Saturday, March 26, 2016

On This Foundation by Lynn Austin

I knew the story of Nehemiah from the bible, where he worked for the King of Persia, who noticed that Nehemiah was unhappy and he asked why. When Nehemiah told him he was upset about the destruction of the walls around Jerusalem, his home town, leaving it defenseless - the King gives him permission to go home and rebuild the walls - providing a guard and materials, and making him the governor.  What I didn't know was the background on Nehemiah and his brothers that led him to work for the King.

There are other character's lives within the story as well. Can you imagine being put into slavery for 6 years because your family is about to lose their home and land? There was a drought, and people were forced to pay taxes and mortgage their property even though they were starving.  For many the only thing they could do was go into bondage to pay their debt - which happens to a young girl.

And then of course Nehemiah is not popular with everyone, and there are plots to remove him. There is another young girl whose family wants her to marry into a political family entrenched in this part of the intrigue. The story is beautifully woven, with fabulous messages of God's faithfulness.  This is a book I highly recommend - especially if you think you already know the story!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Baker Publishing Group, Bethany - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

From the book:
The Powerful Concluding Novel
to The Restoration Chronicles

When news that the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire, Nehemiah, Jewish cupbearer to King Artaxerxes in Persia, seeks God's guidance. After fasting and prayer, he's given leave to travel to Jerusalem and rebuild the city wall, not anticipating all the dangers that await him on his arrival.

The leaders of the surrounding nations become his fierce enemies, plotting to assassinate him and halt the work. A drought, meanwhile, has left the country impoverished, many families resorting to selling their children as bondservants just to keep from starving.

Capturing the rebuilding of the wall through the eyes of a number of characters, On This Foundation is a powerful exploration of faith in the midst of oppression, and hope that, in spite of appearances, the gracious hand of God is upon those who believe.

My reviews: