Yet another wonderful read by Charles Swindoll! Reading these books remind me of what my grandmother used to tell me. When I was in the 10-12 year old range, I read a lot of R.L. Stine novels (Fear Street series, anyone?) And my grandmother, a devout Christian with G rated thoughts, used to ask me, Why dont you read some nicer books like animal stories or biographies? At the time that just sounded horrendous. But the older I get, the more I really do enjoy both! haha (Guess my Nana was on to something)
And I cant help but think she would have loved the Great Lives from Gods Word series by Charles Swindoll. Biographies dedicated to men and women of the Bible, this series teaches what we can learn and take away from their lives to better our own. I have previously read (and loved) Volume 2: Esther, A Woman of Strength and Dignity and Volume 3: Joseph, A Man of Integrity and Forgiveness.
I was thrilled when I was able to get my hands on a copy of Volume 5 (which was hard to track down; thanks to a local used bookstore I snagged one!) These books not only offer a great study of the persons life, but Charles Swindoll does a fantastic job of sharing life application principles. I especially felt that the take away messages of Elijahs story were very powerful. Ive been talking about some lessons Ive learned from this volume to anyone who will listen.
I didnt know much about Elijah before reading this book but Im glad I read this. His life is a wonderful example of how we can put ourselves through boot camp for God, trust in the Lord without hesitation, and do it all with a humble attitude. Humility is a lost art in todays world and this was a wonderful refresher on the topic.
I highly recommend this book (and series!) to those interested. Other characters featured in the series are David, Moses, Paul, Job, and the greatest life of all: Jesus
I began this series with book 1 David and enjoyed it immensely. That was much thicker than this one, and that's understandable. After all, king David is mentioned more times in the Bible than any other biblical figure. Elijah, my favorite OT figure, by contrast, is not given much space in the Bible. He enters and leaves the scene suddenly. That makes writing a biography about him difficult. Of course this book isn't a biography but rather biblical exegesis, and because of both reasons Charles had to get very creative here. This book is more personalized and personally reflects more Charles Swindell the man rather than Elijah. This is unavoidable, but can be distracting at times. Reading about Elijah I felt like I got to know a lot about Swindell's life as well.
Certain directions Charles took with Elijah I didn't appreciate. The idea of book camp, for instance. With each passing year I become more and more intimate with Elijah, and there is nowhere in his story that explicitly depicts any kind of training the prophet had to undergo. There are ordeals to be sure, but nowhere is there any kind of indictation Elijah is a fledgling that is slowly turned to God's champion. My feeling is that Elijah is a giant among God's children. He was simply born with his prophetic gifts, no training required. This idea of "boot camp" is more reflective of Charles, but again that's understandable. These minor criticisms notwithstanding, this book also invites multiple readings.