Stone by Stone, the Wall Will Rise Once More Around God’s City
When news reaches him that Jerusalem’s wall is shattered and its gates burned with fire, a distraught Nehemiah seeks God’s guidance in fasting and prayer. Granted an unexpected leave from his duty as cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes, Nehemiah sets out for Jerusalem to rebuild the city wall–never anticipating all the dangers that await him on his arrival.
The leaders of the surrounding nations become his fierce enemies, plotting to assassinate him and stop the wall’s reconstruction forever. A drought, meanwhile, has left the country impoverished, with many families resorting to selling their children as bondservants just to keep from starving.
Capturing the rebuilding of the wall through the eyes of a number of characters, On This Foundation is the powerful conclusion to The Restoration Chronicles. This exploration of faith in the midst of oppression offers hope that, in spite of appearances, the gracious hand of God is upon those who believe.
On This Foundation starts with Mordecai thanking God that the threat of annihilation – as described in the book of Esther – has passed. He soon learns, however, that there have been fatalities. He’s introduced to Nehemiah and his brothers, three young children who witnessed their parents’ murder, and becomes responsible for their welfare. The book then moves ahead 28 years to when Nehemiah is cupbearer to the Persian king. He receives the news that the Jerusalem temple has been rebuilt but that it lacks suitable defenses. Nehemiah is responsible for the king’s security, but feels helpless when it comes to the safety and security of his own people. Through prayer and divine intervention, he is able to leave Persia for Jerusalem with the king’s blessing.
There are parts of the Bible I might have passed over if not for Biblically-based fiction. The book of Nehemiah is an example of this. After reading On this Foundation I went back to the Bible and read it. There are little details Lynn Austin included in her book that I thought had been imaginatively created, but I was wrong. Did you know that the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall was a community project? Small groups were responsible for various sections of it. Did you know that some women were also involved? Look up Nehemiah 3:12. Austin includes a fictional storyline of three sisters, based on this one verse.
On This Foundation concludes The Restoration Chronicles. It’s been an interesting and entertaining series, based on the return of the Jewish people to their homeland after the long exile in Babylon. I’ve also found it to be Biblically-accurate, something important to me. It’s a series I definitely recommend, although I do suggest reading them in order.
Thank you to Bethany House for my complimentary copy of On This Foundation, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read On This Foundation? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 06 October 2015
Page Count: 480