Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Review: Faith of My Fathers

Faith of My Fathers. Lynn Austin. 2006. Bethany House. 320 pages. [Source: Bought]

Faith of My Fathers and Among the Gods are closely connected books; these books finish up Lynn Austin's Chronicle of the Kings series. By the time Faith of My Fathers opens, King Hezekiah has died and his young son, Manassah has become king. He has been brought up alongside Eliakim's son, Joshua. The two have spent years together: learning lessons, training, talking, playing. But something will come between these two. And it starts with a little lie here and there. Suggestions from others that Joshua and Eliakim and the priests and Levites have an agenda, that they love power and are secretly manipulating him with their laws, rules, and wise council. Instead of placing his faith in the Torah, in the men who have spent their lives reading and studying it, he places his faith in an idol worshipper who twists and distorts it. This young man, Zerah, makes wondrous claims making it seem that he has all the answers and that he's been lied to his whole life. That there is so much he could learn if he'd just opened his mind and let go of all these rules and laws. One of the first things he does is convince Manassah that Isaiah and Eliakim are part of a conspiracy to destroy him. He even suggests that Isaiah CURSED Hezekiah and made him die. Manassah, well, Zerah seems to have him completely mesmerized. He's vulnerable and gullible and his decisions from about page twenty on are absolutely horrible. Faith of My Fathers is disturbing and realistic. It definitely portrays sin and idolatry. 

Faith of My Fathers is in some ways a divided story. After Manassah has arrested Isaiah and Eliakim and sentenced them to die for treason, Joshua and his brother, Jerimoth, escape first to Moab. They are helped in their escape, and their family expands to include two young boys and a young woman, Miriam. One boy, Mattan,  is adopted by Jerimoth. The other boy, Nathan, I believe is adopted by Joshua. Miriam has fallen in love with Joshua, but Joshua after learning of the fate of his family is angry, bitter, and has one thing and one thing alone on his mind: getting revenge and killing Manassah. Joshua feels called to return to Jerusalem again; he feels his work is not done yet, that he's been called to save a remnant of true believers, Levites mostly. This story begins in Faith of My Fathers, and is continued on in Among the Gods. 

Faith of My Fathers is incredibly intense and very compelling. It is difficult to read of idolatry, to be an eyewitness to the depravity. But I think it does a great job in showing and depicting how far the nation has fallen, and just why God is so angry. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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