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The Priest: Aaron (Sons of Encouragement Series #1) Hardcover – May 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
In her Lineage of Grace series, the award-winning Rivers successfully explored the lives of five biblical women. Here, in the first of her Sons of Encouragement series, she turns her attention to the life of Aaron with less stellar results. A jealous Aaron grows up in the shadow of his younger brother Moses. Yet when God calls him to assist Moses in leading the enslaved Israelites to freedom, Aaron finds love for his brother. In the wilderness, disastrous disobedience to God follows, and Aaron must come face-to-face with the knowledge of his own unworthiness and the sins of the Israelites. "It would take a bigger miracle than plagues and parting the Red Sea to change the hearts of these people," he realizes. When he's chosen as high priest, the daily sacrifices Aaron makes torment him, and he dreams of fire and blood. The first portion of the book feels flat, as if Rivers may have relied too heavily on the scriptural text. Her ability to weave sexual tension throughout her novels has been one of the talents of this former general market romance writer, but she fails to take advantage of several opportunities here. By the last third of the book, however, the narrative improves, as Rivers convincingly envisions the emotions and intrigue that surely permeated the biblical events. Rivers is a deservedly popular author, and her loyal fans will likely embrace her new series despite some shortcomings.
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From the Inside Flap
Behind the men who shaped history are the heroes who forever changed it.
With her hallmark touches of brilliant prose and gripping characterizations, Francine Rivers tells the stories of five men who faithfully sought after God in the shadows of God's chosen leaders.
"The Priest The Warrior The Prophet The Prince The Scribe"
These five men answered God's call to serve Him faithfully without recognition or fame. They gave everything, knowing that their reward might not come until the next life. Be challenged by these faithful men whose stories we must never forget.
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The repetition comes from the Isrealite's repeated loss of faith in God, which they seemed rather quick to acquire; and the severe complaints and actions that they take in disobedience to Him as a result. I found myself thinking..."again!", and then, "Again!" regarding their blatant rebellion, over and over, when reading this book. God must have been annoyed with His people (granted, the word Isreal does mean "to struggle with God"). Moses and Aaron really had their work cut out for them with these "stiff-necked" people, and there inlies the beauty of this book. The reward comes in realizing what Aaron went through over the span of his life. And I think it serves the Biblical account well in depicting the constant rebellion of the Isrealites during the first few years of their journey out of Egypt, which may not be so easily picked up on by reading a few chapter of the Bible at a time.
When I read this story in scripture, it is spread over so many chapters and books that Aaron's story seems woven throughout and somewhat thinned, therefore, I appreciate that Francine brought the events of his life together in this book.