Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)
TITLE: Great Expectations
By Paul Servini
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These are very exciting times and Iím sure you have heard something of what has been going on here in Mizpah. A wind of change is blowing through our country and we undoubtedly have great days ahead.
It all began a few weeks ago when several of our leaders went to negotiate with Samuel at Ramah. I say this is where it began but, strictly speaking, thatís not true. For months before there had been unrest due to our lack of any real leader. You see all the nations around us have a king, a military figure who inspires confidence and allegiance. So why shouldnít we have one? At first, I wasnít sure what to think, but I soon realised the importance of keeping abreast of the modern world. If we lose out here, then thereís no telling what might happen. Just look at the way poor Raphia was swallowed up.
As expected, Samuel was dead against the idea. Interestingly enough, he didnít take it personally though. He was more concerned for Godís honour than his own. That, at least, was a relief. It would have been sad, had there been a major confrontation with him. By all accounts he had some hard words to say. He dismissed the elders, leaving them in no doubt that he would never allow such a move. Which is what made subsequent events so surprising. Just a few days later, Samuel convened another meeting with the elders and announced he would be willing to grant us our wish. That he wasnít totally happy with the situation was obvious, but he would go along with the majority. He even gave us a scathing speech about our deserving what we got and promised we would one day regret the decision we were making. Of course, most of us just felt he was venting some of the bitterness at being sidelined the way he had.
So now we were to have our king. The only problem was finding the right candidate. Iíll admit, I was beginning to think Samuel might have been right after all. The bitching and infighting was terrible. It left me wondering if any of the candidates were worthy of the honour. Well, all that came to an end today when out of the blue Samuel summoned us to Mizpah. Rumour was rife that he wanted to impose a king as a way of hanging on to power behind the scenes. A weak king with a touch of religiosity; one that would play right into his hands. So we arrived expecting a fight.
But things turned out differently. If there was any manipulation, then it came from the Rubenites who insisted that the kingship was theirs by right, being the eldest son. But Judah was having none of this and made the same claim for their tribe, by virtue of the fact that they were set apart to rule by Jacob. Well, imagine the surprise when the lot actually fell on Benjamin; little Benjamin, the most insignificant of tribes. Who would have thought it? And so things continued. Each time the most insignificant entity was chosen until we finally had our king. Nobody knew who he was, but the moment we saw him, we knew he was the man we needed. Head and shoulders above the rest, tall and upright, he looked every inch the warrior and leader we were looking for. Most of the young ladies were dumbstruck and the men in awe. True, there were some who asked whether this new king really was as devoted to God as Samuel had been. But thatís not the most important. And he paid lip service enough to the religious side of his duties in his first speech. At last, we have a strong leader that will lead us into battle and put our enemies into their place. And itís about time too, because apparently the Philistines have a new champion, a giant of a man that they say will strike terror into whoever sees him. Well, heíll have his match in our new king, Iím sure. Tomorrow we march for Jabesh. They are under siege from the Ammonites and have launched an appeal for help. Saul did not hesitate a bit in mobilising his army. And no doubt a great victory is awaiting. But more of that in my next scroll.
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