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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)

TITLE: Jeremiahs Chamber
By Martin Strom
05/31/06


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The enemy was near. He could hear their foreign cries as they broke through the city walls and raced to the slaughter. “The city will soon be taken. We must hurry” Jeremiah said breathing heavily as he led his band of Levites up the stairs and through the temple doors.

The Levites quickly placed their poles through the loops of each golden piece of temple furniture. “Cover them with something” he commanded. They tore down curtains and wrapped them around the furnishings. The men paused as they looked towards the Holy of Holies and Jeremiah saw their hesitation. “Go in, but do not look upon the ark.”

The men backed their way behind the curtain with their heads lowered, keeping their eyes straight ahead. They emerged with their hastily wrapped package on poles upon their shoulders.

“What is this?” a voice boomed across the hall. “How dare you desecrate the temple of the Lord!”

Jeremiah turned to see the high priest standing at the threshold. “Get out of our way” Jeremiah commanded with the authority of God in his voice.

The elderly priest’s eyes widened “The prophet Jeremiah! Why do you do this?”

“The Lord has commanded it. Now let us pass!”

“I will not!”

“Then the Lord remove you!” The priest suddenly fell back against the wall and slumped to the floor.

“Come” Jeremiah ordered. His men lifted the poles to their shoulders and followed him out, carrying their holy burdens from the sanctuary.

The solemn procession walked swiftly through the city streets. Behind them they could hear the screams of the slaughtered. Jeremiah wept and cried out “the glory has departed from the temple. The glory of the Lord has departed”.

Frightened women and children came to their doorways to watch the procession pass by. With the realization of what they carried the women began to wail and break down in tears. Some followed behind wailing in lament “The Lord has abandoned us.” “The Lord has turned his face from us.” “The judgment of the Lord has come and none of us can stand.”

Half the city was now burning. Thick black smoke blotted out the morning sun. The sickening stench of burning flesh reached their nostrils as the ash rained down with the wind.

“This way” Jeremiah called as he led his men down a narrow path and down a steep stairway to an underground cellar. “Behind that wall” he pointed. His men pulled back some wooden panels to reveal a tunnel. “Where does it go?” asked one of them. “Beneath the city walls. The Lord has prepared a place.”



***



It was strangely dark. A stiff breeze blew lifting and snapping the Roman standard as it stood upon the hill. Various people had gathered to watch the condemned men in their agony.

The earth moved slightly and the people looked at each other wondering if others had felt it too. Suddenly the earth jolted and heaved, shaking the crosses violently like trees in a storm. A large crack broke open at the base of the middle cross but the cross stood firm. The blood of the condemned man streamed down the rough wood and ran into the newly made crack in the earth, dripping down into the darkness, falling, falling until it splashed.


***



“Put the ark of the covenant here” Jeremiah’s voice echoed in the natural stone cavern. The men placed the ark down where they were told. “Leave me now.”

The room dimmed as the men took their torches from the room. The shadows flickered violently on the walls as Jeremiah held up his sole torch and looked around. Everything was in its right place just as the Lord had commanded him. He pulled off the cloth covering from the Ark of the Covenant. “Lord, here now is your Holy of Holies. I pray the day will come when you will once again allow sacrificial blood to sprinkle upon this mercy seat and atone for the sins of your people.”

He turned to leave, tears streaming down his face. “Seal the chamber.”


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This article has been read 511 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg06/01/06
Some believe that the ark is indeed directly under the cross where Jesus died. God is orderly and structured - it is possible. Nice writing and telling of a mystery.
Sherry Wendling06/01/06
Breathtaking piece! You have my heart pounding. Keep writing; soon you'll be giving us a run for our money in levels 3 and 4!

(By the way, I have sat under teaching that presents compelling evidence for your story...)
Brenda Craig06/04/06
Wonderful use of language dipicting strong images. Wonderful, simply wonderful.
Joanne Malley06/04/06
Compelling writing. You're a great storyteller. Wonderful job evoking emotion! :)
Maxx .06/04/06
I agree ... strong scenes. Good movement. Go back through and take out every adverb. Your word choices are strong enough, you don't need them. See if you can write this without the section breaks (my preference... I don't like the breaks. Some really like them, though)

You've got good ability. Just polish up a bit and you'll be there! :-)
T. F. Chezum06/04/06
A very good, descriptive story. Very well written. Good job.
James Clem 06/05/06
Very smooth writing. You captured the tension and urgency.
Edy T Johnson 06/05/06
Am I really in "Beginners?" This is a masterpiece! I love what you have done with these chapters from Scripture. Your writing is polished to perfection and I will be tracking this author once I discover who you are! God has blessed you with a wonderful gift!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz06/06/06
Wonderful writing. You brought the Scripture to life. I agree, there is compelling evidence to at least make one question the possibility that the ark is still around. Only God knows.
Dara Sorensen06/06/06
Very creative--it would not be out of the realm of possibility for the ark to be somewhere in Jerusalem still.

I see you moving up another level very soon.
Debbie OConnor06/09/06
A great story. I love the ark being placed where the blood of Christ could splash upon it.

I look forward to reading more of your work. If you apply some of the polishing suggestions I gave you on the last and take Maxx's advice here, you would have a winner.

Great stuff! :)