The Battle at Engedi’s Wildgoat Rocks

P57 and 1 S24 The Battle at Engedi’s Wildgoat Rocks

Margery Kisby Warder, March 13-19, 2020

Against the dampness of the rocks

and deep within the cavern’s darkness

he and his crowded cluster wait,

grateful for the pause from pursuit.

Questions duel doubts.

Past and present clash.

Must not fear be slain

for this rightful king to reign?

What stands, who stands

in the way against the prophecy?

How long, O God, how long

must he wait to lead?

Twas not it God who first stirred

this singing shepherd’s heart

in ways that still humble him?

Time after time then

and now again

even in the silence

of these shadows

had God not

showered him with goodness?

None could count the times

his blurring eyes beheld

majestic clouds drifting over

pleasant pastures awaiting

heav’n-sent sunsets and rises.

Had Love not sat him stilled

at ripples and springs

and a myriad mundane

uncommon things

that winged his heart

higher and higher in praise?

Mysterious mercy, was it not,

that called him from the field

of wooly grazers

to an anointer


the end of a kingly line?

He, simply a shepherd

surprised as sacred oil slid,

streaking his young face

and smearing his plans.

His, a heart willing to obey

while holding at bay

a thousand questions day after day.

Called, yes, but how

and to where and when?

Then headway as a harpist,

a healer strumming hope

in a palace far from home,

enduring daggers

from a demented mind

and dodging spears

hurled from the jealous king.

Home again to pleasant pastures

Sent off to feed his fighting brothers

and topple the idol of the Philistines.

Applauded, paraded one hour,

hated the next.

Hunted. Hidden.

Pursued by an army

drilled to stop God’s course.

O, God, he asks,

How can I be still within Your plan?

Hear me, Almighty God,

tell me again Your will.

Called to what?

To flee this raging one

plotting, waiting for the kill?

The cost of obedience is high.

Safe within Your will?



Silence all.

Whose silhouette breaks

the entry’s light?

Companions’ whispers shout:

God sent him here and now

to let God’s chosen king

begin his rightful reign.

T’is surely God’s holy will.

One plunge and the reign

of God’s forever throne begins.

Has not God thrust him into your hands?

Thus eager soldiers urge their hero

toward his victory

assuring success is

but a stifled shout away.

The fierce struggle,

the rough wrestling begins,

not of two kingly mights

but within the shepherd’s heart

to test how deep the trust

in Him who knew and knows both

the bowels and pride of him

who seeks seclusion

within the darkened cave.

The sword is drawn

to settle the disputed throne.

Creeping close

and cutting quick

Saul’s kingly robe is severed

without a sound.


but not of hatred,

the prideful one descends

to soon discover why

his reign will end.

Praise! Hatred’s pit is empty!

Praise! The lion’s snared.

Let the grateful praise ascend.

Inside and innocent

the shepherd waits aware

one day his reign will begin.

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