Kara's Reviews > Pearl in the Sand

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
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's review
Oct 19, 2011

it was amazing

Joshua 1-10; Matthew 1:1-17

This is another story based on the above Biblical scriptures of how Joshua and the Israelites conquered Jericho, but more specifically about Rahab’s background and involvement. Even though Rahab originated from Canaan and the wickedness that existed in that land such as false gods, sacrificing babies, sexual immorality, and inhumanity; there is no mistaking that God had a calling for her life elsewhere.

Rahab is 15 years old when her father forces her into prostitution because her family is hungry and unable to produce crops during a drought. Yet even at such a young age she illustrates wisdom and intelligence beyond her years. She is horrified that her father, her Abba, would make such a decision but she complies obediently. The first 100 pages of the story describes the life Rahab has in Jericho and her perspective of a corrupted home. Even though she lives there she grows more and more disgusted of her people and continues to hear stories about the Hebrews and their god. “Was this why the god of the Hebrews sought to annihilate them? Did he see no hope for them? No redemption? The answer welled up within her like nausea she could not ignore. They had gone too far. And they were arrogant about it. Defiant.”

It was such a fascinating experience to read about Rahab’s account and to see Jericho’s reaction to the Israelites escaping Pharaoh to conquer different kings in the land. By the time the Israelites arrive at Jericho, Moses is dead and Joshua is now their leader. To see these characters come to life was such a treat! Rahab is an easy character to identify with despite her circumstances and instead of judging her, I was moved to sympathy and understanding for her. Her character and strength amazed me.

Rahab comes to know God even before the Hebrew spies show up in her city and she doesn’t hesitate in helping them. The remainder of the story goes further into detail about how her family adjusts to their new life and becoming Israelites themselves. It was amazing reading how they go from fearful of the Hebrew life into faithful Hebrews themselves.

The last part of the story focuses on the romance of Rahab and Salmone. This was also such a precious encounter. Salmone starts out detesting Rahab, but the story slowly shows his respect for her and eventually he becomes completely dedicated to her. As he submits to God, he slowly understands what it will take to help Rahab completely heal from her past and he does not disappoint.

This is not a light read, but the messages of redemption and forgiveness are powerfully described in this story and the references to names and events in the scriptures are quite exciting. The author manages to describe Rahab’s experience as a zonah without being graphic or uncomfortable. However, be advised that Rahab does have conversations in bed with certain men, there are examples of lust, there are two battle scenes given in detail including the part when Jericho’s walls are destroyed, and this story gives mention to killing babies in the temple as a sacrifice to false gods. These elements are not the focus of the story, but they are realistic and for me some were disturbing. I was very pleased with the overall story nonetheless and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes adventure and romance. The romance in this book is not just between Rahab and Salmone. There is a tangible romance between Rahab and God. God’s love is not based on how we are treated by our bosses, our spouses, our parents, our children, our teachers or our churches. God’s love is safe, unconditional, and faithful. The Holy Spirit is CONSTANTLY pursuing us; always going to any lengths to earn our trust; and relentlessly doing what it takes to capture our hearts as well as bring healing to our hurts. Rahab managed to learn her value in God’s eyes; she was able to experience redemption and give forgiveness; and she experienced God’s healing touch even though she lost her innocence at a young age and to this day is remembered as the prostitute who helped the Israelites destroy Jericho. Yet she is part of the heritage and lineage of God’s people and someone who is considered blessed and cherished.

I want to thank NetGalley.com and Moody Publishers for the free copy they provided for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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