Years ago, I read a book by an author and liked it, so I began to read other books of his. One after the other. I came to realize that each one used the theme of the prodigal son. Overtly. After reading about a dozen of his books, I had to stop. It became so overdone with me reading his books in that way…
Though this author overused the plot device, there is good reason. There are so many prodigals! And we all want to know that we can return home and find the Father watching for us, ready to receive us with open arms and complete forgiveness.
Sometimes, though, guilt can be overwhelming. It is so easy to look at our transgressions, the many ways we fall short, and think that it is too much. That it goes beyond the acceptable limit. And, sadly, when dealing with people, that is sometimes the case.
There is hope, however, for prodigals. Our sins can never drive us too far from God if we seek His forgiveness. He will always allow us to repent and return. This is the very message Jesus gave in the parable of the prodigal, and others, to illustrate.
I don’t know about you but I never really cared much for the young man in the parable when he left his father’s house. His self-absorbed, prideful, and selfish seeking of pleasures doesn’t sit well with me at all. But when he was humbled and realized the folly and evil of his prior attitude, he had such a heart change. “I will return to my father and tell him I am not worthy to be his son.” It is at this point in the story that my heart softens towards him and desires to see him reconciled with his father.
Until the Mountains Fall
Series: Cities of Refuge #3
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date July 2, 2019
Genres: Biblical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Israel Creation to the Judges
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-34
Written for: Adults
Recently widowed, Rivkah refuses to submit to the Torah law compelling her to marry her husband's brother and instead flees Kedesh, hoping to use her talents as a scribe to support herself. Without the protections of her father, Kedesh's head priest, and the safety of the city of refuge, Rivkah soon discovers that the cost of recklessness is her own freedom.
Malakhi has secretly loved Rivkah for years, but he never imagined his older brother's death would mean wedding her himself. After her disappearance, he throws himself into the ongoing fight against the Canaanites instead of dwelling on all he has lost. But with impending war looming over Israel, Rivkah's father comes to Malakhi with an impossible request.
As the enemies that Rivkah and Malakhi face from without and within Israel grow more threatening each day, is it too late for the restoration their wounded souls seek?
I would like to thank Connilyn Cossette for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: Shelter of the Most High, Like Flames in the Night
I loved the way Rivkah’s story illustrated the parable of the Prodigal Son. Author Connilyn Cossette boldly gives Rivkah a less than stellar character. I found that I couldn’t really see how Malakhi could be enamored with her, especially with the way she treated him. And then when she escaped Kadesh… Let’s just say, I wasn’t very happy with her.
But she changed. The events that occurred in Laish were terrible. It was there I realized this story is that of the prodigal son. Um. Daughter. It was in Laish that Rivkah realized her folly and began to desire to go home. Until. And then she knew. Her sins were too great and she could never go home again.
It was at this point that I began to have compassion for this lost woman. Fast forward five years and my compassion turned to admiration for the character she was starting to develop. While I knew, she was wrong in assuming her family despised her since I know the end of the prodigal’s story, the author made me experience her pain and guilt and to understand how she would have felt this way. Ouch!
Malakhi was wonderful! Though as a young man he had quite a few flaws, as time, grief, and circumstances began to refine his character, I grew to admire him more and more. I loved the way the author showed how he was crushed by Rivkah’s desertion and how he fought with bitterness and unforgiveness towards her. If he had simply continued to pine for her and embraced her immediately, it would have made the story a bit ridiculous.
Until the Mountains Fall is a deeply moving story. The despair of the prodigal, the vigilant prayers and longing of the father for the prodigal to return, and the seeker of the lost sheep all touched my heart.
I’m looking forward to the conclusion of this wonderful series and have already picked out those I hope to see as the main characters!
Each of the books in the Cities of Refuge series contains characters from the others yet each can be read as a standalone. I just don’t encourage that – they all should be read (and, ideally, in order). There are some adult themes, so I suggest this book for older teens and adults.