WHEN THE WOLF HOWLS – Chapter 44

Posted: January 29, 2016 in When the Wolf Howls
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WHEN THE WOLF HOWLS

Dagger for When the Wolf Howls

© by Ross Cochrane

Chapter 44

“I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me.” Samuel had said.

Shimeah was in a melancholic mood as he spoke with his older brother Eliab in the presence of Shimeah’s son, Jonadab, who listened with avid interest as they remembered the day, long ago, when Samuel the prophet arrived at Bethlehem.

“The elders of our district wondered why this prophet of the Lord had come. Samuel made a point of consecrating my father, Jesse. And then each of my brothers.” Why did my knees begin to shake when he came to me? “We had all been invited to the sacrifice. No-one asked why. The authority of this man was too great to ignore, so our father obeyed without a word of argument.”

“When he looked at each of us,” said Shimeah, “… it was something about his eyes. They seemed to look into your soul. When he came to Eliab it was as if he was just about to speak some great word of prophecy.” What made him hesitate? He seemed confused.

“Samuel looked to our father, Jesse. Jesse called Abinadab, the second eldest of my brothers and had him pass in front of Samuel. I heard him say very clearly, ‘The Lord has not chosen this one either.’”

“It was only then, at that moment that I realised Samuel was here on a mission, and that I was next in line. I thought, ‘If it wasn’t Eliab or Abinadab, then it must be me he wants’. I really thought he was going to choose me”. He laughed. Why did he pass by me? “After all, the three of us had been chosen for king Saul’s army recently, but that didn’t seem to make any difference to Samuel.” He simply dismissed me. ‘Nor has the Lord chosen this one.’ “I am relieved in a way, I suppose,” But why didn’t he choose me? His heart sank again as he remembered how his father continued to parade his sons before Samuel.

Eliab took up the story, “I remember it like it was yesterday. Each time Samuel said, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’

“But David wasn’t there, was he?” said Jonadab. He knew the story well but loved hearing it again since his father and uncle had actually been there.

No. Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’

Our father replied, ‘No. My youngest is still tending sheep.’

‘Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.’ Jesse had obeyed.

 “David looked so bewildered when he saw Samuel,” Eliab said. “Somehow they seemed to recognise each other but I’m sure they had never met. David had an air of expectancy and excitement like someone who has come home after a long time away. Samuel had looked into the handsome face of David and finally knew. “He reached for the horn of oil that he carried and anointed him in the presence of us all.”

“I did not understand fully the implication of what Samuel was doing all those years ago. It all makes sense now, of course,” said Eliab. Does it? thought Shimeah.

Shimeah knew that it had been Samuel who had once anointed Saul as king and although he too did not quite understand the significance of what Samuel had been doing that day with David, he felt a pang of resentment rising up towards his younger brother. Why did the Lord choose him? “He was not experienced in warfare in Saul’s army. He just tended sheep, which of course has it’s challenges,” but hardly enough to qualify David to be chosen by God to be king. “But it’s true. David was somehow different from that day on.” A difference that showed up when Shimeah had been at war with the Philistines.

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