In Cliff Graham’s newest book he has written a fictional story about the Biblical figure Caleb. Caleb is introduced as an adult in the book of Numbers in the Bible, but Graham gives the readers a picture of Caleb’s life as a young man. The story is told by an 85-year-old Caleb, and in part explains the Egyptians point of view as the Exodus that Moses lead occurred.
Caleb’s character paints a beautiful picture of how poor leadership can (on the Egyptian side) can cause pain and suffering for many. Caleb is depicted as a foreigner, not an Israelite, yet he is shown to understand who Yahweh is. This story gives an explanation to some of the Egyptian gods and paints a beautiful picture of how strong and powerful Yahweh truly is. Through Caleb Graham has given deeper humanity to the characters of Pharoah and other rulers, and in so doing shows the contrast of what happens with a repentant heart vs. a hardened heart.
Themes throughout the book include humanity’s need for an all-powerful God, and also the ultimately merciful God who even cares for the weakest humans. Another theme is that wisdom, strength, and experience carried Caleb through his whole life. In his old age, Caleb is not resting or living life for a life of luxury in retirement. He continues to desire to fulfill the calling God has placed on his life. This is a theme that Graham has presented which may carry on through the series. Shadow of the Mountain is the first book in an “Old Testament saga.”
Compared to the Lion of War series Graham is known for Shadow of the Mountain does not use as much scripture being quoted through the characters. This book reveals more of the nature of God as God revealed himself to the Israelites. Also, unlike the Lion of War series, this book does not take a story and expound on it, it creates a whole story that is not in scripture.
Themes in this book mirror cultural issues Christians wrestled with the present day including loving our enemies, everyone sins, and strong leadership is necessary for the healthy, safety and spiritual guidance of others.
As long as this book is read in the context of how Graham has presented it, a fiction book that tells a story not in scripture, but about history that is also written about in scripture, it’s a great read. Looking forward to the rest of the series!
In exchange for an honest review, I was given a free copy of this book via Bethany House Publishers. The view written about here is mine.