Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Book Review: "The Prophet" by Francine Rivers

Bible Stories Made Interesting

I'll admit it. When I read my Bible, I tend to skip the minor prophets. Except for Jonah, I don't think the majority of people can even remember their names. Luckily Francine Rivers has made Amos into a novel (Book 4 in her Sons of Encouragement series) so we can learn about his story. Amos is a shepherd who is appalled at the way God's people have become in the days after the nation has split. God gives Amos visions of what will happen to the enemies of his people and to his people themselves. When Amos goes to Bethel to tell them, they first rejoice at hearing of the destruction of their enemies but then after hearing what will happen to them, they turn against Amos. Even though near death at times, Amos stays true to his word warning the people to repent and leave the ways of the false gods and priests. The people don't listen and God sends down his punishments.

I liked how the story could be related to people in today's world. If we're not careful we'll end up just like the kingdom of Israel. Another thing I liked was the cameo of Hosea, another prophet, here as a young man. His story is hinted at and can be told fully in as a parable in another of River's books, Reedeming Love. This book is recommended if you have trouble understanding the book of Amos. It's amazing how fiction makes historical and biblical event more clear.

The Prophet by Francine Rivers is published by Tyndale (2006)

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