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Posted by Linda Fitzpatrick on February 15, 2011 at 2:22 PM
Prologue from Dancing With Jesus coming out in 2011 by Destiny Image Publishing.
“JoAnne?” Yaron Ben-David questioned sleepily while feeling the warm indention in the bed beside him where his wife had been. His bare feet searched the floor for his sandals, but not before discovering the late summer’s sun that made the town of Jerusalem hot by day had long since turned the dirt floor cool by night. His feet made sleepy circles still trying to find his shoes while he rubbed the remaining slumber from his eyes.
A small, ruddy, clay, olive oil lamp produced a soft golden glow framing the face of his wife's whereabouts and just enough light to provide a clue to his missing right sandal. Standing in the narrow doorway, Yaron observed a scene he had never grown tired of seeing in the seventeen years of their marriage; his lovely wife and his children sleeping safe and sound nearby. That could not be said of many Jewish families of the region, nor of his own family.
Allowing himself a brief visit to the earlier days of his childhood the then five year old Yaron’s life had been an ordinary one. Busied by the daily chores and hard work of being a fisherman, his father, mother, and two year old brother lived peaceful lives next to the shores of Galilee. Until the day when the Roman soldiers stormed Bethlehem and all its vicinity in search of a young child two years old whose birth enraged King Herod. Magi from different parts of the world had seen a new star in the heavens which was a sign to them of the arrival of a new king. Being led to this region, the Magi made inquires of King Herod as to the whereabouts of the newly born King of the Jews. King Herod’s unreasonable fear of anyone whom he considered a threat to the kingdom of Judah, gave the command to his soldiers to find the child with the pretense of worshipping him. When the child could not be found, Herod in an obsessive fit of rage, commanded all male children around two years of age in Bethlehem and surrounding towns and villages, to be slaughtered. Each house was violated as the soldiers searched for little boys to be slain.
The screaming refrain could be heard down every street and from every home including our own. Pushing me aside, they scanned the darkened room in search of their prey. My father’s strong body made a temporary shelter but the two blood thirsty soldiers knocked him to the ground only to reveal my mother and baby brother. Their pleading fell on deafened ears as one of the soldiers jerked from my mother’s arms the youngest son of Ben David. With one slice, their son’s innocent blood left yet another stain on the soldier’s uniform as they quickly turned their attention to find more victims. Our horrified screams joined the growing choral of voices from Jewish families’ throughout history as another tragic stanza was written.
With a quick shake of his head Yaron tried to bring his thoughts to the present and once again scatter the horrendous memories of the past aside. As he peered into the adjoining room, gratitude filled his heart. Although he could not understand the ways of God, he was thankful to be alive.
Yahweh had indeed blessed him once again with a wonderful family and flourishing sewing business for which he was eternally thankful. The modest rectangular house on the end of a street not far from the open market in Jerusalem provided adequate space for them all. It joined other houses around a central shared courtyard where water was gathered daily from the public well and stored the courtyard cistern. Their house had three rooms that made an L shape with the bigger rooms in the center with two small rooms flanking each side. Inside the largest room was a set of stairs which lead to the flat roof of their house. The larger room, they called the kitchen room, was utilized in a variety of ways. It was large enough for giant bolts of thick fabric, used for making boat sails, could be billowed out to be sewn wooden tables. A large black cooking pot in the corner boiled hot water for washing fabrics. It was also for dying different colors of fabrics they used daily in the making of boat sails, clothing, and an assortment of other goods. The kitchen room was used when cold or rainy weather made cooking in the courtyard impossible. To the right of the larger room was a bedroom he shared with his wife. The smaller room on the left housed his two daughters. His son slept in the kitchen room.
Stepping out in search for his wife, he almost tripped over the long legs and feet of their fifteen year old son, Samuel. The blanketed pallet which was no longer sufficient for the young man’s growing body was in the floor of the kitchen. As he looked down at his son, he was once again filled with gratitude. He knew firsthand how valuable sons were when he alone had to do a greater share of the work after the death of his own brother. A son and such a hard working boy, he thought to himself proudly as did all good Jewish men with their firstborn sons. “Samuel, the Dependable” had been true to the nickname given to him as a young boy who worked diligently in their family’s business was first starting. Careful not to step on his son, he went to his daughter’s room and the mere thought of them brought a smile to his sleepy face.
Abia, his five year old daughter and Judith, his three year old slept together on a small blanketed mat in the corner of the small room. All the babies had first slept with them in their room, but when the next was born, the small room became theirs. Samuel had the room to himself for ten long years before Abia came along. When Judith was born they shared Samuel’s room forcing him to sleep in the kitchen room. Samuel was as taken by his sisters as their father and the sacrifice was made gladly.
Abia and Judith were his pride and joy. They could always make him laugh and their sweet innocence pulled at his heartstrings. Just like their mother, JoAnne, he recalled as he compared the three wonderful females in his life. Sharing long, dark auburn hair, soft upturned smiles, almond shaped brown colored eyes, and each possessed a power over him for which they never took full advantage. They loved to sing and dance making for him a loving and lively home in which to live.
Still in her wheat colored tunic undergarment, JoAnne cradled Abia, whose body shook from tears brought on by a dream. “Hush, little one, it was only a dream,” she whispered trying not to awaken the round ball of Judith nuzzled beside her and Samuel who was nearby.
“He let go of my hand, Momma,” Abia’s pink lips forming a drowsy pout as she gave reason for the tears. “Who let go of your hand, Abia?” JoAnne inquired thinking of her husband, Yaron’s, strong sun weathered hands or Samuel’s lanky ones. “Oh, Momma, he is the nicest man in the whole, wide world” she stopped as she saw her Papa approach. “Is that so, little Abia?” Papa said teasingly as if he were a little jealous of the other man’s compliment. With his large hand he gently removed from her peach colored cheek a wisp of chocolate hair. “Oh, Papa, you know you are the most handsome!” she said with a sleepy grin. “Go back to sleep my little sweet talker!” His heart warmed by the flattery and the love that escaped through her playful but sleepy eyes. “Yes, Papa,” she obeyed him at the same time she finished her sentence.
With the Ben-David family nicely settled back into their beds, JoAnne took advantage of having some quiet time with her husband. Although they worked together side by side stitching and producing other merchandise she had very little opportunity to speak to him without the interruption of daily life routines and children.
“Yaron, do you remember last year when Abia started to have unusual dreams?” she asked in a whisper to keep the children from hearing. “Yes, I remember,” he responded in the same quiet tone. “She talked of a man in her dreams who loved to see her dance, “he continued his voice had a protective air. “At first, I was quite alarmed, but it was all very innocent. It always made her quite happy when he was in her one of her dreams. He said Abia was greatly treasured by God and was created to dance for Him. He told her to dance and twirl with delight every time she thought of God.”
JoAnne nodded in agreement. “One afternoon I found her playing outside with Judith. Abia was humming a tune I had never heard before. She was also talking with little Judith in a language I had never before heard. When I asked her where she had learned it she told me the man in her dreams had taught it to her and whenever she wanted to be near God she could speak and sing to him as she danced.”
After a few months went by Abia had another dream. “I was giving her a bath one evening when she told me of the next one,” she recalled. “In this dream, she was walking with the man down the street market in Jerusalem. As they traveled down the street people were coming up to the man and as they did he healed. He healed them of all types of “hurts” she called them. Excitedly she told me again how good the man was to do such kind things for the people. But that was not the entire dream. The man said she could be his helper and do good things for people too. As they walked down the street together they spoke to each other in the strange language. Whenever she heard him make a certain sound she danced and as she danced the people they passed along the street were healed!” Both father and mother were very confused in the attempt to make sense of their little daughter’s dreams.
“When another month passed, Abia had another dream,” this one was not a happy one like the others had been she told her husband. “This one made her very upset causing her to cry. Not like this evening when she cried out in protest because the man had let go of her hand, but this dream made her inconsolable for quite some time. When I made inquires she could only gave me one word at a time with moaning tears between each word; “playing”, “soldier”, “leg”, and lastly, “hurts”.
Yaron remembered the story quite well and added his own part to the story, “Yes, I do remember. As I was outside one hot day Abia came out to the courtyard with your broom stick. It was tucked under one her arm and she tried to dance with it. Finding it too difficult she stopped dancing to walk with it instead,” he concluded with a puzzled shake of his head.
“Then there was the one with the wicked woman dressed in gold who danced in a palace. And a rather silly one about the man in her dreams dancing with a dead tree,” JoAnne recalled heavy-eyed. “One of her dreams had the whole family in it,” Yaron said with a yawn. “It seems we were in a room filled with other people and on the top of each head was a single glowing flame,” he concluded with a sleepy smile. Reaching for his wife’s warm hand they fell asleep. The night was too far spent to try to put together the puzzle pieces of Abia’s dreams. Morning would come soon enough to begin another day, God willing. Maybe they will make sense of them then
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Little did they know, but Abia’s dream were a foretelling of events yet to come and involves the calling of a new type of worshipper, a prophetic dancer. This young Jewish girl’s prophecy will have a profound impact on her life but the message here is not for her alone. The prophetic messages in the series of dreams she experiences a young child will be used to teach and to mature her in the faith. This message explains the will of God for His people to worship Him and portrays many facets of God’s grace to His people that brings inspiration, revelation and interpretation.
For many people similar prophecies have been spoken. As Abia's life unfolds her prophetic gift and caling to dance has to find its way through a maze of life's circumstances that seem to be at odds with the ways of God. His calling is irrevocable. For there will be a coming time when the people of God will come out with singing and dancing to meet their King. Let those who have ears to hear the prophetic sound...dance!