Wow wow wow. This book was an incredible eye opener. Before I get started on the review, I need to tell you this is a Christian book. But even if you’re not Christian or you’re not sure what you believe, please give this book a chance. The writing alone makes it a worthy read, add Jesus to the mix and you have a homerun.
Francine Rivers is just one of those authors who just does it for me. She makes writing seem so effortless. I have read several books by her- The Atonement Child, Scarlett Thread, Redeeming Love; to name a few. And she never disappoints.
This book tells the story of the 5 women in the lineage of Christ which the bible tells us of. Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary. Each story is roughly 100 pages, so it makes for good stopping and reflecting points. I read the book in the span of a few months so I could let each story have time to remain in my mind and see if God was trying to show or tell me anything.
The story of Tamar is not one that I was familiar with. And reading about the treatment of women in those times gave me goosebumps when I read it. No choices for them. None at all. They followed their fathers orders and their fathers (if faithful) followed the law. The story of Tamar dives into the realm of forgiveness and redemption. I was so engrossed in this story that I read it in one sitting.
Second up was the story of Rahab. Now Rahab I was somewhat familiar with, but I certainly did not know her past. It was rough. Like Tamar, she didn’t have many choices but she made do with what she could. She was placed in a position that could be of power for the kingdom of God and used that position accordingly. Because of Tamar, the walls of Jericho came down and the Israelites took her in, freeing her from bondage and bringing forth a new righteous generation.
Third up was Ruth. I must admit I have a soft spot in my heart for Ruth. She always wants to do the right thing and she carries other peoples burdens as her own. She is perhaps the most obedient lady I read about. Her mother in law introduced her to the Word and she was determined to follow it, even if others in her life didn’t agree. Ruth follows the law with no regret, she does just as she’s asked and doesn’t look back. What must it be to live a life that is that obedient?
Bathsheba is fourth up. Her story, if you read it just like that, a story could read almost like a Hollywood fairytale of today. There is deceit, lust, war and so much more wrapped up in her tale. But what she teaches us is redemption and forgiveness in addition to not being beneath people. Bathsheba sins as well as King David, and it is their faith that brings them closer to God, no matter what the gossipers are saying.
Lastly is Mary. I must admit, aside from her being Jesus’ earthly mother I didn’t know much of her before. She starts as a poor girl, the daughter of humble beginnings. Her older sister, also named Mary- her father named them because the name Mary means bitterness. And at this time, his world was full of bitterness, as the Messiah had not come yet. The story of Mary follows all that we’ve been told, with her having an immaculate conception and bearing this child to be named Jesus. But what we don’t usually hear is the doubt and clucking of tongues from the people toward Mary and her husband Joseph. You don’t hear about all the times they had to pack up and leave in the middle of the night for fear of their baby boy being killed. Yes the story tells of the crucification and resurrection, but this time it is told from Mary’s point of view and I personally think that all you moms out there would relate to many parts of her story.
Whether you are a believer, non-believer, or not sure…. I highly recommend this read. Perhaps it can give you insight or answers to questions you have. As for me, it reaffirmed my faith and gave me greater knowledge to these people who were such an important part of history.