Adah entered the house to find her husband Eber sitting slumped at the table, his face buried in his hands. Peleg was with him.
“Eber, what did those men want and where is Joktan? I haven’t seen him since breakfast.”
Eber stood up slowly and extended his hands toward his wife, “Adah, you had better sit down.”
“What is going on Eber? Has…something happened to Joktan?”
“Adah my dear, please sit down,” Eber said as he gently took his wife by the arm and guided her to a seat at the table. Once she was settled Eber took a deep breath and began to speak.
“Those men were from the king. They were here to tell me that unless we sold our entire hay crop to the tower construction project and convinced all of our neighbors to do the same they would hurt Joktan or…worse.”
“But how do we know what they are saying is true? How do we know they have Joktan?”
Peleg spoke up “Mother, I know for a fact they’ve captured Joktan. I saw them do it.” Peleg then told his mother about the capture, their fight with the guards and Joktan sending him home to tell their father.
There was silence for a moment and then Adah spoke up forcefully. “All right, what are we going to do about this?”
“Pop, I have an idea!”
“That’s good son, hold onto it, I’ll want to hear it in a few minutes. Adah, you and Peleg need to understand that this situation has placed us in direct opposition to the king who is determined to flaunt his power and is determined to go against the will of the Lord. I believe that God is calling us to oppose the king. But, in order to know the best course of action, we need to pray and seek His guidance.”
With that, Eber, Adah and Peleg all slipped to their knees. Eber led his family in confession of sins for themselves and for their community and in an impassioned plea for guidance from the Lord on how to restore themselves and their community to right standing with the God of heaven.
There was silence for some time after Eber stopped praying out loud. Finally he stood and said “All right, I think the Lord has given me a plan. But first, Peleg, what did you have to say son?”
“Pop, we’ve got to fight. Those men who took Joktan really mean what they say. I know…I tried to fight them off. Let me get some of my friends. I know where they’ve got him tied up.”
“No son, I don’t want you to try to rescue your brother. That is way too risky. I do not want to lose you too. I’ll have a meeting with the other farmers in the valley. I will try to convince them to resist the king’s men and then to figure out a way to get your brother back safely.”
Eber left immediately to begin talking with his neighbors. Adah came and stood beside Peleg and said, “Peleg, do you really think that you and some of your friends could rescue Joktan?”
Peleg looked into his mother’s eyes.
“Yes I do. He’s being held in a shack around the east side of the tower construction site. If I can round up a half a dozen or so of our friends, I’m sure that we could rescue him. Let me go and talk to our friends. If they agree, we can do it tonight.”
Adah looked out the window to see Eber riding off to talk to the other farmers, “Please do so my son. I won’t say a word to your father. He may be angry with you but he will also rejoice to see Joktan back home again. I will see to that.”
# # #
Eber went to each of the farmers in the valley. They had all been threatened by the king’s men and were angry at being forced to sell their entire crop leaving them with nothing to feed their stock. None could survive such an action. But, they were also frightened of refusing the king. Eber reminded them of the Lord’s command to Great Grandfather Noah. Not all of them even remembered the command of the Lord. Many had forgotten it and were not sure that they even believed in the Lord anymore since He seemed to be doing nothing to help them against the king.
Eber got them to agree to meet together that night at his farm to discuss the problem. He also got them to promise to pray that the Lord would bless their meeting and give them wisdom to know what to do. Eber headed home tired but convinced he was doing the right thing.
In the meantime, Peleg was also making the rounds of his friends getting them to agree to go with him to rescue Joktan that night. They were to meet Peleg in his father’s hayfield that night when the moon rose.
“Adah, the other farmers will be here shortly after supper so we can discuss if we are to resist the king and then how we are going to do it if we agree that we want to.”
Adah was thoughtful in her response, “My husband, how would you resist the power of the king? After all, couldn’t he just kill us all and take what he wants?”
Eber took a sip of his water and responded, “Yes he could, but that would cause dissension among the people in the city and then there would be no one to grow and harvest the food for the people. They are city people and they cannot grow food. Furthermore, after much prayer, I am sure that resisting the king is what the Lord would have us to do. He commanded us to ‘be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth’ we are not obeying the Lord by building a single large city for everyone to live in. Also, that tower is just being built by the king to demonstrate his power. I have heard that the king believes that he is more powerful and more important than the Lord. I have a feeling that the Lord will step in to block its completion. We farmers need to resist the king and show our allegiance to the Lord. God will take care of the rest. I believe that. I also believe that the Lord will watch over Joktan. I will explain this to our neighbors tonight when we meet together.”
When they were done eating Peleg told his father, “Pop, I’m going to go out for a little bit while you are having your meeting and talk with some of my friends about how we can show our support for your resistance. I think that it’s important for the sons of these men to understand what you and I believe.”
“You go ahead son. I will pray that you succeed in doing that. It will help us all to be of one mind.”