“But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the Lord hid them.
Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.”
—Jeremiah 36:26, 32 KJV
The ship barn, crafted of redwood and ironbark, survived the flames. Moose opened the barn window to see a blackened world of destroyed crops and homes.
“And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.”
—Genesis 7:23 KJV
During the winter months, Caleb and Montana created a church building plan for a small community near Orchard Valley. The town mayor didn’t bother waiting for Montana to tip his hat before throwing the plan in the fire.
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”
—Romans 5:3, 4 KJV
“A sick soldier that had stayed at Jeb’s home during the war gave Jeb his field glasses, and one day, Jeb spotted Farmer Jones and a few others standing near the orchard’s property line, pointing and laughing. We dubbed the group the Straw Hat Gang.”
“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”
—Proverbs 26:22 KJV
“Jeb’s next door neighbor, Farmer Jones, asked us for help storing hay. I spotted a half-empty can of white paint in his barn. Jeb and I suspected he was behind the traitor accusations, hoping Jeb would sell his land cheap.”
“The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.”
—Proverbs 21:6 KJV
“After discovering an ugly sign in the remnants of the burned barn, Jeb showed me a letter signed by several citizens accusing him of burning down his barn during the battle to get money. Several wounded Union soldiers hiding in the barn died.”
“But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?”
—Nehemiah 2:19 KJV
Susanna tugged out a quilt scrap from under the burnt timbers of the chapel. How could God allow His temple to be destroyed? How was it that her beloved husband died, while greedy thieves like Frederic Bucannon gloried in pleasure? She wondered at God’s leading. If Montana had told her of all these changes in Orchard Valley, she’d have been sorely tempted to settle in Sacramento.
“They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.
For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.
O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.”
—Psalm 74:7, 12, 21 KJV
Susanna watched the creek turn dry despite her attempts to maintain the creek’s natural flow. Did rocks move by themselves? The ache in her shoulders answered that question, and the Sheriff answered others: “I suspect F.B., but he’s not leaving easy evidence this time.” Susanna found a useful purpose for the sign she discovered leaning against her bakery window.
“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.”
—Psalm 94:16, 17 KJV