I knew this was going to be a good book when I was less than 40 pages in, and I'd already dog eared 3 passages I wanted to share with you.
We all know the story of Esther. Wicked Haman, King Xerxes, yada yada. This was a story set during that time period from the perspective of other Jewish people in the empire. I'm embarrassed to say, it had never occurred to me that the Jews had known of their coming death months in advance. How terrifying! I saw so many parallels between the fear of the people after Haman's edict went out, and the horrifying predicament of the European Jews in World War 2.
Instead of the queen's eye view in the story of Esther, we get the experiences of the common people. Those who are scared, not just for themselves, but for their families. Ordinary people working, eating, living... all in the face of a coming death sentence.
I cried more than once while reading this book, but one line in particular got me, "We show our faith in God when we keep moving forward even when our prayers aren't being answered. It's the highest form of praise to keep believing that God is good even when it doesn't seem that way." (pg. 35)
I had never realized that the Jewish people had to fight their neighbors in the wake of Haman's death. I sort of glossed over the verse in Esther 9 that said they killed 75,000 gentiles, but did not plunder. This book made me want to re-read the applicable passages in the Bible. Fortunately, the references are listed in the back of the book, to make them easy to find.
I look at the way Ezra stepped up to be a leader and then took on the responsibility of his brother's family, and I wonder if my boys would do that for each other.
This is a beautiful, multifaceted story you'll want to read. I wish I'd known of it last school year, as I would have had Brianna read it when we studied this time period in the Old Testament. Author Lynn Austin brings to life the realities that have been whitewashed from our cheery, Sunday School version of Bible stories.
Lynn Austin is back with the next book in The Restoration Chronicles series, Keepers of the Covenant. Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God's unwavering love for His people.
Lynn is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and a live author chat webcast on October 21st.
- A Kindle HDX
- Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin
So grab your copy of Keepers of the Covenant and join Lynn and friends on the evening of October 21st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)