In Chapter 10 Saul
is forced to review an embarrassing scene he made.
Before the eyes of Saul and Prince Daniel appeared a scene of recent
conflict in the Savage home. A conflict simmering under a loose
lid of surly civility.
Governor Lucas, who, under Prince Daniel, governed five burgeoning
municipalities, had made an official visit to Sauls home,
accompanied by Lord Stephen, Royal Mayor of Joystar.
What is this evil report I hear about you, Saul? rebuked
Governor Lucas. Lord Stephen tells me that you have disobeyed his
direct orders. I hear that Clint Savages rattlesnakes get
bigger and more poisonous with each passing day. And those bears
he shot for supper now have teeth as long as daggers. You tell the
children that you are descended from a man with the Midas
touch. But worst of all, you tell them that Clint lived like
King Solomon in a big mansion while more honest folks lived in hovels.
What are you trying to teach your children, disobedient one?
About our heritage as a family who overcame great adversity
and prospered in this world, replied Saul icily.
Beware of what you teach them! said Lord Stephen sternly
. I have warned you before about this.
Sirs, I do not wish to offend you, replied Saul, in
a conciliatory tone. And I am fully aware that the Lord has
the power to silence me forever if He so chooses.
Therefore in all humility I entreat my lords. Why is God so grieved
with me? Am I not faithful to render tribute to the Tabernacle?
Do I not have the liberty to choose the way wherein I shall walk,
free of constraint or coercion?
Governor Lucas replied, Would you call it coercion if Lord
Stephen and I plucked you and your family from a raging inferno
to save all your skins? How much worse will be that eternal fire
which shall never be quenched?
As for your money, God would be no poorer if you withheld
it from Him. And if you give it with a grudging heart, then it gives
Him no pleasure to receive it from your hand. And you cannot purchase
immunity from His chastisement when it descends upon you.
You are free to make choices, but you are not free to choose
the consequences of those choices! added Lord Stephen emphatically.
Lydia, Sauls wife, entered the sitting room where the conversation
was being held. She was bringing beverages for the guests. My
lord, she said to Governor Lucas, please enjoy one of
my cherry cordials. Theyre completely non-alcoholic. I made
Thank you, Lydia, said the Governor, accepting one of
the fruit drinks. He looked at her with profound pity. He groaned
because of the heaviness which the sight of this ungodly woman brought
to his sanctified heart.
Is something wrong, Governor Lucas? queried Lydia. You
look as if something is worrying you.
Lydia, Lord Stephen and I have come to bring a wonderful blessing
to this house. Would you receive it?
What blessing, my lord?
Would you accept our Lords free gift of salvation?
Lydia looked like a bone was stuck in her throat. Well...ah...I...uh...Ive
got some things to work out in my mind , first. Maybe another time.
But thanks for your thoughtfulness! she stammered, grinning
uneasily. My heavens! Where are my manners? Lord Stephen,
you must try my cherry cordial too. And welcome to our home,
she gushed. Its a great honor to see you again!
Lord Stephen remembered a problem shed had earlier. Why,
he inquired, did you not appear before me at the Judgment
Hall? Did you not feel the need?
Uh...NO! she sputtered. Why bother you when the
problems already been fixed? Youre a very busy official,
Lord Stephen gave her a stern look, shifting it from her to Saul,
who in turn, lowered his own eyes. You know full well, Lydia,
that your need has not yet been met. You also know your time is
rapidly running out. Further delay is a path to certain fiery judgment.
After Lydia muttered excuses and made a hasty exit, Governor Lucas
turned to Saul. Saul, you are also in need of warning. If
you persist in disobedience, you shall surely perish!
But surely my lord has no inclination to put me to death for
that trivial shortcoming! protested Saul. Three hundred
years ago, gross violence, foul language, and filth were freely
portrayed on television. And yet you rebuke me for my tales of rattlesnakes
You know youre sweeping aside the issues of life and
death! scolded Lord Stephen. Are you too blind to see
the sinfulness of how Clint earned his living?
And who am I, who live in such a Paradise as this, to judge
that miserable man who lived in the God-forsaken earth that was?
countered Saul. The poor man had to survive, and a drowning
man will grab at any rope.
And a sinner drowning in sin will seize any excuse to justify
his sin! reproved Governor Lucas. It was so in my day.
Only the Lord gave me the will to continue faithful in the face
of continual resistance from rejectors of the Gospel of Grace!
Saul, said Lord Stephen, the Word speaks of the
little foxes which spoil the vines. But at every opportunity you
throw open the garden gate to Leviathans of sin.
Saul snorted. Leviathans! Hardly! Sirs, is the Lord so bored
with the quietude of this Paradise earth that He must strain at
little gnats to amuse Himself?
Saul, cried Lord Stephen, the celebration of sin more than
merits our Lords concern! And you would do well to comprehend
that you are treading much too close to the precipice of hell!
Governor Lucas put his arm around Lord Stephen and said: My
brother Stephen, it is evident that Sauls soul is sick, nigh
unto death, and yet he refuses the services of the Lords physicians!
Saul, inquired the Governor, where are Ramera
and Nabal this evening?
Glad of the change of subject Saul said, Ramera is visiting
with her best friend Julia Marcus, and Nabal is passing the evening
with Lot Campbell.
Julia Marcus, sighed Lord Stephen. Saul, are you
aware that she is a bad influence on your daughter? We shall have
to deal very soon with her. She is rebellious toward divinely appointed
Rebellious! Thats all I ever hear! grumbled Saul.
Forgive me, my lords, but must we poor mortals have our every
move monitored, our every thought screened, by our rulers? Did God
not grant me authority over my own house?
Authority is a privilege, not an irrevocable right,
warned Governor Lucas. If you dont consider your ways
and repent, you will soon lose your God-given authority.
Saul, said Lord Stephen mildly, You have shown
great patience and mercy toward the transgressor who dwells beneath
your roof. It is written: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall
obtain mercy. You have not exposed the sins of this erring soul
to others, and you have returned good for evil. Therefore has the
Lord shown great forbearance toward you in the rebellion of your
Sir, protested Saul, you imply that if I had not
done so, then I could have lost my life for defending my right to
teach our family traditions to my children?
Our God never gave anyone the right to tell lies, and embellish
them with more lies! objected Governor Lucas. He proceeded
to upbraid Saul for one particularly outrageous rumor which had
been circulating among all his kinfolk for the past few months.
What else could I have done? Saul wailed. I cant
turn my back on my own flesh and blood!
The two rulers sighed. Saul seemed to have built a wall of granite
around his heart. But they had been instructed by the Lord to spare
him from death. Saul was very sick spiritually. It would take strong
measures to bring him to repentance.
Turning to Lord Stephen, Governor Lucas said: It will take
the hammer of Gods Word, applied with wisdom tempered by love,
to break through the hardness of this backsliding heart.
The two rulers arose from their seats. Governor Lucas shining
face emanated both love and pity. We must depart from you
awhile, Saul, he said. But I leave you with a stern
warning: If you allow the wretched condition of your soul to deteriorate,
then the cure will be that much more bitter for you to swallow,
and a sword shall pierce through your soul.
The two rulers vanished before Sauls eyes.
Mortified, Saul squirmed. My Prince, I was in an ill humor
on that particular day. Please...
Silence, Saul, said Prince Daniel. We must now
view the second part of the same presentation.
In that scene, Lydia was rejoining Saul in the sitting room after
the two rulers had departed
She giggled, for Saul was behaving like a silly clown, hoping his
levity would lighten her mood. In a deliberately high-pitched, off-key
voice he sang: Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty
, Im free at last!
Youre horrible! Lydia mocked. Saul, have
you flipped ? Thats the worst caterwauling Ive ever
heard in all my life!
No, honey! While it was a great honor to have those distinguished
dignitaries under our roof for a few minutes, its a great
relief to see those fellows tire of my dull company and leave. My
word, Ive never seen such grim faces in all my life! They
looked like theyd sucked on sour lemons before they came over
Prince Daniel could hear Saul weeping in humiliation from reviewing
his own irreverent, slipshod regard for the Lords authorities.
The ruler sighed as he intently perused the video.
Saul carried on whingeing to Lydia about the stern rebukes he had
received from the two rulers. I swear, Lydia, those chaps
sure do get a kick out of raking a poor sap like me over the coals!
The Regent's expression stiffened, and his lips were drawn tight
in indignation. But he remained silent as the wretched episode continued
to unfold before his eyes.
Lydia relished Sauls discomfiture. Whats the matter,
big boy? she purred. Wish you could have run out of
the room to escape them, like I did?
Saul did a little jig and chanted: Yeah, woman! You beat a
retreat, and let poor me take all the heat!
Lydia burst into a loud, ringing laugh, falling backward into Sauls
waiting arms. They stood there awhile, laughing and joking about
being on the Princes most wanted list.
Returning to a more sober frame of mind, Saul complained: I
cant take all their silly nitpicking anymore! Those are my
kids, and by gosh, Ill raise em as I see fit! And if
those rulers dont like the bears and the rattlesnakes, Ill
resurrect the dinosaurs and bring them into the story!
Shut up, you silly stooge! Lydia baited him with a hint
of a smile. We have no choice. Weve got to live with
our supernatural overlords, whether we like it or not! And what
are you going to do, Saul, if Governor Lucas goes crying to Prince
Daniel? He wont let you waffle your way out of a charge of
No way! blustered Saul. The big boss has more
important things to do than police the Savage residence for relics
of bears, snakes, and 300-year-old crooks. Hell go after bigger
fish before he sinks his hooks into me!
Prince Daniel rolled up his eyes, his disgust betrayed by a deep
shuddering sigh. Saul wept himself, as he saw a tear roll down the
gentle rulers face.
Im so sorry I hurt you, Sir! wailed Saul, twisting
the corner of his blanket up in his tight fist. I would give
everything I own in this world to undo the pain I have caused you!
I love you, my lord!
Peace, Saul, said the Prince patiently. I know
the great infirmity of your backslidden soul. But you must be diligent
to repent of the sorrow which you have caused our Blessed One. Let
us continue to review these scenes, that you might profit from them
and turn from your wicked ways.
You big clown! Lydia retorted to Sauls earlier
remark. Youre pushing your luck! Remember how Cousin
Blake got the ax for getting too far out of line? You see here now,
funny boy. You d better mind your Ps and Qs, or
Ill be a rich widow!
Youve got hopes! rejoined Saul, grinning and giving
her a playful pinch.
You naughty boy! she squealed. Straying from the
straight and narrow!
Now look whos preaching at me! teased Saul. Miss
Goody Two-Shoes! Youre so holy you wouldnt even let
Governor Lucas lead you to salvation!
Lydia, drawled Saul piously, your problem is that
you need to stop a moment and count your blessings. Even God deserves
a little gratitude every now and then.
What blessings? she mocked, with a pert uplift of her
nose. She did not relish being preached to.
What about our four kids? I know they dont always act
like blessings, but have you ever once stopped to thank the good
Lord for them?
Really, big boy, purred Lydia, fluttering her long eyelashes.
I think you had more to do with giving me those kids than
the Lord did, or", she giggled. "your buddies!"
buddies, you delicious little devil?"
"You know, the guys who picked your brain!"
said Saul, "they're nobody's buddies, and certainly not mine!"
they come you do your brightest halo for the occasion, don't you?"
into a big grin. "But now it's off, sugar babe, just for you!
Hey, dont we have better things to do than argue about religion?
You bet! giggled Lydia, breaking into a graceful run,
with Saul in hot pursuit. Last one up the stairs is a big