Friday, July 1, 2005

Song of Redemption: King Hezekiah's Days

Lynn Austin continues her “Chronicles of the Kings” series about the life of King Hezekiah, with the second installment, Song of Redemption. Picking up immediately where Gods and Kings ended, it tells a story of Hezekiah’s first years as King of Judah. He learns again the true faith, from his grandfather Zechariah, and struggles with his own attitudes toward God, longing for the strong faith his grandfather has, even as he questions his own motives for his early decisions. Does he have enough faith to stop sending tribute money to Assyria (begun by his father), that God will deliver Judah from the Assyrians?

Biblical characters of whom we know little come to life here, especially Hezekiah’s cabinet members Shebna, Eliakim, and Eliakim’s father Hilkiah. Hephzibah also is back, with elements of her character foreshadowing what must happen later on: as the mother of Hezekiah’s successor son, Manasseh, Hephzibah is the one that must supply Manasseh with his pagan beliefs.

Song of Redemption also introduces a major secondary plot outside of Hezekiah’s story. A young Israelite woman, Jerusha, and her family show us the plight of the neighboring Israelites during Assyrian aggression, as well as the unimaginable brutality of the Assyrians. As the story progresses, the subplots become the main story, and we see more character growth in those around Hezekiah rather than in Hezekiah himself. Jerusha changes through her experiences. Conflict develops between Shebna and Eliakim, and Eliakim’s character is further developed.

Song of Redemption is an entertaining story with good action, conflict, and character growth. Throughout the story we experience the underlying message of forgiveness, the redemption promised to the characters as they turn to Yahweh, the heavenly Father who loves them and restores them.

1 comment:

bbevins said...

This is an amazing series of books and I have felt myself drawing nearer and nearer to God as I see the relationship he longs to have with us