NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Throughout the Bible, God’s people lived under the threat of attack from hostile militaries, but not until Sept. 11 did people in North America fully realize the threat of being attacked in their homeland by powerful enemies.
The stories of people who faced the reality of impending attack — in a series titled “Yet I Will Rejoice: The Testimonies of Five Biblical Personalities Who Thrived Under the Threat of Attack” — reflects how they were drawn closer to God and were greatly used by him through their ordeals.
Author John Revell, associate editor of SBC Life, journal of the SBC Executive Committee, uses first-person accounts of the five biblical characters — Rahab, Gideon, Jehoshaphat, Isaiah and Habakkuk — to show that as they faced the threat of attack by invading forces, God touched each of them and taught them priceless lessons that transcend time.
“My desire is to transport the reader into the actual event as it happened so they can have a sense that these were real people, not merely historical figures who lived long, long ago that they’ve got to shake the archeological dust off of in order to grasp,” Revell said. “These are real people who experienced real pain.”
The book series is unique because it is available only in e-book format. The first book, “Rahab,” is available for downloading at www.toknowGod.org. Along with the books, each priced separately, will be a music video called “I Will Rejoice,” written by Revell and singer/songwriter Denver Bierman.
“This book is God bringing together all the pieces of the puzzle in the course of a number of years to utilize several mediums — the Internet, art, music video and the written piece. All four of those are at work in this project,” Revell said.
“Nashville is bubbling over with talent,” he said, “so since coming to the Executive Committee six years ago, God has brought me into contact with some of the best people in the nation in some of these areas.”
Because “God brought it all together,” Revell said he doesn’t have a formula for someone who wants to write a book and get it on the Internet as an e-book. “Regardless of what happens with this book, anything positive is a result of God bringing the pieces of the puzzle together, and if anything good happens it’s going to be to his honor and glory because of what he did.”
Three years ago, in observing the direction our nation was headed, Revell said he became concerned that many Christians in North America have no concept of struggling with the prospect of military hostility in their own culture. He was studying individuals such as Habakkuk, Daniel and Jeremiah and realized incredible lessons that flowed out of their experiences and what God says about them in the Bible.
“The challenge was to come up with a way that could communicate the truth of God’s Word and those timeless, essential lessons in such a way that it would catch people’s attention and draw them into God’s Word,” Revell said. “It was after 9/11 that I saw how relevant it was to today.”
As Americans struggle with the threat of nuclear attack, biological weapons, the possibility of war with a powerful country and continued terrorism at home, they need a guide to respond to those threats in a God-honoring way.
Beyond that, individuals facing any sort of threat need an anchor, and Revell believes that anchor is God’s Word.
“My hope is that people will have a deeper appreciation and understanding of God’s Word — the relevance of God’s Word, the timeliness of God’s Word and our need to conform to what God proclaims in his Word — and as a result that they’ll be drawn closer in their walk with the Lord,” Revell said.
Through the books, Revell hopes readers will understand that the characters were ordinary people who faced extraordinary circumstances but through their ordeals learned essential lessons about God and faith, lessons that transcend the millennia to address Americans’ very fears and frustrations today.
The e-book format was a way to release the material as soon as possible so people can begin learning sooner rather than waiting nearly a year for the hardcopy version to be available. Revell is praying about the prospect of releasing the first book in hardcopy in the future, while continuing to write the next four books in the series.
“I’ve viewed this as a stewardship,” he said. “It’s biblical truth that I have encountered, and I feel a responsibility to proclaim the truth of God’s Word as effectively as possible. I don’t see that God holds me accountable for the results of that. I’m just supposed to proclaim it. I’m getting the book out there, and I’m going to leave the results up to God.”
The books are fruit from Revell’s life goal, which is to know and love God and his Word as much as possible and to help as many people as possible to do the same.
“If people will read the book and be drawn back to God’s Word to read it more carefully and deeply, then I view it as a success,” he said.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: YET I WILL REJOICE, RAHAB and JOHN REVELL.