21. Micaiah wakes up. [Dan – Why did he flee? What’s his message?i]
Misliya Cave, Megiddo, Israel
Micaiah woke to the flutter of bats returning from the hunt and the gurgle of water over rocks. He sat up and tapped his cousin on the shoulder.
Imri rubbed his eyes. “Mmm…. What’s up, Mikey?”
Micaiah touched a finger to Imri’s lips and led him to the faint light at the mouth of the cave. They stood on the bank of the stream and faced the narrow opening that allowed stars to shine in and water to rush out.
Bobbing up and down on the balls of his feet, Micaiah puckered to whistle “Why do the Heathen Rage” then glanced back into the dark. Better not wake them.
He whispered to Imri, “I’m leaving for a day or two. A message for the king. You can tell Zophal and the others.”
Imri’s eyes widened, and he sucked in a quick breath.
With a hand over Imri’s mouth, Micaiah said, “Don’t wake the guys.”
Imri spread his feet, leaned in, and looked him straight in the eye. “You’re running off? Just like that?”
Micaiah set his jaw. “Remember that thug who runs the Asherah temple in the market? Did you interrupt me from telling him what he needed?”
Imri smothered a laugh. “Oh, Mikey. You big bubbling lump. I couldn’t interrupt you if I tried. But the guys need to hear this from you, not me.”
Micaiah crossed his arms over his chest and let his heels settle to the ground. The Lord had seen fit to let them sleep. “We can’t. The Lord told me to go. He didn’t say to wake everybody in the cave.” He leaned away from Imri.
Imri chuckled. “Mikey, you don’t want to walk away without a word. You really don’t.”
Micaiah pressed his lips together and tried to discount Imri’s words. Imri’s grin. Beside him, the faint light from the stars turned the stream a liquid silver. From beyond the cave, stars winked at him from the night sky. Imri’s grin held steady.
A slow answering smile spread over Micaiah’s face. “‘The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.’ Let’s sing, ‘Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.’”
“I don’t think so, Mikey. The guys love that one, but let’s tap them on the shoulders.”
Forty-nine men gathered in the starlight at the cave entrance and watched Micaiah fill his waterskin.
He glanced up at them. “Think of it this way, guys. For two days, my whistling won’t bug you.” He climbed up the bank, straightened, and jerked his head back.
The men had arranged themselves by voice: basses, baritones, second tenors, and first tenors. Imri raised both hands to cue their first note.
“Not here.” Micaiah gasped. “Not here. Jezebel’s thugs will drag us out and slit our throats.”
Imri shrugged. “‘The Lord bless you and keep you.’ One of your favorites. But we don’t want to meet Jezebel’s friends.”
The men stuffed flatbreads, raisins, and figs into Micaiah’s pack. One slung a small skin of red wine over his shoulder next to the waterskin.
Micaiah stepped back into the icy flow and pushed his hands over his mouth to keep down his laughs and howls. How he loved doing that song with the guys, but way back in a deep branch of the cave, not here at the entrance. He bounced and splashed down the stream to the outside.
He hesitated in the icy flow and lifted his nose to the sky. Fireflies and crickets. He’d been confined under a rock roof so long, those small lights flicking on and off resembled tiny, twinkling stars, and the background chirp sounded like sweet music. He inhaled a lungful of crisp air and waved back through the opening at his invisible friends. He turned to go.
A finger poked him in the chest. “What are you doing outside your cave, Micaiah?”
1 Kings 20:13
iDan – Just finished reading chapters 52-54. The narrative featuring Micaiah
is an interesting break. I’m still wondering why Micaiah fled to the
cave. Was he already considered to be a prophet and had to flee from
Jezebel? Perhaps you already clarified this in your updates to earlier
chapters. If so, this comment is no longer relevant.
I’m also wondering what his message to the king will be. Even if you
don’t give all of the information, perhaps some detail as to how God’s
instructions came to him would be nice. Maybe he doesn’t know all of
it. Perhaps God will let him know when he gets there. In any case,
some context would be helpful.