I’ve been saying that Biblical fiction is hot for quite a while. Just out this week, Shadow of the Mountain by Cliff Graham is the latest Biblical novel from Bethany House. I’ve been a Cliff Graham fan since I read his books about King David, so I was really excited to see he’s writing a new series about Caleb and Joshua. And that was all before I read it!
I read it in one sitting last night. It’s AWESOME. The book of Exodus is full of great material and Graham knows how to use it. Caleb starts out as a mercenary in Pharaoh’s army, loyal to Egypt, completely unaware of the Hebrews and their God. He doesn’t see the plagues from the safe haven of Goshen, he lives through them. The battles are intense, the plagues are terrifying, and Caleb himself is a compelling character. We see him as a young man, a seasoned soldier, and a wily, aging general that still commands his troops with an iron fist.
Caleb harshly punishes his troops for failing to care for a widow in the camp. When she protests that she is not worth their humiliation, he tells her, “Good lady, the reputations of a million men are worth nothing when compared to a single command from Yahweh. Many of the songs of victory that we sing are about the Lord our protector. None need his protection like the widow, and he joyfully defends her.”
Graham’s gritty, no-holds-barred style is a bit of a risk for the more conservative Bethany House, but epic stories like this one are what most of the Old Testament is about and we need writers like Graham who are willing take us into the fire of God’s wrath and show that His love shines as brightly there as it does in the manger of Bethlehem. One last quote.
“A man’s bloodline does not matter. Only his heart. Yahweh gives his own bloodline to those who worship him.”