Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page | 9 | 800-733-2607 BIBLE STORIES Forgotten Bible Stories Margaret McAllister; illustrated by Alida Massari In this elegantly illustrated collection of Bible stories, Margaret McAllister imaginatively retells thirteen lesser- known tales of often-forgotten people, chosen especially for their care and compassion toward the vulnerable, and their (sometimes unexpected) strength of character. HARDBACK $17.99 Bible Stories ISBN: 978-0-7459-6520-8 8.75 x 10.5 • 48 pages • Ages 7–9 Rights: NAR Lion Children’s Books November 27, 2016 ISBN 978-0-7459-6520-8 9 7 8 0 7 4 5 9 6 5 2 0 8 Bible Stories for Girls 978-0-7459-6371-6 $14.99 Bible Stories for Boys 978-0-7459-6370-9 $14.99 RELATED TITLES 14 15 Many years later David sent for Ziba, who used to be Saul’s servant, and asked him if anyone was still alive from Jonathan’s family. He wanted to show them kindness for Jonathan’s sake. Ziba knew the answer. By this time Mephibosheth was grown up, married with a son, and living with friends. Ziba was sent to take him to David. What was Mephibosheth to think? He had heard stories of David all his life. His nanny had been afraid of him. His grandfather had hated David. But his father and David had been best friends. Maybe David really did just want to befriend him. Or maybe David wanted to keep Saul’s grandson where he could see him so he couldn’t rebel. All his life he had been told the story of how his nanny had carried him to safety, and it seemed that he still lived in the shadow of her fear, not knowing whom to trust. He would much rather have stayed where he was, living quietly, but the king had sent for him. He had no choice but to go. At the splendid court of King David, he hobbled into the king’s presence and bowed low. “Great king,” he said, “why am I here? Why should you take notice of me? I’m worth no more to you than a dead dog!” “Welcome, Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son!” said David. “All the land that belonged to Saul and Jonathan is yours now, and you will live here as a member of my family.” He sent for Ziba, who had found Mephibosheth and brought him to court. “Ziba, long ago you served King Saul,” he said. “Now, I want you to serve his grandson. I have given Mephibosheth all the lands that belonged to Saul. You and your family and servants are to farm it for him.” It was a long time since Ziba had served Saul, and he had been loyal to David ever since. What did he think about his family having to work for Mephibosheth? He had to obey the king’s orders. A time came when David’s son Absalom turned against him and tried to seize the kingdom. David and his supporters were escaping from Jerusalem when Ziba came to meet them. He had brought two donkeys laden with bread, fruit, and wine for David and his followers. “But where’s Mephibosheth?” asked David. “Why hasn’t he come to help me?” 30 31 his hands together, then jumped up again, and flapped his arms, so he must have been desperate to tell me something. I put my hands over my mouth and bit my lip, but it was no good. He wasn’t pleased, but the more he glared the more I laughed. I couldn’t help it. He pointed to my stomach. What did that mean? Why did he make that gesture? Did he mean I was putting on weight? I wanted to say, “What a nerve!” but I was laughing so hard I couldn’t put two words together any more than he could. Then he did the “rocking the baby” action, and that stopped me. We didn’t talk about that. We had no child, and I was too old to have any hope of one. It was our quiet grief, the thing we never talked about. Pointing at me like that, doing that action – that was cruel. “Are you blaming me for not having a child?” I demanded. He shook his head furiously, then repeated the whole mime thing. Prayer. Something with wings. Baby. Me. It reminded me of Sarah’s story – a childless woman, a message from God, a baby – but I wasn’t Sarah, and it upset me. Before very long I felt off-colour and I couldn’t drink milk. Couldn’t bear even the smell of it. But olives, though – I couldn’t get enough of them! And as the weeks went by, and Zechariah still couldn’t speak, I came to understand that he had received a message from God that day; and God keeps his word. I was growing rounder every day! I had a feeling it was a boy, and the name “John” was in my head, even though there wasn’t anyone called John in my family or Zechariah’s. It was six months later, and the baby was moving, when I had the dream. I saw a glorious figure almost too bright to look on, but I could see the shape of wings. My husband’s story slipped into my head and I thought I would see him, too, but I didn’t. The figure kneeling before the angel wasn’t Zechariah – it was my little cousin Mary. “Little cousin Mary!” She’d always be little Mary to me but she was old enough now to be married. Mary had been the nearest I ever had to a daughter, and I loved her. I heard the angel tell Mary of the baby she would bring into the world, and in my dream I understood as I had never understood anything in my life before. It was as if Mary and I were part of a perfect pattern, or a dance, or a song