To Dwell among Cedars
Series: The Covenant House #1
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date December 1, 2020
Genres: Biblical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Israel 1000 - 732 BC
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-34
Written for: Adults
As they fight for the soul of Israel, will they find healing for their own?
Eight years ago, after the Philistines surrendered the stolen Ark of the Covenant back to the Israelites, Eliora and her brother left their Philistine homeland to follow it to the community of Kiryat-Yearim. Though they both were lovingly enfolded into a Levite family that guards the Ark, Eliora can't stop feeling like she doesn't belong.
Meanwhile, a faction of discontent Hebrews finds Kiryat-Yearim to be an unfit resting place and believes that the sacred vessel should be in the hands of the priests who mean to restore the Holy of Holies in a new location. Under the guise of gathering Hebrews to worship together for the festivals, Levite musician Ronen has been sent by his uncle to find where the Ark has been hidden and steal it back. But Ronen never expected that the Philistine girl he rescued years ago would now be part of the very family he's tasked to deceive.
Ronen's attempts to charm Eliora into revealing the location of the Ark lead them in unexpected directions, as they must battle betrayal and fear to help establish Israel's leadership for a better future.
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers, Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
A Philistine woman who worships Yahweh alone. A Levite who doubts the Lord keeps His promises. Which is right?
I have often wondered just how the writer of I Samuel knew what happened in the five cities of the Philistines during the time the Ark of the Covenant resided there. And how they knew the reasoning behind the method by which the Ark was returned to Israel. To Dwell among Cedars gives quite a plausible explanation along with a beautiful story of adoption, hope, and forgiveness.
It was interesting to see some of the events of I Samuel from a new perspective. And the contrast of the manner of living of the Philistines and the Hebrews. During these dark times, with many Israelites worshipping the idols of the nations who had lived in the land before them, there remained a remnant who worshipped only the true and living God.
Eliora, though she was adopted and loved by a Levite family, struggled daily with feelings of unworthiness. She believed that if she messed up enough, she would be cast aside. I loved the beautiful picture of adoption she learned. That of being grafted into the family. Becoming a permanent part of it, and being loved, not because of anything she did or didn’t do but simply because of who she was.
After the death of his father and brothers in the battle in which the Philistines captured the Ark, Ronan doubted whether God still cared about His people, despite hearing of the exploits of God on behalf of the Israelites his entire life. He lost his desire to compose the beautiful songs of worship he had written in the past and relegated himself to the role of maintaining and repairing the instruments of the Levites. It was so moving how Eliora helped him overcome his doubt and led him to a place of being able to once again raise his voice in worship.
The intrigue related to the plot to capture the Ark added to the enjoyment of this lovely story.
Readers who enjoy stories that help them imagine “what ifs” related to Biblical events will want to be sure to read To Dwell among Cedars.