Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hit Your Knees

When we got back it was pretty late. I had to rush to finish chores and we wolfed down the evening meal in order to head straight to the bon fire to hear the Guslar’s song. When we got there it was already time to start. They waited for us. They would not start without my dad. My uncles were there and a soft music filled the background. The Guslar opened that evening’s song with a genealogy:
Adam God formed from the dust
begat Seth for Abel slain unjust
begat Enos men began to call
begat Cainan o the Lord’s name, save from the fall
begat Megalaleel born 395
begat Jared who’s son was taken alive
begat Enoch walked with God
begat Mehtuseluh by water saw the rod
begat Lamech perfect number of his years
begat Noah this same to comfort tears
begat Jepheth whom God shall enlarge
begat Tiras prince of Shinar
begat Rushash, Nbenib, Macedon, Kimeril, …
begat Crill, Nikelus, Thracian, …

It was fun hearing my name as part of the song. Billaad looked over at me with mouth and eyes open wide. And we both laughed in surprise. The next part of the song was very interesting; scary even. The Guslar started to give specific details about the flood, the ark, and how it was built. Here is his report as best I can recall it.


The earth of ancient times was mostly green. The whole of it was covered by every kind of fruit bearing tree, seed bearing plant, and all of the good green vegetation of the creation. Food was abundant. Although it was not easily garnished after the fall for thorn and thistle were a constant hindrance to man. Only by hard work and terry (sweet of thy face) was it procured. There were many small seas and lakes and God had not caused it to rain upon the earth; but, there went up a mist from the earth and it watered the whole face of the ground. There were no great mountains as in the land of Ararat today.

There were rivers but these sprang from the earth; they were parted by the higher regions such as the land of Havilah, Ethiopia, and Assyria; their constant flow would run its set course over the land and then return to the caverns of the deep. These were great underground store houses of water. For God had proclaimed:

“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For I have founded it upon the seas and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His Holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing form the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

The animals had no fear of man as the herbs of the field and the fruit of the vine were given to man as food.

It was at this time a league of angles fell from God’s presence. The one named Lucifer and his minions had lifted themselves up saying “I will be like the most High!” These sons of God were cast out of heaven where they refused their proper domain. They saw the beauty of the daughters of men. So, they took them of all that they choose. And these same bore children to them, who became mighty men, which were of old, men of renown. And the Lord said; “My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” And the Lord said; “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

There was a man named Noah. He was just and perfect in his generations. And Noah walked with God. And God said:

"And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation."

As you can imagine Noah and his family met with a great deal of ridicule hurled at them by the people living at that time. You see no one else had had the visitation from God that Noah had had. No one else received the warning of a great deluge. It had never rained and the great fountains of the deep were hidden from man’s detection.

In the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.

“What of peril that awaits us?” This came from the crowd; some ways behind where my family was sitting. It was load enough that the Guslar heard it but there was no disturbance in the audience griped by the orators song. The Guslar continued; “And then it happened: the fountains of the deep broke open at once and across the whole world. The very ground they walked on was cracked , crumbled and then consumed by the water below it. Invaded from below by the explosive water itself the whole surface of the earth was becoming submerged; lost in an angry sea. If this were not enough the waters attach quickly came on another front. It began to rain down from heaven not in a mild mist as it had since creation but in torrents of wind driven pellets of water.”

“What of the impending attach on our village from the water? Why do we listen to fanciful stories of floods when a real menace awaits us from the eastern sea?” This time the interruption was loader and the Guslar’s hold on us was broken by these fearful utterings.

“Well friend, what fear has gripped you so that you would break into our meeting?” The Guslar stepped closer to the front of the stage, lowered his posture and held out his hands in front of himself as he said these words. He looked to the back of the gathering for a response, as did many others. It was not at all clear who had spoken.

There being no answer to the Guslar’s invitation, my father rose and walked calmly to the stage. This brought a low but steady murmur to the crowd. After a few short words in private to the Guslar my dad turned to the audience and raised up his hands as to quiet them. They responded well and he began to speak.

“As many of you know two of my brothers, Rushash and Benib, have made the journey to us from Macedon’s village. They have come to us with disparaging news. The people of Magog have attached BUT not destroyed the village. Macedon, while injured, LIVES! The details of this attach I will allow my brothers to speak to so as there will be no question of authenticity. I will also take this opportunity to share that we have found some disturbing tracks along the nearby shorelines, which we continue to investigate.

I want everyone to know that we have begun to and will continue to make every preparation for a possible attach from the people of Magog. We can make weapons and plans but I tell you the truth: On our own we are no match for Gog.”

Someone shouts, “To whom can we appeal? You say yourself that Macedone has already been weakened and no other city is so close, so strong, and so loyal to give us aid. From what tribe do you suggest we seek aid?”

Another shoots out: “What if we appeal to Gog himself? Perhaps he would be appeased by an offer of tribute?” Another still: “You coward! Surrender our daughters so the likes of you would be saved? I will have none of that talk.” I’m guessing this last contributor was Tuskin.

“FRIENDS!” My father now puts a stop to all the emotional outbursts. “We have just been reminded of the awesome power of our God. The Guslar has also reminded us of the mercy and love with which God can act on behalf of His favored ones. Since we have no intension of surrendering one coin, one cubit, nor one child to Gog and we understand we have not the physical resources to repel him, then we must fall to our knees and ask for God’s hand to prevail. We must humble ourselves before a Holy God not only tonight but also in the days, weeks, and months ahead. We must decide to live for Him in each second He gives us or die apart from Him. Gog is only one of many fearsome trials that lay ahead for this village. These tails of the Guslar’s are not mere fanciful rhyme; they are the truthful record of our only hope in this world of danger. I want you all to join me now as we pray and honor our loving creator.”

My dad then fell to his knees, lowered his chin to his chest, lifted his hands and began to pray. At first it was just a few but by the time he had finished the entire town was on their knees. After he closed we all got up and my dad said to the town; “Thank you. Thank you for joining with me in praise of our Father. Now, before we sing the song of thanks the Guslar taught us; does anyone have any Good News to share that might help us sleep a little better tonight?”

There was a pause and it looked like his request would go unanswered when Billaad raised his voice and said, “I do!” This was met with some murmurs and a good bit of muffled laughter from the crowd but my father walked over to him and got down on one knee looked him in the face and said; “What is it Billaad?” “We saw them leaving.” “What’s that? You saw who leaving?” “Crill and I, we saw Gog and his men hightailing it back to the east out on the sea just today.” My dad turned and looked at me, some 5 cubits away. I gestured my concurrence. I said out loud, “Sails with a great hawk on them.”

“That’s it.” Said the Guslar. “The marauders have a great hawk embroidered on the main sail of there small but fast attach boats.” The Guslar’s confirmation sent a buzz of excitement through the crowd. My dad sent us all back to our homes with these words: “This is good news but remember to continue to call upon the Lord to be with us where the threat of the Magog continues.”

In the days that followed spirits were high among the people in my village. Long houses continued to be constructed. Crops were still cultivated. Fishing nets were still cast. And, children continued to do their chores. The Guslar stayed on and continued to treat us with his rhymes once every few nights.

In addition to our normal activities preparations were made to defend our village against attach. Also, meetings were regularly organized to gather at the alter of God and pray for His divine intervention and protection form Gog. Not only that but the villagers began to pray that God would help us with all sorts of burdens and troubles. There was even talk of our little settlement being dedicated in service to Him. It was almost like the threat of Gog had brought us all closer to each other and closer to God at the same time. However, the particulars of the flood continued to bother Billaad and me.

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