Monday, February 23, 2015

"Bethlehem Road" Book Review

"God's redemption.  That's what this story is really all about.  Sure, there are the very human elements of struggle, sacrifice, love, friendship, and faithfulness.  Yes, the romantic component is epic, inspiring the music of countless weddings.  It's undeniable that tragedy and heartache play major roles in the story's develpoment and the direction of the main characters' lives.
But at the final curtain call, it is God's faithfulness that takes the bow.  Only God is big enough to restore hope in the midst of utter despair.  Only he can redeem the mourner's grief and grow something beautiful out of the dark soil of emotional and spiritual destitution.  Only God can work all things together - even the bad things, even the darkest of days - to produce something good (Rom 8:28)."
- Paul O'Rear (from the Forward to Bethlehem Road)

I don't usually start my book reviews with a quote from the book.  I want to make sure my readers know that I am actually reading these books and reviewing them - not just grabbing a quote and moving on to the next title.  But in this case, I thought this quote did an amazing job of describing this particular book. I've always been intrigued by the story of Ruth.  After all, its on of only 2 biblical books named after a female. And the story is very compelling.  Two women, scarred by tragic loss and heartache, bound together by devotion.  There's also the love story element - a kind, wealthy man swoops in and marries Ruth, saving her AND Naomi!  Its like a Jane Austen novel!  But more than anything, the book of Ruth is the story of God's provision, His faithfulness to those who seek Him, and His ability to take the worst tragedies in our lives and turn them into beautiful portraits of His grace and glory. Michael Whitworth does a wonderful job of pointing this out in Bethlehem Road.
I almost didn't order this book because the description made it seem as if it were meant as a study for people in hardship. - And the book is most definitely helpful in that way!  But this was a great study for anyone!  Mr. Whitmore does a great job of weaving his own stories into this Bible study of Ruth.  He also does a great job of explaining historical and biblical context to make some passages easier to understand.  I finished this book feeling like I had a better understanding of this little book of the Bible, and a better understanding of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz.  I would definitely Recommend Bethlehem Road!

I received a copy of this book, free of charge, from BookCrash, in exchange for my honest review.

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