Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ADVENTURE genre (05/24/07)
- TITLE: If Not Eliab
By Donna Powers
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Don’t get me wrong; I am not disloyal to King Saul. But when Samuel came to visit our father Jesse and told him that the Lord had chosen one of his sons as the next king, I had to figure that it would be me.
After all, I am the oldest. It seemed a foregone conclusion.
At first, even Samuel thought so. He walked up to me and said, “ Surely Eliab is the Lord’s anointed.” But after a few moments, surprise and confusion swept over his face. He shook his head. “The Lord has told me I must not look on the outward man,” he explained.
Father was puzzled. “If not Eliab, then who?” he wondered. But Samuel remained firm, and my brothers Abinadab and Shammah passed in front of the prophet. Samuel shook his head again. Neither of them would be king, either. Four more of my brothers met the same fate, and then only David was left - and can you believe that’s who Samuel anointed?
This morning I was still reeling. I couldn’t believe that God had chosen David. For one thing, he’s the youngest. And kinglike? Only if his subjects are destined to be sheep.
I wanted to prove Samuel wrong, so I set out to distinguish myself in battle. We had heard of the challenge to Israel by the Philistines, and I knew this was the chance that I’d been waiting for. I knew that I would soon lead the armies of Israel to victory, and that Samuel would have to acknowledge me as Israel’s rightful king.
As I came near Socoh I saw the Philistines’ army lined up. Their champion, Goliath stood in the middle of them. He was over nine feet tall and his armor shone like fire.
My heart pounded like thunder and my blood froze within me.
“I defy the ranks of Israel!” Goliath bellowed. “Give me a man and let us fight each other!”
I knew I should go, but I could not move. When I looked up at Goliath I could only imagine the swift death that would befall anyone foolish enough to challenge him. I tried to muster up my courage, but it was crammed deep below my terror. My colleagues looked at me, and I could hear their whispers. They were stunned. “If not Eliab…?”
From the back of our ranks, I heard a voice: “Who is this Philistine who dares to defy the armies of Israel?” I turned with relief; someone was volunteering. But, to my astonishment, it was my brother David. He strode confidently up to King Saul and told him that he’d fight against Goliath.
Wasn’t it bad enough that he’d been anointed instead of me? Now he wanted to rob me of my battle glory! And yet…..
I realized that this could work to my advantage. Goliath would crush my brother easily. David could not be king if he were dead, could he? Samuel would take another look at Jesse’s sons – and reach the inevitable conclusion. This could be my chance, after all.
David stepped boldly forward with only his slingshot in his hand. Goliath laughed derisively.
I didn’t want my brother to die; yet, this was my only chance. David had chosen his fate freely. David did not tremble or hesitate. He shouted: “Today, all who are here will know that it is not by the sword or the spear that the Lord saves. This battle is the Lord’s!”
He drew back his slingshot. His eyes never left the giant who towered over him and his arm was steady as he released the stone. Goliath drew himself up in amusement; David’s target had moved at least six inches upward.
Yet, David stood confidently, awaiting the result. The stone flew swiftly upward, and found its mark. With a look of amazement, Goliath dropped to the ground.
The Philistines were stunned to silence, as the Israelites cheered. David stood in the center of the valley and looked over at four men who had stood near Goliath. Some said these were the giant’s brothers. David looked meaningfully at the four stones near his feet, and the men backed away.
As for me, I backed away, too. It was all too much for me. Because now I know for certain who the next king of Israel will be.
And it’s not Eliab.
Based on 1 Samuel 16: 1- 13 & 1 Samuel 17.
www.themint.org.uk/z054.htm “King Eliab?”
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