Friday, September 27, 2013

PEARL IN THE SAND by Tessa Afshar

Tessa Afshar did a great job of taking the Biblical account of Rahab and making her story come alive with possibilities.  I am not usually a big fan of reading novels based on Bible facts (the cover drew me to the story), but this author I felt did a great job of keeping her facts straight and making the people seem real and plausible.  I also liked what the author had to say at the beginning of her book.  She said, "The best way to study the Bible is not through a novel, but simply to read the original.  This story can in no way replace the transformative power that the reader will encounter in the Scriptures." l look forward to reading other stories by this author.

Rahab begins her life of prostitution early in life when her father, the one she loves and trusts, wants her to give herself to men for money.  This will scar Rahab for most of her life, leaving her with never wanting to trust any man again.  When the town of Jericho is defeated and Rahab and her family saved, Salmone, a leader of Judah, is given the task of teaching Rahab and her family the ways of Israel before they can join the camp.  Salmone at first wants nothing to do with this woman.  But God can do the impossible for both Rahab and Salmone.  The love the develops between these two characters was precious and very well written.

There were many "pearls" of truth I took away from this story. I highlighted many of them to remember.  Like Joshua realizing before an impossible battle that God wasn't on Israel's side, but God was beckoning Israel to be on His side.  Then there was the realization Rahab came to understand in her quest to know God.  She was new in her understanding but yet she understood the difference between performance and worship; of doing something willingly to the Lord which brings joy and doing something to satisfy "human expectations" that ends in pain and misery at times.  Rahab will taste the goodness of God, she will experience His love and mercy where it is undeserved and see His worth in His children who could never earn it.

A story that will be remembered long after I have read it.  To read this story in the Bible and other places where Rahab is mentioned go to Joshua 1-10, Ruth and Matthew 1:1-17.

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