Title: The Priest
Author: Francine Rivers
Series: Sons of Encouragement, book 1
Major Themes: Exodus, Egypt, Israel
Synopsis: Aaron’s view of the Exodus brings that event to life.
We are working our way through a study guide of Old Testament history from TruthQuest History. One of their book recommendations, as we studied the Exodus, was The Priest. I was a little dubious about reading a Francine Rivers book to my children, since all I knew of her books are romances, but I found a copy at the library, so I preread it to see what I thought. I enjoyed the story enough to read it aloud!
Aaron was working hard, making bricks as usual and complaining to God in his mind about why his people were slaves, when he heard a Voice speaking to him. He was to go to the wilderness to meet Moses. What?! Was his brother really still alive? Despite the discouragement of his family, Aaron took off to find a man he hadn’t seen in 40 years and hardly knew, though they had been born into the same family.
After meeting up with Moses, the two brothers returned to Egypt and relayed God’s message to Pharaoh: Let the people of Israel go to worship God in the wilderness. Of course, anyone who has ever read the Bible knows what happened: Pharaoh refused and there were ten terrible plagues on the land of Egypt. The Children of Israel were thrust out of the land and went to the wilderness. Pharaoh’s army followed, they crossed the Red Sea, and they went to Mount Sinai.
Have you ever really thought about what it was like to be in that immense crowd? Have you ever thought about being there in Egypt when one plague after another devastated the once-rich country? What about how hard it was for Aaron to lead the people when Moses disappeared for well over a month? The Priest really brought the story to life for us! Someone commented that this book just tells the story from the Bible…but it does more than that! It made me feel like I was there, experiencing what Aaron experienced and feeling what he felt. I can understand the stories in Exodus better now. The older children all enjoyed this book enough that they want to hear more from this series. I was pleased to note that, with one exception, everything in this book lined up with Scripture. That one exception is found on page 118, where it says that Moses carved the Law onto the stone tablets. The King James Bible (I haven’t checked any others) says that God told Moses to carve out the tablets, but that He would write on them. There were a few other things we questioned as we read the story, but when we checked in the Bible, we could see where the author got them.
WARNING: Pg. 112-113: A battle with people being killed. Pg. 136: Two men were burned alive by fire from the Lord. Pg. 161: A man was stoned. Pg. 167: Many men were burned alive by fire from the Lord.
Listening Level—Ages 10 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults