. When we arrived in old Israel, the first occasion where such provision was needed was to give strength to Samson when he was just five years of age. This was accomplished by Sippore’s song of strength, which she sang over his head.”
“Samson,” Sipporah added, “was being attacked by a python that men called Thuban, but Samson strangled it with his bare hands by the strength of Yahweh.”
“Next,” I said, “we used some of the silver that Joseph had given us to redeem Samuel, for he had been sold to the Philistines in payment of debt when his parents could not afford the tax imposed on Israel. Then, when we returned the child to his parents, they wanted to hold a feast for us, but did not have the funds to express their gratitude toward us. So out of compassion for them, we paid for the meat and wine.”
“Thank-you, Joseph, for giving us sufficient silver to do this,” said Sipporah with a nod in his direction.
“I was led by the Great Spirit to give it to you,” he replied, “and besides, we know that all the silver and gold belongs to Him.” 202
“Yes, that is certainly true,” I said, “and we thank Him for His provision. However, on the human level, we also thank you for your role in His provision.”
I continued, “Then as we proceeded toward Shiloh on the day after the feast in Ramah, Elon the Judge accompanied us on our journey. Along the road, we met a very dejected leper named Bedan, a man with no hope or sense of purpose. He thought that he had offended God and that his leprosy was caused by divine wrath against him.”
“But,” Sipporah interjected, “we were able to extend the love of God to him and to heal him of his leprosy. More importantly, we gave him purpose in life and a new understanding of the unfathomable love of God. Through this hard experience, we learned later, he rose to become a man of great faith, and a few years later, he succeeded Elon as the Judge in Israel.”
“God even provided him with two doves that he needed for his cleansing in the tabernacle in Shiloh,” I said. “His name reverted to Abdon—his birth name—for he became a new man from that day forward. Though we saw him only for a short time, his testimony of the love of God had a great effect upon all that he met thereafter.”
“We were then transported to Shiloh,” I continued, “but found that fifteen years had passed since our encounter with Abdon. Samson and Samuel were then twenty years old and just coming of age insofar as their callings were concerned. We arrived as the people were gathering for the feast of Sukkah.”
“We met our old friends of the house of Rephah,” Sipporah added. “It was so good to see Rebekah again, and her two sons had grown into young men. But they had also experienced much grief and pain in our absence.”
“Eli and his sons,” I said, “had been corrupted by the spirit of Draco, as we reported to you after our first trip to Israel. Because Eli refused to discipline his sons or to remove them from the priesthood, God sent Rephah with a message to Eli that he had been rejected as High Priest. Eli’s sons were incensed over the accusation and put Rephah on trial for speaking evil of the High Priest and his family. Then they stoned the messenger of God.”
“That is terrible!” Maggie exclaimed. “How could they do such a thing?”
“Wicked people do wicked things to cover up their sins,” Sipporah replied. “Each sin seems to start a chain reaction until a man repents. God then spoke to twelve-year-old Samuel one night, giving him the same message as was given to Rephah. When Eli demanded that Samuel tell him everything that God had showed him, Eli dared not resist the word a second time. But neither did he correct the situation, nor did he repent of his murder of Rephah in the name of justice.”
“This created another need,” I added. “The glory of God left the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle at Shiloh. Eli learned of the departure at the next Yom Kippur, when he was required to go into the Most Holy Place. However, he told no one of the glory’s departure, lest the people learn of God’s disapproval of his priesthood. But Samuel suspected it, for he was very bright and had excellent spiritual discernment. Nothing could be hidden from him very long.”
“So,” I continued, “we saw the provision of God once again. He showed them that they too were temples of God and that God’s presence resided in them, even if not in the tabernacle at Shiloh. It was of great comfort to them—especially to Samuel—to know that he had not lost God’s presence, even if the glory had departed from the nation as a whole and from Ephraim in particular.”
“We also were able to provide much healing to the blind, the deaf, and the lame,” Sipporah said.
“The provision of revelation from the word which was read during Sukkoth was amazing,” I said, “as each day provided new insights into the meaning and application of the law. But the climax of revelation occurred at the end of the feast. Rephah’s youngest son, Eleazar, was found dead outside of his tent on the morning of the seventh day. But Pegasus came into the tent and breathed into his face. God restored Eleazar to life.”
“What?” Toivo exclaimed for the first time. “Pegasus raised him from the dead?”
“Yes, he did,” Sipporah said. “I witnessed it myself.”
“What did the people think about that?” Toivo asked.
“They too were amazed, but some thought it was all a hoax, that Eleazar had only pretended to be dead. We did not tell them that Pegasus had been God’s agent to do this, but later, when Eli called us in for a hearing on the matter, he adjured Eleazar to speak the whole truth. So he was forced by the law to lay bare all that he knew. 203 The truth sounded so bizarre that Eli could not possibly believe his story.”
“In his view,” Sipporah said, “Eleazar and perhaps also his mother had committed a grave sin, but not one worthy of death. So he sentenced Pegasus to death. The horse was led to the door of the tabernacle, where Eli’s younger son, Phinehas, shot him in the heart with an arrow. It was awful!”
“By this time it was mid-afternoon,” I continued, “and Pegasus was killed while the priests were killing the lamb for the evening sacrifice. Everyone was heartbroken the rest of the day, and I too was concerned about having to report this disaster to Joseph. After all, I had been entrusted with his two fine horses. Had he not already taken me aside to inform me of his impending death and to explain its purpose, I would have been truly devastated. But I—“
“Wait! Are you saying that Pegasus told you that he was going to be killed?” Toivo asked.
“Yes,” I replied. “for, you see, as soon as we had crossed the thin veil into that spiritual realm, the horses could speak with us and we with them. They were very useful as our guides and mentors during our journey. We have become great friends. Paul and Maggie can also bear witness, for they heard the horses speak with us as well.”
Joseph smiled and remained silent, and the Chief glanced at him with a knowing look.
“It appears that the time has come for some secrets to emerge,” the Chief said slowly. “But first, let us hear the rest of the story. Please continue with your report.”
“In order for Pegasus to obtain authority over death, he had to submit to its power through love,” I said. “The law of love, we discovered—and which Pegasus knew—was more powerful than the law of death. Hence, by giving up his life and motivated by love, he was able to conquer death, first for Eleazar and then for himself.”
“The next morning,” I continued, “when we went to the tabernacle early to bury Pegasus, the body was missing, and even Pleiades seemed to have run away, for we could not find her either. We were confused at first, but then Sippore told us to study the law and see what happened after the completion of Moses’ seven speeches that we had been reading that week.”
“There we discovered that after the seventh speech came divine intervention. The second covenant was given, whereby God promised to intervene and to turn all men into His people and to be their God. After this came the commissioning of Joshua to implement that second covenant and to lead Israel into the Promised Land by its authority.”
“Then,” Sipporah added excitedly, “we were caught away in the Spirit to the throne of God in the cave of a mountain called Hermon, where we received the final provision before returning here. We walked on sapphire stones that formed the foundation of His throne. There, on either side of the Voice coming from the Light, stood Pegasus and Pleiades, both alive and well, glowing with the Shekinah upon them. We saw and felt the final revelation of divine love that was needed to fulfill our quest.”
“The Voice,” I said, “provided us with a great banquet of spiritual fruit, which we ate until the time came for us to return to our own time. The horses then led us out of the cave, and we found ourselves at the mouth of the cave in Revelation Mountain—the same cave that I stumbled upon, which first began to alter my course and to mark the start of the great changes in the earth that you see today.”
“And now we see the next step in the progression of the Kingdom,” the Chief said, “for the great white swan has appeared, and the southern fish has been caught from the waters flowing from the great urn of heaven. Pegasus has ascended to his place among the stars, and Pleiades with him.” 204
“Many changes are coming,” Joseph added. “The world is now changing, and we can no longer judge matters by how they appeared in the past. We are all called to flow in this great stream from heaven as a company that provides no resistance to the divine plan.”
And so our second journey ended, and we knew that a hidden abundance of all that was good had been opened to us. All past glory, seen and experienced by men since the beginning of time, was fading in the greater glory that would shape the future of this new earth.