A Stone for the Temple
The horses made their way back to the main road, and we began the journey down the mountain toward the city of Dan. The darkness deepened around us, but the light of heaven shined from us, lighting the road around us as though it were yet daytime.
Behind us in the darkness loomed the lofty peak of Mount Hermon, in the White Mountains of Liban, or Lebanon.
“Hermon means The Sanctuary,” Pegasus explained as we walked. “It receives its name from the belief that it was the home of God. The Hebrews call it Sion, lofty, or lifted up. The Amorites call it Senir, or Shenir, a coat of mail, because its snowy peak gave it the appearance of being protected by heavenly armor. The Sidonians, in their own language, called it Sirion, a breastplate.
“Everyone sees it in a slightly different manner,” Pleiades added, “but all revere the mountain ever since the angels of Draco descended upon it to try to become sons of God through disobedience. They wanted to usurp and displace the true sons of God, but they discovered that they could not elevate themselves into a calling that was not given to them by the Creator.”
“They tried to usurp the authority that was reserved for you,” Pegasus said, turning his head to look at Sipporah and me. “But now the time has come where you and others like you are ascending to the lofty thrones that have been prepared for you since the beginning of creation. That authority is the root of all provision by which the Kingdom of God emerges. The earth is becoming the expression of heaven and is bowing to the will of its Creator and Owner.”
As we descended from the Sanctuary, where the God of heaven is high and lifted up, we again passed through the thin veil separating heaven and earth. We found ourselves at the shore of a large inland sea, which stretched into the unseen darkness, from which a strong wind raised high waves that crashed upon the rocky shore.
“God plays His harp again,” said Pleiades. 142 “His swift fingers cause a great wind which vibrates the sea. Those who tune their heart-strings to hear His passionate joy will rejoice with Him. Men who live in darkness will see only danger and disaster, for their ears are not tuned to hear the divine symphony or the voice of angels who turn music into song. Listen carefully, and tell me what you hear.”
“I hear the Song of the Wind,” Sipporah said after a pause.
The winds sing, the waters rumble,
The trees clap, and waves do tumble.
Darkness hides, and men are blind,
But sons of God are sure to find
The peace that rules in every trouble
And light that shines across the rubble.
Fear and faith, each rules its realm,
Laws are spoken from each helm;
Fearing danger some will flee,
Faithful ones are worry free.
Sons of God rejoice and sing,
For they, by faith, have seen the King.
“That is truly a spiritual hymn,” I said, “sung by heaven’s harpists that few can hear. The song seems to set forth two paths for men to take, one of fear and another of faith. But it is clear that we have no reason to fear, and furthermore, as co-creators of new heavens and a new earth, we stand in authority over such apparent chaos.”
“It is our calling,” Sipporah added, “to transform chaos into order and, in fact, to shape it into building blocks of the new creation. Chaos is a condition where the building blocks are out of order, awaiting the coming of the sons of God.”
“Listen!” I said, holding up my hand. “Through the wind and torrent of rain, I hear the voice of fear coming from across the waves.”
“Yes,” Sipporah answered. “I hear it now. It seems that there are fishermen out there who were caught in the storm. They seem to be ruled by fear and need our help.” 143
“Let’s go, Pegasus,” I said. “Let’s take authority over this water.”
The horses immediately lunged forward into the roiling sea, but as they walked, a haven of rest formed in their path and on every side. Always in front of us, a great calm remained, and the horses walked on the surface of a soft sea of glass, clear as crystal. There was no darkness at all surrounding us, for the night seemed to flee our presence. The wind swirled around us, as if we were in the center of an angry whirlwind, but our clothing remained as dry as in a warm summer day.
Sippore sat upon Sipporah’s shoulder, and we followed the voice of faith toward the sounds of fear. Soon we saw in the distance a fishing vessel bouncing violently in the dark waves. As we approached, the miserable men saw our light and cried out with even greater fear.
“Ghosts are coming!” one shouted.
“It is the angel of death coming to take us away!” another shouted in utter despair. “We are doomed.”
“God help us!” another prayed in fear. “Forgive us for not keeping the feast!”
“Do not fear!” I shouted back to them. “We are messengers of God who have come to save you! God has heard your prayer! Someone in your midst has prayed a prayer of faith!”
There was a momentary pause as faith wrestled fear and doubt. “If you have truly come from God,” one man said at last, “then bid me to come to you on the water. Let me walk even as you walk.”
“Come!” I commanded.
The man found it difficult to step out of the tossing boat, but he finally threw himself into the sea. He did not sink, however, and finding himself on firm footing with no waves to put him off balance, he stood to his feet. Turning his face toward us, he began to walk gingerly in our direction.
“That is good. Keep your eyes on me and keep walking by faith,” I encouraged him. “There is no storm wherever you go, for God will give you whatever you claim with the soles of your feet. The sea is your inheritance and is limited only by the extent of your faith.”
The man’s face brightened as he walked, for his faith increased with each step, replacing all traces of fear and dread. When he arrived in our circle of light in the calm seas, he turned to wave at his companions on the tossing boat. Immediately, he began to sink, and the dark waves overwhelmed him.
But Pegasus leaped forward, and I reached down and grabbed his arm, pulling him back up into the light and its firm footing. “Come up here,” I said, indicating that he should ride behind me on Pegasus. “Have no fear. The Chief Horse will carry you the rest of the way. I am Anava. This is my wife, Sipporah. What is your name?”
“My name is Eben,” 144 the man said. “Thank-you for saving me. For a moment I was sinking like a rock and thought I was doomed.”
“You are a precious stone,” I said, “a building block for the sanctuary of God. Though your faith is yet small and weak, you have begun a great journey this night.”
With that, we walked quickly toward the fear-filled boat of men who had been praying in fear, doubt, and despair. When our canopy of authority enveloped them, the boat lay still in the sea of glass, and the men stood to their feet, looking at each other and at the raging darkness that surrounded them a short distance away.
“Shalom! Be still!” I said to the raging storm. 145 The wind and waves ceased, the dark clouds disappeared.
Suddenly, lights on one side of the boat pierced the blackness of the night, and we found ourselves just offshore from the hometown of the fishermen. Their families had built fires under protective canopies, hoping their husbands and sons would see the light and find their way home. As the boat touched the shore, the men jumped out and ran to their weeping wives and joyous children, hugging and kissing them.
The moon, nearly full, shared its soft glow with the townspeople. Sippore found a nearby tree in which to spend the rest of the night. Two of the young men took our horses to feed and care for them. Soon others from the town, holding torches, came running to the shore to learn the reason for the shouts and hallelujahs piercing the darkness.
Turning to Eben, I asked, “What town is this?”
“We call it Nahum,” Eben replied, “because it is always comforting to come home to our families.” 146
There was great rejoicing in the town of Nahum that night. No one slept, for they wanted the men to tell them each detail of the miracle that had saved their lives. All of them wanted to know who we were and where we came from.
Sipporah was taken forcibly by the women, who wanted to know each detail, not only the miracle on the raging sea, but also of all things pertaining to family and friends. They especially wanted to know how I treated my wife, for in my personal relationship with Sipporah lay the key to their respect for all that I might teach from the word of God.
I remained in the main area of the large house to answer questions from the men. The night was spent in teaching the word, and I shared things old and new from the law and words from inspired books yet unwritten by prophets yet unborn.
“This town is small and insignificant,” I told them, “and its people poor and simple. You are all grateful to God for saving your lives. But something greater was accomplished last night. Nahum, the name of your town, is a prophecy of things to come. Wonderful works shall be done here many generations from now, for in the latter days the Messiah that Israel seeks will minister from here. The Comforter will cover this place, for Nahum will accept Him and welcome Him in its midst.” 147
“We would be greatly honored to host the Messiah in our midst. However, I do not understand one thing,” a man said. “Are you suggesting that other towns would not welcome the Messiah?”
I smiled. “It would surprise you to know how flesh and blood hates the things of the Spirit and despises those who come in the name of Yahweh. Even religious men cannot comprehend their own enmity against God, nor do they know the extent of their blindness. But your eyes are blessed, and your hearts are open to hear the word of God. If any man thirsts for the truth, the Messiah will give him living water, which will become an inner well that never runs dry.” 148
“Though you live far from Shiloh,” I continued, “and cannot afford to attend the feasts three times a year, and though the priests often despise this town as irreligious, yet God has brought Sukkoth to you this night. In His mercy, He has shown you secrets of the coming Messiah. Future generations may forget the great deliverance that has been done here this night, but such things will be done again.”
“I will not forget,” Eben said. “I will remind everyone who listens to me, for my life has been altered forever. The great God of Creation has reached down to touch the life of one poor, small fisherman. This is one stone that will cry out, proclaiming the glory of God, when the testimonies of other men cease. The Messiah is the first-born Son of God, and after meeting you and seeing your authority over the elements, I know that I too am a son in training.”
“Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,” I said solemnly, “but My Father who is in heaven. This is a key revelation upon which the Kingdom of God will be built. 149 You are a stone in His temple, one who will rule in His Kingdom that is to come, for you responded to the call and distinguished yourself when you stepped out of the boat.”
The fog of sleep at last began to settle upon them, and the people decided to go home for the rest of the night after we promised to stay in town for another day.
Everyone slept late into the morning, but when we finally arose, our hostess, Eben’s wife, fed us breakfast. Even before we had finished, the townspeople had begun to gather again to hear more about the Kingdom of God.
“This is the fifth day of Sukkoth,” an old man said. “Perhaps we should study the fifth speech of Moses on this day.”
“Yes,” Eben said. “That is a good idea.”
The old man continued, saying, “If everyone is in agreement, then I will recite it as my father taught it to me many years ago. He cleared his throat and began: “You shall appoint for yourselves judges and officers in all your towns which the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.” 150
Moses’ fifth speech was addressed to judges and the future kings of Israel, instructing them in the ways of Yahweh. When the old man arrived at the place where kings were instructed to make a copy of the law for themselves, 151 Eben held up his hand to signal the old man to pause for a moment.
Then he said to the old man, “Uncle, I believe that I need to have a written copy of this law for myself, for it has been a long time since I heard the law, and some portions I have already forgotten. Will you help me to write a copy of this law for myself?”
“Yes, of course,” the old man replied, “but many sheep will have to give their lives to provide enough skins for the entire law. Such a book will be expensive, and we are but poor fishermen.”
“I will pay for the sheep skins,” I interjected. “God has provided me with sufficient means to pay for a copy of the law.”
The people looked at me with astonishment. “Do not concern yourselves with this matter,” I said. “Delight yourself in Yahweh, and He will give you the desires of your heart. 152 Eben, you have desired a good thing, for it is in your heart to know the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But more important is the fact that God has put this desire into your heart, and for this reason, He has given you what is needed to have your own copy of the law.”
“This law,” I continued, “is for all people everywhere, but certain ones have been raised up as rulers and judges to teach and administer the law to the people. God has appointed you, Eben, as a ruler in His Kingdom and in this community on the seashore. It is a noble calling, but it cannot be done apart from a revelation of God’s nature. As you learn His law, bring the righteousness of heaven into your portion of the earth.”
We continued to discuss the instructions for judges and kings throughout the day. When the sun set, the meeting ended, as the people needed to make up for their lack of sleep the previous night.
When the sun finally rose in the morning of the sixth day of Sukkoth, we left Nahum to begin our journey back to Shiloh. The townspeople were happy and satisfied with the spiritual feast that we had been able to provide for them and promised to continue studying the law during the rest of the feast and beyond.
The light had been planted in a dark place, a light that would again be seen far in the future. This light of life was destined to rise over the whole earth, dispelling darkness and filling every heart with faith.
- The Sea of Galilee (“circuit”) was called in Hebrew Genessaret (“harp”).
- John 6:16-21, Jesus’ fifth miracle-sign.
- Eben means “rock,” drawing a parallel to Peter, “stone.”
- Mark 4:39 (KJV)
- Capernaum was originally called Kfar Nahum. Kfar is a covering, shelter, or village. It prophesies of the covering of the Comforter.
- Capernaum became the headquarters for Jesus’ ministry.
- John 7:37, 38
- Matthew 16:17, 18
- Deuteronomy 16:18, the first verse of Moses’ fifth speech.
- Deuteronomy 17:18
- Psalm 37:4