Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: WASTE (10/11/18)
TITLE: Veiled Valuables
By Rachel Rudd
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Daniel called out to his brother, “Aaron, I need your second opinion. This seems to be what we are searching for.”
They brushed more soil away uncovering shattered pottery.
“Daniel, we’ve found our midden! One's man’s refuse is another man's cache, huh?”
“In archaeology that is almost always the case. Can you retrieve the gear?”
Little by little they lifted small loads of the fragments and dirt into sieves and washed away the unwanted dirt particles.
“Hey Daniel, remember the time we found an ax head when we were boys?”
“Yes. We fought for weeks over whose property it was.”
Aaron smiled. “Mine, of course. Do you recall what Mom said when we showed her?”
“Very clearly. ‘God once made an ax head float. He’s that powerful.’”
“If I saw one float, I’d be doing experiments to learn what it was made from!”
“Me too. Why do you think she’s so convinced that her mythical stories are true?”
“She feels she needs them, I guess. Wish she would wake up and understand reality.”
“All our arguments bounce off her stubborn beliefs.”
As they worked, the midday call to prayer rang out over their heads. They smirked at each other and Aaron remarked, “There’s another religion that needs a touch of realism.”
“From what I’ve seen, religion doesn’t need facts to establish itself.”
After five hours of hot dirty work, Aaron sunk carefully down on the side of the hole that uncovered the midden. “Daniel, let’s continue tomorrow.”
“Be patient... something appears to be here.”
Aaron walked over to the wooden frame and inspected the piece of inscribed clay Daniel was rinsing.
“I believe we’ve found something.”
“Wrong choice of words. Further investigation, using scientific methods, will reveal the facts.”
Aaron smiled. “Yes, exactly.”
“Let’s get back to the lab and get to work.”
Nancy bowed her head. It helped her to focus.
“Lord, show my boys who you are. Let Aaron and Daniel see that you are the one true God. Don’t let them squander the life you’ve given them. Remind them of your word.”
Donned in a white lab coat, Daniel examined the bulla. “Notice the two-winged sun and the figures symbolizing life. This must be a seal.”
“Have you determined the language?” Aaron asked.
“That’s just great. More garbage.”
“Look, you desired to come on this dig to discover facts. We have to accept the evidence we find. We are in Israel!”
“Okay. Okay. What does it say anyway?”
He stared at the computer screen. “Belonging to Hezekiah - Ahaz son of Judah.”
“Hezekiah? Are you sure?”
“So, we’ve just confirmed the existence of a king mentioned in the Bible?”
“There could easily have been another Hezekiah.”
“Yeah, but I can’t help but remember what our mother said about Hezekiah. Something about him being unique as a king.”
“She said that he was unique because he followed the laws of his god.”
“Oh, yeah, then she would lean down and whisper, “The Lord was with him.” *
“Aaron, stop this walk down memory lane. Why should we remember words about a god we deny?”
“She brainwashed us, I guess.”
“That’s quite enough, Aaron. You know you love Mom as much as I do. She’s just misguided.”
“Okay, okay. Back to the seal.”
“The crosses with the loop at top are interesting. They represent life, right?”
“Yes, I’m looking at a verse from the book of 2 Kings.”
“You’re reading the Bible?”
“We have to compare all sources, remember?”
“Well, what have you found?”
“Hezekiah was supposedly healed from a life-threatening sickness after being threatened by the king of Assyria. He supposedly petitioned his god for life.”
“Well Daniel, there’s another miracle.” Sarcasm saturated every syllable.
“It’s just a story. But we could possibly have physical evidence for Hezekiah’s existence in history.”
“Well, this trash is definitely not the treasure we wanted.”
“Maybe not, but it has definitely made us consider ideas we normally would just discard,” he smiled, “and I’m pretty sure will gain some recognition when we publish our findings.”
Jeremiah 29:12; "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
*NIV 2 Kings 18:7
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