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He Thought it Would Never Come

Is it a surprise if you know it's coming?

Benjamin set his planing blade down and leaned over to check the rail that would become a handrail on the stairs of the new house. It was smooth and expertly crafted. He and his father, Tobiah, were expert woodworkers and home builders. Still, Ben knew he was years away from gaining the experience his father had under his tool belt. 

It was late, and Ben was the only one still working on the house. Ever since the betrothal he was single-minded with his intent to finish the home well before the year was up. He was determined that it would be a complete surprise when he and his friends sneaked up on Theresa’s parents’ house. He was almost finished for the night but took his time to climb the ladder to the roof and look at the stars again. This was a tradition now. He would climb up here and pray that the day would come soon when he could go surprise his bride.

Ben stretched out on the mat kept up on the roof for this purpose. He pulled his toolbelt under his head and breathed a sigh of contentment, knowing that another day of good progress was behind him.

Ben was about to get up and head to his bed when he heard someone coming up the ladder.

It was his father.

Surprise!

He was carrying a wineskin, one Ben hadn’t seen before. Stepping carefully around a small pile of tiles, Tobiah sat next to his son and handed him the wineskin. “I think you have more than earned this. This is some of the wine your Uncle Gaestes brought back from Sikelos. I think you will approve of it.”

Ben gratefully took the wineskin — intrigued by the inferred quality of the wine–and poured a good portion into his mouth. It was as good as his father was implying.

But Ben looked at the wineskin, and a question came to mind. “This is indeed excellent wine. I will have to thank Uncle Gaes when he gets back from Rome. But why the good wine? I didn’t know you had this, Father. Is there something we are celebrating?”

Tobiah didn’t answer right away. Instead, he took a large mouthful of the wine and allowed it to bubble in his mouth. He was enjoying the wine and good-naturedly torturing his son. 

Tobiah looked at his son as he swallowed the wine, and with a knowing smile, he said, “It’s time, son. It’s time to go get Theresa. You’ve done a masterful job with this house.”

Ben was up and heading for the ladder when his father stopped him. “Wait, I wasn’t done. I said you did well with this house. I am making you a full partner with me in the business. You will need the extra income to bring many grandchildren to me and your mother.”

Ben slid down the handrails of the ladder, and as he turned to walk out of the house, he ran right into his best man, Tirius, who was standing at the bottom of the ladder with several lanterns and his father’s custom-made shofar. Behind him stood his two younger brothers and Gaestes’s twin boys, who were the same age as his brothers. And, there stood Gaestes himself with a few more wineskins hanging from his shoulders.

Tirius said, “You and I have been plotting this surprise ever since the betrothal Ben. We know every inch of the path from here to Theresa’s home. I only have one question. Aren’t we supposed to start shouting and trumpeting far enough away so that they can hear us coming and prepare for us?”

Ben smiled and watched as Tobiah slid down the ladder the same way Ben had and answered the question for Ben, “Well, Tirius, I am afraid that this is a family tradition. I did this with Ben’s mother and Gaestes did this with Tabitha. I am proud to say that those two women weren’t fooled one bit and opened the door before either of us could sound a shofar.”

Gaestes laughed, “Well, it may have been the wine we drank on the way. I think the entire village knew we were coming.”

Tobiah laughed as well and said, “Half the village was with us.” 

The group started laughing when Tabitha and Miriam walked into the house and brought everyone back to business. Miriam walked up to Ben and said, “It’s after midnight. The whole family is so proud of the man you have become. And Theresa is a fine woman and will be a wonderful wife. Go get your bride.”

How sneaky can eight slightly tipsy men be in the dark?

Tirius wasn’t the only one to bring a shofar; their group grew in size the closer they came to their target. By the time their group sneaked up next to the house, they numbered nearly twenty men. Most of whom were Tobiah’s friends and clients.

Ben turned to Tirius and took the shofar from him, he was familiar with this trumpet as he and Tirius had practiced for this moment incessantly. And, as Ben began to lift the shofar to be the first blast of the trumpet, he heard a quiet snicker. Followed by a chorus of giggling from a group of bridesmaids on the roof.

Ben just smiled and blew the shofar for all he was worth. By the time he finished, Theresa was in his arms. 

(Thanks for reading my partial and hopefully fun version of the sounding of the trumpets of the Bridegroom. In this case, trying to be sneaky to surprise his Bride.)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Matthew 25:1–6 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’

In the Biblical story, believers are the bride and Jesus is the Bridegroom. He is coming at an hour we do not expect… But He is coming. 

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

Salvation – Eternal Life in Less Than 150 Words

Please Read/Respond to Comments – on Medium

AuthorDerek Hastings | BCWorldview.org 

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