Thursday, October 29, 2015

On This Foundation

This is the third and last installment of The Restoration Chronicles, by Lynn Austin.  This story is about Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.  Beginning with the petition by Nehemiah to King Artaxerxes to return to his homeland and supervise the rebuilding of the walls (Nehemiah 2:5).  God is mighty and he moves Artaxerxes to grant Nehemiah's petition.  The story moves forward from there with the king even writing letters to the kings of the region, to let Nehemiah get all the wood he needs from the forest in the region to rebuild.
Ms. Austin fills in the small details of daily routine and gives life to the characters as Nehemiah sets out to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls.  As Nehemiah approaches Jerusalem, you feel his elation at seeing his city, but also his disappointment at the sight of it laying in ruin.  "...Jerusalem, city of his ancestors, lay below him.  His breath caught at the wonder of it--and also at the desolation of it.  Piles of rubble and burnt stones lay scattered everywhere."  
This novel, based on Biblical events, draws a compelling picture of the opposition that Nehemiah and his workers are up against when Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem get wind of it; they set out to stop the construction.  The author gives an excellent depiction of God's work in favor of Nehemiah and the faithful when they are able to stop the attacks and finish the rebuilding.
This is a well written book and a fitting end to the series.  Lynn Austin is a bestselling author and and eight-time Christy award winner for her historical novels.  Her books have sold more than one million copies worldwide.  The first two installments in this series are Return to Me and Keepers of the Covenant.   These books take the reader from the beginning of the return of the Jews from exile, to the finish of rebuilding Jerusalem.  I read the second installment but not the first.  I plan to read it and I recommend that you read the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review.  These words are my opinion.

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