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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Leadership (03/14/05)

TITLE: A man of Valour
By Oyenike Ojo


He watched furtively from a distance, keeping well hidden in the sparse vegetation of the plains. He glanced around once in a little fear -a fear which he had known since the dawn of his young life- then resumed watching the lanky young man hiding at the wine press.
He recalled his mother’s voice scolding, “I have told you not to go out alone to the winepress Caleb. Have you forgotten Adonai’s command to obey your father and mother?”
“No mother,” he had wailed in misery, “but, I do so love to watch him thresh the wheat!”
“You would love to watch him do anything,” she had retorted,” one who is the least of his people.” Caleb did not understand that.
And so he watched, heart pounding for fear of a cry upon the rocky horizon announcing the return of the dreaded Midianites.
And then, suddenly He was there. Sitting beneath the oak tree of Ophrah was One such as Caleb’s young eyes had never seen in all his days. Suddenly all the colours around seemed to pale in comparison to the vivid tones and hues of the Strange One. Caleb gasped seeing shade and tones that might never have been before that quivering moment in time.
His young eyes returned to the young man who seemed even more pale in that glowing moment. He peered curiously at the Stranger. Then came the voice. It came as a shock for even from that distance the stranger seemed to speak right beside him. With a voice like the rushing waters of the rocky springs beneath their hidden caves, He said,
“The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.”
The thin young man hesitated, glancing around to ensure he was alone. Then returning with a rising resentment came his passionate cry,
“…Why is this befallen us…?”
Caleb’s mind wandered to countless evenings sitting beside him in the shadowed caves listening to him tell of Adonai’s great deeds of old and asking so passionately the same question while the brave young men daringly played outside at the springs, lapping up the water like dogs to the applause of the maidens.
Then, into his conciousness came words that caused his heart to swell with pride in his friend.
“Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Isreal from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent thee?”
And then, like a curtain slowly pulled aside, Caleb saw a tinge of awe creep into a face that had been termed frail countless times.
“Oh… my LORD…” suddenly returned his thin uncertain voice carried in the evening breeze, “I am the least…” It came out a helpless desperate cry, as of one bound in chains.
Came the sound of the soothing, rushing waves,”….Surely, I will be with thee…”
And that was enough. Caleb’s eyes widened, thrilled.“Adonai Himself, with us? ”he pondered in awe.
With new adoration in his eyes, he gaze upon the Deliverer who suddenly turned, hurrying towards him away from the waiting Stranger. Caleb hesitated one moment, then, breaking out of hiding, he ran towards him heart ringing, crying out, “Gideon! Wait for me Gideon!”
Now his mother would know he had disobeyed her but hey, he was with the deliverer himself. He would face her wrath with the same courage he could see shining on the face of the young man striding along so purposefully beside him.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynne Gaunt03/22/05
I love the story of Gideon! The way you chose another character to watch the events was interesting, a fresh twist. My favorite thing about this story is how the angel of the Lord greets Gideon as a man of valor, or mighty warrior - when the guy was hiding in a wine press! God can use anybody he wants, can't he? Thanks for sharing your story.
Suzanne R03/23/05
Likewise, the concept of the call and promise of God's presence while hiding out was interesting. And to think we serve the same God. Thanks for this.
donna robinson03/25/05
You really captured the voice of Gideon and made us feel like we were there.
Delores Baber03/26/05
Beautifully written. I love it when someone goes into a Bible story and writes as though he/she had been the boy hiding in the bushes. Great writing skills. Loved it.