Friday, January 2, 2015

A Story About Ezra

Keepers of the Covenant, by Lynn Austin
Absolutely wonderful – I love this story.  Lynn Austin has written several series of books, which include Gods and Kings and Refiner’s Fire.  This is the second book in the Restoration Chronicles.  In her series books, each book is its own story and stands alone, and does not have to be read in any order.  I really like that! 
Keepers of the Covenant is a Biblical fiction story about Ezra, a brilliant Jewish scholar who lived in Babylon during the rein of Persian King Xerxes.  Although this is a work of fiction, it holds many truths straight from the Old Testament.  As I read this book, I also did daily reading and Bible study on the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  This was a special time of blessings as I delved deeper into the wonderful history in the Old Testament and of spiritual growth as I read of God’s everlasting faithfulness to His people and to all who trust and believe in Him.
In the opening of the story, the exiled Jews receive a decree from King Xerxes that all Jews would be annihilated on the thirteenth day of Adar in that year.  The King had been deceived by Haman, his most trusted advisor and second in command, into believing that the Jews were plotting against him and planned an uprising.  Out of this devastating decree, God raises up Ezra to be a leader of his people, and eventually Ezra is able to lead his people out of exile and to return to Jerusalem. 
Through the lives of Ezra's family and two other families, we see that they faced the same struggles “of faith and doubt, love and loss” as we do today.  As the story develops, the lives of the three families intersect and shows us how God amazingly works His purpose in each of us.  Ezra faithfully studied the Torah to learn as much as possible about God’s ways.  He became an outstanding leader of his people and was greatly loved, not just in this book, but in reality – in the Bible.
Bethany House Publishers provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
Happy New Year to one and all.