Monday, December 1, 2014

A Stand at Sinai by Hope Auer {Review}

A few years ago, I enjoyed sharing Hope Auer's debut novel A Cry from Egypt with my children. I praised that book for making Biblical history come alive.
"Throughout the story we walk beside Jarah as she works gathering straw to make bricks, washes clothes in the Nile, and befriends a young Egyptian girl. I could feel the exhaustion and desperation of the Hebrew slaves as they struggled to meet the demands of the overseers, and I could feel their hope as they saw the miracles Moses worked. The book stays true to the events recorded in Exodus, but the story I've heard so many times takes on a new meaning when I imagine what it must have been like to be living there during such a turbulent time." (my complete review)
This year, Raising Real Men has released the second book in The Promised Land series -- A Stand at Sinai.

The story picks up shortly after it left off in the first book. Jarah's family and friends had left Egypt about a month before the story starts and we join them shortly before they cross the Red Sea. It continues through the time when the Israelites were wandering through the wilderness.

I expected this book to be an exciting read that would help me better appreciate the lives of the Israelites as they escaped from the Egyptians. This book did even more than just entertain me. It challenged me.

I've read the Exodus account many times. I know that the Isrealites were wandering in the desert for 40 years because of their grumbling and disbelief. I never thought through that fact, though.

In A Stand at Sinai, Hope Auer shows what an entire generation of unbelievers looks like. I could hear the Israelites grumbling and complaining. I heard their despair when they looked for human solutions to their problems instead of relying on God's almighty provision. In spite of those dark times, I saw the children of Israel rise up. The main characters are the children and young adults of the Exodus. I saw teenagers encourage each other to remain faithful to God. In several cases, I could clearly see how the children had a faith stronger than that of their parents. I saw a generation trusting God whole-heartedly and facing life with trust instead of despair.

I often feel like our current society has turned its back on God. Is our society similar to the Israelites wandering in the desert complaining against God? More importantly, do we have a future generation that can rise up and proclaim their faith in God? Am I part of a believing generation who will one day walk in faith into the promised land? Are my children?

A Stand at Sinai made me look at the Exodus account in a completely different way. I no longer see the time in the wilderness as simply a punishment for the unfaithful, grumbling Israelites. I see the way young leaders grew over those forty years and proved themselves faithful. I am challenged to grow in my own faith, despite any grumbling that I hear around me.

After finishing the book, I noticed a few lines in the Preface (which I had initially skipped over). The author writes, "My prayer is that A Stand at Sinai will encourage all readers, young and old, to stand firm in their faith, resist the temptations of the world, and constantly strive towards Christ." Perhaps my entire review could be summed up by saying that this book did all of that and then some.

A Cry from Egypt and A Stand at Sinai would make great Christmas gifts! A Stand at Sinai is 368 pages long and is available as an Advance Reader copy for $15. You can order it bundled with A Cry from Egypt for $25. Although aimed for a young adult audience, adults will also enjoy the adventures of the Israelite families leaving Egyptian captivity and traveling into the wilderness of Sinai.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 

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