Sage and Song, Chapter 8: The Hospitable Leader

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Chapter 8: The Hospitable Leader

Now all the earth sought the presence of Solomon
to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.

Each man brought his present: articles of silver and
gold, garments, armor, spices, horses, and mules.
1 KINGS 10:24–25 NKJV

“Are you afraid of my pets?”

“No, my king.”

“Are you afraid of me?”

“No, my king.”

Solomon frowned thoughtfully as he tugged at the ear of a drowsing lion. “Are you at least impressed?”

Kester hesitated. “You wish to hear my impressions?”

The captain snorted, and the king sighed. But before anyone could clarify matters for Kester, a servant slipped through the double doors at the far end of the hall and scuttled forward. “If it pleases the king, your servants are ready to assemble. Those waiting outside the gates are enough to fill your court, and they do not come empty-handed!”

“By all means, let’s prepare.” Solomon stood, idly brushing at the lions’ fur on his robes. Tapping Kester’s shoulder, the king explained, “People are always dropping by, and I like to make them feel welcome. Will you help me?”

“How?”

“Play.” Lifting the lion’s head harp from his throne, Solomon presented it to Kester. “Sit at my feet and make music. Gentle songs to set our guests at ease.”

“I am your servant.” Kester was glad to be entrusted with the precious instrument once again. He hugged the harp to his chest and asked, “Shall I play your father’s melodies?”

A slow smile spread across Solomon’s face. “That would please me greatly.”

Kester obediently took a seat on the king’s footstool and fiddled with tuning pegs. Servants and guards were filing into the throne room with a brisk, businesslike air. The boy was surprised—and very much relieved—when Asaph joined the scribes who kept the king’s records. My mentor is near.

Setting his fingers against the strings, Kester plucked a few notes, followed by the initial chords of one of David’s oldest psalms. But before he could lose himself in the music, the boy recalled something important. Catching the trailing end of Solomon’s embroidered sleeve, Kester waited breathlessly for the king to acknowledge him.

Solomon leaned down to whisper. “Go on. That’s always been one of my favorites.”

With another small tug, Kester asked, “Am I forgiven?”

The king’s eyebrows lifted. “Is that the shape your fears take?”

He wasn’t sure if fear was the right word, but he inclined his head.

“Take heart, Kester. You are both forgiven and favored by your king.” Solomon gently mussed the boy’s curly hair and added, “And don’t wander off. I have a gift for you, but it’ll have to keep until later.”


♦ What kinds of things impress you?

♦ Do you have a welcome mat at your house? What’s on it?

♦ In what sense is forgiveness a gift?


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Author’s Note: This story is a prequel to Christa Kinde’s Threshold Series [Zonderkidz] and updates twice a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays). More information can be found on the Sage and Song index page.

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6 thoughts on “Sage and Song, Chapter 8: The Hospitable Leader

  1. Arian says:

    Things that impress me: Displays of remarkable talent and/or training. Self-sacrifice. Integrity maintained when lapsing from it would be a lot easier.

    Welcome mat: No, and if there was one, it would probably say, “What are you doing at my door?!” :) My home is more than my castle; it’s my fortress. :P

    Forgiveness is a gift because it can’t be forced, only given by the choice of the injured party. Someone once said to me, “There’s no excuse for what she’s done. I can never forgive her.”
    And I said, “If there were any excuse, she wouldn’t need forgiving. It’s because there is none that forgiveness is applicable.”

    Like

  2. Megan says:

    What always impresses me most is the grandeur of nature. God’s handiwork is the best. :)

    I do have a mat. I think there were bees on it at first. Now it seems to all be a single brown-grey color.

    Forgiveness is a gift because it releases the desire for revenge. God’s greatest gift is releasing us from his need for justice and wrath. His mercy and grace show us how to give the sacrificial gift of forgiveness to others.

    Like

  3. Emma says:

    I’m often impressed by people’s courage and wisdom. I think those are some of the character traits I admire most in people.

    Nope. No welcome mat. There used to be one, but it got lost when we moved.

    I would have to agree with Arian in that forgiveness is a gift simply because it has to be *given*. Someone can’t just walk up to you and inform you that you forgive them. You have to choose to do it.

    Like

  4. Jesslyn says:

    What impresses me? Everything. I have many, many interests and I love life! I’m happy to be alive! :D

    We have one at our front door and it just says “welcome” on it. But it has a kind of leafy pattern on it. I have my a welcome mat in front of my room. It too just says “welcome” but it has an interesting pattern on it, made out of warm colors like reds and oranges. I also have numbers on my door even though I live in my parents’ basement (I’m a minor still) because a few years ago, I thought it would be a cute idea for the outside of my room to look like an apartment and I was right! Haha I am so easily amused! :D

    It’s a gift because it is undeserved. It is such a relief and blessing to know that someone forgives you. And it’s downright mind-blowing when it comes to the fact that God forgave us! Not only did He forgive us, but He also chooses to not remember our sins. I have heard many times that justification means “just-as-if-you’ve-never-sinned”. That is amazing!!

    Like

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