A sample chapter from my Novel on king David!
It was 3:00 AM. The little boy Akiva tucked himself deep into the many woollen blankets and curled up in his bed. It was cold, dark and drizzling. “Wake up Akiva... The Lord has commanded me to go to Bet-Lehem to offer a sacrifice”, said Prophet Shemu’el standing beside the little boy’s bed. The young Akiva was Prophet's assistant and attended to his needs ever since he withdrew from active political life and settled down in the nondescript rural hinterland just outside the town of Ramah. Akiva woke up startled. No, it wasn't the prophet's deep baritone voice or the pre-dawn darkness. It was more the remoteness of the Prophet being in his room, especially at such an untimely hour. At first, he wasn’t quite sure if it was indeed the Seer himself. “This can’t be the prophet...but who could this be...” The Prophet had not spoken to anyone for the last few weeks, not even to him since he returned from Gilgal. The Seer had confined himself to his private room and even shut the windows. But, soon enough, he became aware of his master's presence despite the pre-dawn darkness. Akiva rubbed his eyelids in disbelief. “Akiva, Let's get going... we need to leave immediately if we have to reach Bet'Lehem before sunset”, the Seer said with firmness. Prophet Shemu’el was fond of Akiva. The little boy was smart, dependable and quick to learn. Moreover, Akiva reminded the grand old Seer a little bit of his own childhood spent at the temple in Shiloh with Eli, the priest. The young Akiva crawled out of bed and quickly sprung into action. The Seer was the most revered of all in Yishra’el. The little boy considered his service to the prophet as a special privilege! Akiva knew there was not enough time to pack carefully for this journey, but he needed to pack what was basic and necessary for the long journey by foot. He quickly grabbed shewbread, water in the leather bag, change clothes and some medicinal herbs for the Seer. He shoved them into his jute rug sack and promptly reported to his Master “Sir, I am ready to leave” “Good” By now, Prophet Shemu’el was all ready and waiting for him near the back door. “And then, get the special ceremonial horn and the bottle of olive oil with you...will you?” he instructed his assistant as he shut the creaky door. “But...Why do we need the horn and the olive oil for the sacrifice?” asked Akiva. The Seer was stumped by this flash of brilliance. It was a good question, but he didn't bother to answer. He chose to remain silent. However, the silence was accompanied by a tiny smile, perhaps a recognition of intelligence. “Hurry up! We must leave now ", the Seer rushed Akiva in a bid to divert attention away from him. Thankfully, Akiva did not persist with his logical reasoning. He knew where to fetch the horn, and he ran straight to the closet hidden inside the prayer room. As Akiva left, the Seer drew in a deep breath and sighed in relief. This visit to the house of Jesse in Bet’Lehem was a secret Mission, and he did not want to divulge any details of the plan of action to anyone, not even to the ever-loyal Akiva. The Seer knew fully well that he was under the direct surveillance of the King's men ever since the unfortunate incident in Gilgal. In fact, there was always been the possibility of a serious threat to his life ever since. Yahweh has given him a special task, and he had to get it done. It was a dangerous mission, one in which he could be charged with sedition and sentenced to a painful death. “Would the King’s men find us out before we reach the House of Jesse?” he thought to himself. However, he quickly silenced the voice of self-doubt inside his head with the harshest rebuke and quickly freed himself from the brief stranglehold of doubt. “I will go... and do what the Lord has commanded me”, he told himself. It was this heightened sense of calling that has been the driving force behind his missional life. By the time Akiva returned, faith gradually displaced his momentary fears. “Come, let's go Akiva", prophet Shemu’el told Akiva who tagged along. The two left in a hurry on the narrow pathway that breaks into the dirt road that leads to Bet'Lehem under cover of darkness. (To be continued)