The Parting Gift
We mounted Pegasus and Pleiades and continued our journey toward Gaash Mountain. Passing a few small villages along the way, we greeted the people, but continued without stopping. As the sun swung low in the West, we arrived just as Rephah was getting ready to leave his post and return home for the evening.
“Shalom, my friend,” I said as we approached the burial cave.
“Shalom to you, too,” he responded.
“We must return to our own land now, for we have completed our mission,” I told him.
“Have you learned all that you needed to learn?” he asked.
“Yes, more than we had believed possible,” I said. “Israel will have its judge who will begin to deliver the people from the hand of the Philistines. But it will take two judges to deliver Israel. We know that a second judge will be raised up to finish this deliverance. He will be trained in the house of Eli, for he will be a prophet, priest, and judge in Israel. It will be his honor to crown kings in Israel.”
“We have waited long for that day,” Rephah said. “The treasure that I guard is to be given to the King in Israel for the establishment of His Kingdom.”
“Your calling is important,” I remarked, “more than anyone could know. Few know what you guard, because if it were known to all what is buried with your forefathers, many would want to steal it, and you would be in constant warfare trying to protect it. But God has hidden many treasures in the earth for future use. Know, however, that this treasure should not be entrusted to Israel’s first king.”
“Why is that?” he asked.
“Israel’s first king will build his own kingdom. He will be a taker, not a giver, for he will function out of a mindset of scarcity. 93 If you were to give your treasure to him, his fear of scarcity would cause him to use it to enrich himself, for he would believe that he was entitled to it. The second king, however, will rule as a steward, not as an owner of the throne. He will be worthy to receive the treasure, for he will live by the principles of faith and abundance. Give it only to the king that comes from Judah.”
“I will remember that,” Rephah said. After a pause, he continued, “Are you now ready to return to your own land?”
“Yes,” I said, “we must leave you. I do hope that the words we have spoken will bear fruit in your life and in the life of your good wife, Rebekah. Please thank her for her excellent hospitality. Though we will be far away in time and space, we will remember you fondly. Know too that your hidden labor and calling will be discussed at the Council in my country, because we live in the time when much of your treasure will find its ultimate purpose in the Kingdom.”
“I am very grateful to hear that,” Rephah responded, “and to know that my labor is not in vain.”
“In about twenty years,” I asserted, “the strong judge of Israel will arise, and you will hear how he killed a grown lion with his bare hands. Men will glory in his strength, but understand that the dead lion too had a calling and that his father and mother dedicated him as a sacrifice for the deliverance of Israel.”
“A strong man I can understand,” Rephah said, “but how can lions sacrifice to our God?”
“There is much that you are unable to understand,” I replied, “for you are limited by the times in which you live. There is more than one way to make a sacrifice. As for this judge, most men of his generation will see only a judge having great strength, and they will glory in his fleshly ability. But future generations will understand deeper truths and will bless the lion and the lioness for their great sacrificial love.”
“I will keep that in mind,” Rephah said. “Whether we understand or not, I will continue to pray that our ears will be open to hear His voice. I will pray that our eyes will be opened to see the word of God fulfilled in earthly events that have no meaning to most of the people.”
“Then I pray that your prayers will always be answered,” I said. “If you are able to hear His voice, then you will always know the next step to take in your journey. Perhaps, too, your son Nathan will assist you.”
With that, we walked up the hill, and Rephah helped us roll back the stone from the entrance of the cave as the sun hung low in the West. Rephah stepped into the cave, walking with us past the bone boxes to the treasure room. There he made his way toward a table on which rested a small object. He picked it up and brought it to me.
“I want to give this gold bracelet to you,” he said, handing it to me. “It seems to be one of a set, but I have never been able to find the other one. Please take this to remind you of our friendship. I do not know if I will ever see you again, and I want you to remember me.”
“Thank-you,” I said warmly. “We will certainly always remember you.” I studied the bracelet for a moment, taking note of the intricate engraving of the High Priest’s ephod. I ran my thumb over it and marveled at the exquisite craftsmanship.
“We bless you and Rebekah,” Sipporah added. “Give my love to her, and tell her I will never forget her either.”
“I will,” Rephah replied.
We stepped into the darkness of the cave, and as Rephah rolled the stone back into its place, the stars of light in our foreheads shined forth once again, and the room was filled with divine light. We turned our backs to the boxes of ancestral bones which now rested behind us, side by side, breathlessly awaiting the day of resurrection when the wind of God blows upon them, imparting new life and strength to all.
The huge treasure too, the wealth of Egypt, lay dormant and hidden from the world, ready for use at the appointed time. We rode past it all, as it glittered in the starlight, taking only the gold ephod-bracelet, the parting gift of our friend, the man of God.
And so we began our journey back through the Mountain of Destiny, satisfied that we had accomplished all that needed to be done, and confident that we had been of service to those of a past generation.
- 1 Samuel 8:11-18