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Chapter 16: A Son’s Way of Life

Chapter 16
A Son’s Way of Life

 

The next day, the fourth of Sukkoth, as we attended the morning worship at the tabernacle, Jacob saw us. Not wanting to interrupt the ceremony, he waited until the last song and blessing had concluded before running through the crowd to greet us.

“I was wondering where you went!” he exclaimed. “I could not find you to thank you for healing me!”

The people around us immediately looked at us with wondering eyes, and I realized that we could no longer maintain anonymity. “Let us return to our tent, so that we can talk further,” I suggested, hoping that we could avoid drawing more attention to ourselves.

But the crowd followed us and only grew in numbers as we passed by the gate, through the priestly village, and into the field where hundreds of tents and booths stood under the bright sun. When we reached our booth, I knew it was useless to try to avoid the crowd, so I turned and asked the people: “What do you want with me?”

“We want to hear the words of life,” one said.

“What is Yahweh’s message for us today?” another asked.

“My son was born with only one foot,” said another. “Please pray that he may be restored.”

The child was using a crude crutch to help him walk. He appeared to be about ten years old, and he limped forward with his father’s assistance. His deformed leg ended far too soon with only a stump below his knee. His apprehensive eyes looked at me, half fearful and part hopeful. My heart felt a surge of compassion for the boy, for in those days such deformities usually meant that such a child would grow up to be a beggar at the village gate.

I reached forth my hand and touched his stump. “Grow and be restored,” I said. “God has healed you fully.”

The leg began to grow out a little at a time, and the boy cried out in fear and wonderment. The leg grew to the ankle, then the foot began to appear, and finally his toes. After a minute had passed, his foot was fully restored, and he gingerly put weight upon it for the first time. When he could stand firmly on both legs, he threw up his hands and shouted, “I can stand! I can walk! Praise Yahweh! He has healed me!”

The crowd roared, and the people threw up their hands in praise to God. This, of course, caught the attention of many others, who came running to see what was happening. The crowd grew to a multitude, and there was much clamor as the witnesses related to the newcomers the wonderful works of God. Others then came forward, begging to receive the blessing of God and to be healed of their infirmities.

“Nathan! Eleazar! Sipporah!” I shouted above the din of the crowd. “Help me! Lay your hands on the sick that they may be healed! It is time for you to practice the way of life for the sons of God!” 130

Sipporah came immediately and sought out the women and children who came for healing. The young men took courage and by faith laid hands on any man that was sick, and they found that the power of God was with them to heal. Even Sippore perched on the branch of a nearby tree and sang songs of restoration and strength. This went on for another hour, and there was much rejoicing. Many waved branches and sang the song of praise, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of Yahweh!”

As the afternoon wore on, it was apparent that no one had thought about eating the noon meal. In fact, it seemed that everyone had left off preparing food, for they were too excited by this unexpected turn of events to think of eating. Nonetheless, eventually, I could see that they were getting hungry.

“Do we have anything to eat?” I asked Rebekah. “Since these have all come to our sukkah, they are our guests.”

“I made a few barley loaves this morning,” she replied, “and I have two dried fish, but it is hardly enough for us. How could we possibly feed so many?” 131

“Nathan, Eleazar,” I said, “tell the people to sit down on the grass, so that we may feed them the bread of life.” 132

When the people were seated, I held up the loaves, and Sipporah held up the fish. “Thank-you, heavenly Father, for prospering us this day and for providing our daily bread. Bless this food, and let it fill our hearts with life and the knowledge of God, that we may grow in spirit and in truth.”

I then broke the bread and gave it to Nathan and Eleazar, while Sipporah distributed the dried fish. They took the food and distributed it among the people, instructing each to break their piece of bread and fish and give to their neighbor. As they did, they found that their portion of food did not diminish, no matter how often they divided it.

All ate their fill and were satisfied. The people were impressed and awestruck. “The anointed king has arisen!” one man shouted. “Let us crown him king of Israel! He will set us free from the Philistines!”

A roar went up from the crowd, and some moved toward us, as if to take us by force to the tabernacle, where we were to be crowned. 133 But I took Sipporah by the hand and said, “Come, we must get out of here before things get out of hand.”

As we retreated hurriedly, we saw Pegasus and Pleiades making their way toward us through the crowd, sensing the turn of events that threatened to contradict the will of God. We mounted them, and they took us away. When we reached the edge of the crowd, they broke into a gallop, and soon the crowd faded from view. Only Sippore remained with us, for she flew ahead of us to prepare the way, guiding us to a destination that was implanted in her very soul.

Sipporah’s angel, Harpazo, then transported us once again to a high mountain, and we found ourselves at the entrance to the cave wherein Samuel and I had talked with God a few days earlier. The sun was yet high in the sky, the air was cool, and the breeze blew quietly and peacefully through the stately trees. Sippore flew into the cave with a happy chirp.

“It seems that God has brought us here for a reason,” Sipporah said. “I believe He wants us to talk with Him.”

“Yes, I agree,” I replied. “Let us follow the dove and enter the cave into His presence.”


Footnotes

  1. The title of Moses’ fifth speech (Deuteronomy 14 to 16:17, taken from his opening statement in Deuteronomy 14:1, “You are the sons of the Lord your God.”
  2. John 6:9, the fourth miracle-sign of Jesus.
  3. John 6:10
  4. John 6:15