Abishai gave her simple instructions, or at least they seemed that way. Her task to complete her training for the Israelite army was to retrieve an apple from a tree. This tree was unlike others though. Elders in the villages claimed the tree was a direct descendent of the Tree of Knowledge. Apples from this tree were powerful, and only true warriors dared to venture and retrieve its fruit.

“Ridiculous” thought Ariella, but her face spoke volumes to Abishai. He simply shook his head slowly.

“One day dear sister, you will understand the Lord and His work.”

If Ariella could accomplish this task, she would surely impress her brother. He was the only one she knew who tasted the fruit; he was a true warrior, a true leader.

She briefly questioned why her brother refused to accompany her on the journey. He simply replied, “Live as a free servant of god, not a disciple of me.”

The beasts of the woods didn’t frighten Ariella. She stealthily crept past them.

There she spotted a majestic tree in the clearing. The grass patch surrounding the roots greener than any she’d ever seen. The light shone directly down like a scout’s light, highlighting every perfect curve and branch. She knew she’d found a very special tree, but could this truly be a descendant?

With each step closer to the tree, she felt a stronger presence around her. Only the Lord wielded this sort of power. She pushed forward, feeling the weight pulling her back. Each step felt heavy and harsh. She reached to pluck an apple from the lowest hanging branch, and she fell taking a juicy ripened red apple with her.

The reflection of the light nearly blinded her as she crawled to her feet. Her first bite would’ve been glorious, if it weren’t interrupted by the slimy slither of a serpent across her feet. Ariella snatched the apple and quickly climbed up to the nearest stable branch.

She watched the serpent slide in circles, surrounding the roots, before slowly ascending the roots, towards Ariella. Ariella leaped down and ran through the woods. Upon reaching Abishai, she presented the apple, which he quickly bit into and cast aside.

Enraged, Ariella asked, “Why?”

Abishai responded, “That was a mere apple tree. I simply wanted to test your faith in the Lord.”