Job,where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth...

Twe Stephens By Twe Stephens, 17th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

A story of extraordinary fortitude and courage in that rocked all Heaven, for love is always received by those that love The One...

Job,where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth...

As this was happening in Heaven, in the fishbowl universe in the Far East province of Uz, seven thousand sheep grazed on the lush grasses of the rolling steppe, as hundreds of shepherds stood watchful vigil. Akila glanced at the bluest sky, chewing tough strips of dried goat meat, scanning the flock flowing and pulsating like a living organism as far as he could see. He searched the humongous herd for any distress while keeping a keen eye for predators. A woolly dog stood by his side panting in the suffocating heat. Akila bent his head back drinking deeply from the skin; dark brown eyes probed him excitedly. He patted its head while as it wagged its tail in reposeful expectation. Akila poured water into the dog’s mouth as it noisily licked up the wet overflow.

Akila felt a low rumbling. He looked astonished at the rapidly darkening sky; something was not right here. The atmosphere flashed as the first raindrops fell – within minutes the violently swirling clouds above turned bright purple.

“My God,” Akila whispered. With her tail tucked firmly between her legs, moving closer to her master the dog whimpered loudly, trembled, and began barking furiously at the sky. The sky exploded with sun-like brilliance throwing him through the air - the entire universe faded to sudden black.

In the absolute blackness, something moaned in excruciating pain; anguish consumed and ruled the nothingness within the searing darkness - some distant indefinable something prayed for mercy. A persistent cold distant licking force penetrated the starless misery abating into the nothingness: blinding unsustainable pain filled the void. The torture howled crashing his body, engulfing his soul, and destroying his ability to think clearly. What happened? Where was he? Akila struggled hard to remember something – anything.

In a fit of pure will, he tried to move his body - surprisingly it reacted. He sat up groggily trying to focus despite the blinding screaming in his head; furious barking continued seemingly inches from his face.

Thick ozone saturated everything. Akila focused the wet shadowy grayness, dissecting through the screaming rain and the blackness of the earth; thousands of blackened steaming carcasses littered the landscape. Adrenalin flooded his system as the memories surfaced hard. A tear fell. The dog jumped on him almost knocking him over frantically licking his face. Throbbing pain exploded in agony as the dog’s paw pierced the blackened skin on his abdomen. Its magnitude took his breath away, hammering unmercifully as he struggled to maintain consciousness and keep the over-excited dog at bay; some small part of him seriously wished he were dead.
“Get off me! Lie down!” Akila shouted with all the strength he could muster. His voice sounded alien, not part of him, against the booming ringing in his ears. The dog’s discipline instantly returned at the sound of her master’s voice; she whimpered pensively and laid down in the driving wetness.

Akila stood up slowly bursting with agony, struggling to maintain his balance. He surveyed the catastrophic blackness before him; life died here. White smoke rose from the blackened earth as far as he could see despite the heavy downpour. Akila, nauseated by the stench of burnt flesh saturating all of him, turned shakily to his dazed horse and painfully mounted it. Akila slowly crisscrossed the scorched earth for miles, weaving between the thousands of burnt carcasses trying to find any survivors as his dog followed faithfully behind him, whining loudly.

The richest man in the world was prostrate at the Altar of The One praying for his family. Job was humble, just, compassionate, loving The One with all his heart - the patriarch of the nation-tribe called Uz. The word Uz meant ‘wooded’, the nation a gigantean forest. Soldiers guarded Job night and day. He personally owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, a thousand oxen, five hundred donkeys, thousands of workmen, and ten servants to attend to the needs of just him and his wife. But the power and riches of Uz was his to command; he was far richer than the sum total of his wealth.

A sea of tents dotted the landscape between the ever present trees. Uz was a nation-tribe of commerce, artisans, and farms – a self-contained civilization with vibrant trade possessing a legal system, education, army, and rudimentary infrastructures and semi-permanent buildings. And commanding this nation-tribe meant nothing to Job, being totally consumed with the zeal and delight of his God.

Job struggled to understand why this mighty being who created everything seen and unseen could be devoted to him so personally, intimately, and with such fiery passion. Who was man to deserve this unsearchable honor? What is the meaning of this life? Why was he here? Job strained to understand; it was an itchy burning outside human logic, reasoning, and rational intellect.

He remembered what Mariah once said, ‘It is impossible to accept many questions have no answers; you are not alone for even the Angels share this immutable truth with all mankind’.

Job’s family consisted of seven sons and three daughters. Every month, they would have a family day - for they were closer than close. They met to discuss business, laugh and play, and eat a lavish feast prepared by their numerous servants. Job loved his family with all his heart - only The One captured greater love and devotion. After each feast, Job rose early the next morning making sacrifices for his children at the Altar, though deep down he suspected The One did not operate that way. Job intellectually knew each must make sacrifices for their own sins to obtain true forgiveness, yet he could not help himself for it made him feel better.

Job reclined inside his home, a complex of nine enormous tents, a moveable palace, and the plush interior prolifically luxurious. On the exquisitely engraved short table, a massive spread of elaborately decorated fruits, sweet cakes, and roasted meats were displayed with elaborate culinary skill. As Job and his wife were preparing to eat, a servant exploded into the tent shattering the verily expected. Job looked up in obvious surprise at the breaking of natural protocol.

“Forgive me Master,” the messenger breathed breathlessly with his chest heaving from miles of hard running.

“Catch your breath Ajaeah,” Job said softly half rising from the pillows.

“Master, the oxen were plowing the fields with the asses feeding beside them. The Sabean soldiers attacked and murdered hundreds of your servants and stole your animals; I am the only one that...”

Before he could finish Akila staggered into the tent, face still grimacing hard from the pain, screaming at the top of his voice, “The fire of God fell from Heaven and burned everything up - the sheep and all your servants; everyone was burnt alive. And I am the only one left!” Akila fell into the pillows sobbing uncontrollably.

Job opened his mouth. Before he could speak, another servant stumbled into the tent covered in blood shouting wildly, “Three garrisons of the Chaldeans attacked us and stole all the camels. The soldiers slaughtered everyone with the edge of the sword!”

Aza, his eldest son’s servant, then charged into the tent tripping over Akila falling onto Job. His eyes boiled in tears; he pulled himself up choking visibly on the words.

“Your whole family was dining at your eldest son’s house. A great wind came from the wilderness and smote the four corners of the house; it fell. Your family - they are all dead; and I am escaped alone to tell thee.” And he broke down in front of Job’s shocked wife.

Job arose from amongst the chaos with hot tear falling from his eyes, violently renting his clothes as he went into his private chamber. Trembling with obvious emotion, he shaved his head and fell down worshipping The One.

“Naked I came out of my mother’s womb and naked I shall return into the dust. The One gives and has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

And Job, trembling violently, collapsed onto soft furs breaking deep, howling bitterly, desperately trying to control the unimaginable grief that cracked the foundations of his soul and threatened to take his breaths away. He struggled to relearn the supposed blatant obvious; regardless of circumstance, no one could ever love him like the Lord. Somewhere in the blinding unimaginable sorrow, his wife put her trembling arms around him, a few moments before her own tortuous wails resounded full volume carried on the winds for hundreds of yards...

Excerpt from The Universes of God: The Chronicles of The Angels

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
20th Mar 2012 (#)

Beautifully written story, and thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
15th Jan 2013 (#)

This is utterly brilliant ! How do I get hold of your book ? I was riveted all the way through .
God bless you

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author avatar Twe Stephens
15th Jan 2013 (#)

You may find the links to the digital and paperback versions on this link

You may als preview the sequel which will be out this year at

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author avatar sukkran
29th Aug 2013 (#)

thanks for a interesting read. enjoyed my visit.

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