Seeking His face as the solace for turbulent times

Book Review: The Rain

By Elizabeth Prata

I love to join Tim Challies' Christian Reading Challenge every year, despite the fact that I usually fail and then end up hating myself, lol.

I usually choose the 'Avid level', which is a book every two weeks, or 26 books per year. I start to stall out early on, arriving home after a demanding day at school pretty tired, and after devotions and Bible reading, and writing the blog, it's time for bed, which seems to come earlier and earlier each year.

My eyes are getting older too, and weakening, according to the Doctor, so there's that.

Anyway, with this quarantine happening and the forced stay-at-home mandate, I have been reading. I have lots of time to read. If I didn't read, there would be indisputable proof that I have turned into a non-reader, despite having enjoyed that activity all my life. So there's that.

I am actually nowahead on my Reading Challenge.

  • Behind a Frowning Providence, John J. Murray
  • Just Do Something, Kevin DeYoung
  • From Death to Life, Allen Nelson IV
  • Safe & Sound: Standing Firm in Spiritual Battles, David Powlison
  • Never Enough: Confronting Lies About Appearance, by Sarah Ivill
  • Roaring of the Lion: Commentary on Amos, Ray Beeley
  • The Rain, Skates & Tankersley

  • Extracts from an Investigation Into the Physical Properties of Books as They Are at by Society of Calligraphers
  • Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie
  • The Prince of Providence: The True Story of Buddy Cianci, America's Most Notorious Mayor, Some Wiseguys, and the Feds, by Mike Stanton

Here is a review of The Rain by Chris Skates and Dan Tankersley. I stayed up until 11:30 last night just to finish it, if that tells you how the review is going to go!

I believe that what the Bible presents as happening in history actually happened. I believe it literally. That means my stance is that there was an actual six-day creation, and the flood literally occurred as presented. I accept the Bible's assessment of humans after the fall, the world had become so evil after the fall with men only thinking and doing evil continually, that in judgment, God flooded the world and saved only 8 people- Noah, his wife, Noah's 3 sons and their wives, on the ark that Noah built. There is no reason NOT to believe the Bible's presentation of these events as history. I disbelieve that they are allegory, symbolism, poetry, or any other literary device, except what actually happened.

If you're struggling with these concepts, please see the helpful links below.

The enormity of the people of the earth's sin against our Holy God is huge. God's judging the earth by water, with all billions of people dying is out of the capacity for my brain to fully grasp. Yet, Noah HAD to grasp it, because he lived with the threat of it for 120 years, and lived through it, and lived with the memory of it afterwards.

I've often wondered how they coped, emotionally. Friends and family mocking Noah and hating his preaching, yet scrabbling at the hull of the ark when the rains started...how it must have felt for the 8 souls inside to hear it and know their loved ones were dying. How it was on board for all that time, cooped up together, not knowing what the world would be like afterwards.

The authors give a credible and believable story of all that. Though it's fiction, it is consistent with what the Bible presents and where it leaps into imagination, it's consistent with biblical principles and human behavior.

The story begins with the rains having started and Noah's family on the ark. It's a compelling start and well-written. Then the scenes move to flashbacks. Different flashbacks are presented through different points of view of each person, but weave together to give the reader a picture of what life must have been like back then.

Life on the ark is written so well I felt I was there. Details such as animal manure, smells, and how to flue cooking fires are weaved in without being pedantic. The issue of the animals' behavior on board is also illustrated reasonably.

I appreciated that though the "city" (never named) was presented as thoroughly depraved, and many evil incidents happened that affected all of the characters, nothing was spelled out as so many novels and TV shows do these days. Enough was mentioned to be exactly consistent with the times of Genesis 6, but not so much that it left unwanted images in the reader's mind.

I also appreciated the authors' willingness to deal with petty family jealousies, spiritual doubts, and questions about how Noah hears God and if he was actually hearing from God or not. The brothers secretly jockeyed for 'position' as patriarch, fought, made up, nursed grudges, tried to do their best, just as in a family of today.

I also liked how, even though the prophecy came true and the rains did come, and even though God sealed the door and it was obvious to all that He had, that as time went on they doubted again, especially when the ark landed and they clamored to get out. It was also realistic that at times they forgot to seek God and made decisions on their own.

Especially affecting toward the end was the emotional and mental situation where though they wanted to get off the boat, they were also petrified as to what they would find. The safety they had known for a year was all they knew, and as much as they wanted to leave, they clung to the safety of the ark.

I appreciated the attention to the animals' behavior, too. They arrived compliant, remained fairly somnolent throughout, began stirring as the confinement appeared to be ending... their care and feeding is presented well.

Satan and/or his demons were mentioned in three scenes, once at the beginning, once in the middle, and at the end, where the story shifted to his point of view and how he operated in and around 'the city' and among the people in Noah's family (OK, Ham). Ham was depicted as a morally tormented man, who wanted to believe but also wanted to cling to his sins. Satan was happy to aid in this. The spiritual battle in Ham was realistic.

The ending was perfect. It also sets the read up for the sequel: The Tower.

The pacing was perfect and the story rolled along so that I couldn't put it down. When I did, I looked forward to picking it up again.

All in all, I can't recommend this book enough. Go buy it and read.

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Further reading

Answers In Genesis: (various questions) The Flood

AIG, What Was the Pre-Flood Population Like?

AIG, How Could Noah Build Something So Large?

Sermon series, in-depth 12 sermon examination of Genesis 1, Battle for the Beginning

Foundations of the Gospel (Commentary on Genesis) Kuldip Gangar


Comments

  1. Could you do more articles exposing the Roman Catholic Church?

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    Replies
    1. You might not be familiar with Mike Gendron, a former fervent Roman Catholic who was graciously delivered out of that deception, and has spent his remaining decades Proclaiming the Gospel (name of his ministry) with a strong emphasis on the errors of the RCC. Here is a link to a page listing his many articles on just that subject!

      https://www.proclaimingthegospel.org/site/cpage.asp?cpage_id=180066646&sec_id=180014816

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