Faith Blum

Rock of Ages

All he wanted was his father’s approval

Chileab is born to privilege as the second-born of King David, but he still feels like an outcast. His crooked foot make it hard for him to do anything and although he enjoys being an advisor for his abba, he never feels like King David approves of him.

Born with unnaturally light hair, Rina loves helping her mother heal people around their small village. One day, her life is turned upside down when she is kidnapped by two Amalekites bent on using her for her healing powers to make them rich.

When Chileab hears of the little girl who had been kidnapped, he goes off to find her, even though five years have passed.  He makes his way into the desert by himself. Can he find Rina? Will he learn that Adonai’s approval is all he needs? Will he learn to rely on more than just himself?

A Rapunzel reimagining set during the time of King David


Chapter 1

Jerusalem about eight years after King Saul’s death


Chileab hit the tree with a stick, first on one side and then the other. Each thwack echoed off the surrounding buildings. The shadow of his father’s palace fell over the tree as Chileab beat at it.

“Chileab,” his mother’s voice broke into his attacks. “Hitting trees will not make them disappear.”

Chileab cocked his head. “I was not trying to make them disappear, Ema. I am practicing.”

Abigail laughed. “For what?”

Chileab sighed heavily. “For my training. Amnon began training this year. I am less than a year younger than he is, so I expect to start training in a few months as well.”

Abigail sighed and put an arm around her son’s shoulders. “Yes, he has. I am not sure if you will be allowed to train. Much of what Amnon says is cruel and also incorrect. However, one thing he says that is true is that you are unlikely to become a good warrior.”

Chileab opened his mouth to protest, but Abigail knelt to his level and put a finger to his lips.

“Hear me out. You have too kind of a heart for war, for one thing. And your crooked foot, although you try to hide it, does give you an uneven gait. You are like your father in many ways, before he became king and had to be away at war so often.”

Chileab swallowed hard. His ema had said these things before, but he had still hoped… He shrugged Abigail’s arm off his shoulders. “How?”

“David played the lyre for King Saul to calm him. He wrote and sang songs to Adonai. Yes, he still does that some, but not as much as he did before Samuel anointed him. You have a poet’s heart, Chileab. You should cultivate that.”

Chileab scowled. “And be made fun of even more by Amnon and my other brothers?”

Abigail put a hand on his cheek. “My beloved son, what I say is hard to hear, yes. But you can become a prince like none of the others will ever be. Learn things other than war. Become a songwriter, a scholar, an advisor. Kings and princes need much more than merely to know the art of war, like Amnon seems to believe. They need to know how to talk to kings of other nations and negotiate with them whether at war or in peacetime.”

Chileab blinked slowly and put a hand over his mother’s. “I will try.”

Abigail smiled. “That is all I ask.”

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