Read Love In A Broken Vessel Online

Authors: Mesu Andrews

Love In A Broken Vessel

© 2013 by Mesu Andrews

Published by Revell

a division of Baker Publishing Group

P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287

www.revellbooks.com

Ebook edition created 2013

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—for example, electronic, photocopy, recording—without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

ISBN 978-1-4412-4067-5

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from
The Names of God Bible
,
G
OD

S
W
ORD
®. © 1995 God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
www.zondervan.com

This is a work of historical reconstruction; the appearance of certain historical figures is therefore inevitable. All other characters, however, are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

The internet addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers in this book are accurate at the time of publication. They are provided as a resource. Baker Publishing Group does not endorse them or vouch for their content or permanence.

Praise for
Love Amid the Ashes

“Andrews re-creates the biblical story of Job through the eyes of the women who remained loyal to him. She has interwoven Job’s steadfast faith and his willingness to lead others to God amidst devastation and restoration. This classic story will speak to readers in new ways and ignite the passion for the ways God brings love into our daily lives.”


RT Book Reviews
, 4½ stars

“Andrews’s research shines through on every page as she delves deeply into the cultural, historical, and biblical records to create this fascinating and multilayered tale surrounding the OT hero Job and his family. Full of drama and overflowing with fresh biblical principles of finding forgiveness, hope, and healing.”


CBA Retailers + Resources

“In
Love Amid the Ashes
, Mesu Andrews takes a biblical tale of great tragedy and skillfully weaves beauty and love amid the loss. Job’s story brought vividly to life!”


Jill Eileen Smith
, bestselling author of
Sarai
and
Rebekah

“Mesu Andrews has skillfully brought the Old Testament story of Job to life in
Love Amid the Ashes
. Throughout this book she explains Job’s faithful adherence to studying the teachings of El Shaddai. Then she creatively reveals how those principles are demonstrated by his interaction with Dinah. You will be moved to tears as the characters reflect the mysterious role suffering plays in our faith. If you enjoy a story that includes a powerful plot, romantic passion, and biblical truth, read this book!”


Carol Kent
, speaker and author of
Between a Rock and a Grace Place


Love Amid the Ashes
is a beautifully written account of Job’s faithfulness and Dinah’s redemption. Mesu’s passion for storytelling and Scripture shines throughout this novel. Not only did I enjoy reading the rich history and details, the story reawakened my desire to dig deeper into the lives of the Old Testament’s seemingly familiar characters. Congrats to Mesu for a stirring debut!”


Melanie Dobson
, award-winning author of
The Black Cloister

Praise for
Love’s Sacred Song

“Andrews weaves a beautiful tale and takes readers to an ancient Jerusalem rich with history and customs and a culture that struggles to follow the one true God. This novel is well researched and well told.”


RT Book Reviews
, 4½ stars

“Andrews breathes life into her characters, portraying Solomon, who was known to have over 700 wives and 300 concubines, as a very human man whose love for one woman stands above all others. Recommended to readers who enjoy biblical retellings that focus on male/female relationships, such as those of Jill Eileen Smith and Francine Rivers.”


Library Journal

“Stunning in its depth and scope,
Love’s Sacred Song
is a story of love and passion, faith and flaws that will haunt you forever. Mesu Andrews crafts characters that will capture your heart with prose that will stir your soul. Masterful.”


Roseanna M. White
, author of
Jewel of Persia
and
Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland

To my forever best friend, Joni Edwards Jones.
You saw me at my worst—and you refused to leave.
You saved my life—and then I met Jesus.
How do I thank you for eternity?

Note to the Reader

W
hen you think of reading the story of Gomer and Hosea, what novel comes to mind?
Redeeming Love
by Francine Rivers, right? I think I’ve read it at least four times. It’s tied for first place in my all-time favorites, and Francine Rivers is hands down my favorite author. So why would I dare write a novel that might be compared to such a classic? Because
Love in a Broken Vessel
is biblical fiction, and
Redeeming Love
is a biblical story set in a prairie romance
.
Trying to equate the two stories would be like comparing apples and oranges—both are fruit, but very different yummy flavors. My hope is that readers will enjoy each one for the unique story it is.

Engaging fiction must be believable, but let’s face it—a righteous man of God marrying, loving, and repeatedly forgiving a prostitute is hard to grasp. However, as you immerse yourself in the ancient days of Hosea and Gomer, remember that the Bible says Hosea married a harlot named Gomer, and the story mirrors God’s desperate attempt to turn the hearts of Israel back to Himself. The story may not have happened exactly as I’ve written it, but it did happen. It was
the mystery of Christ’s love and mercy before the incarnation of our Savior.

Now, regarding the parts that are fiction, there is no historical data linking the prophets Jonah, Amos, and Hosea. However, Amos was indeed a fig picker from Tekoa, and it was feasible that Jonah was still living during the time of Amos’s prophecies and Hosea’s ministry. I’ve chosen to weave their lives together in a prophets’ camp—a sort of school for aspiring messengers of Yahweh. Though, again, I found no factual basis for a prophets’ camp in Tekoa, the Bible often refers to a community of prophets beginning as early as the tribes themselves. Shiloh was the gathering place for prophets with the ark of God. In 1 Samuel 19, Saul sent messengers to Naioth to seize David from a company of prophets, and 2 Kings 6 gives an account of some cantankerous prophets complaining that their living quarters are too tight.

Scripture also describes the details of King Uzziah’s leprosy but gives no location of the rented house where he lived out his life while Jotham ruled from Jerusalem. Neither does the Bible declare Uzziah’s exact relationship to Isaiah and Amoz. Scripture tells us that Isaiah was the son of Amoz (2 Kings 19; 20), and according to Talmudic tradition (ancient Hebrew text), Amoz was Uzziah’s uncle (
Meg.
10b). This dilemma encapsulates the beauty and challenge of biblical fiction—piecing together Scripture’s truths with historical supposition.

Hosea’s ministry began approximately 180 years after King Solomon’s death. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, angered the northern ten tribes with high taxes and hard labor, so they rebelled against the young king’s authority. The kingdom of Israel split into two nations. Israel comprised the northern nation of the ten rebelling tribes, while the tribe of Judah formed a new nation, maintaining its capital in Jerusalem and claiming the tribe of Benjamin as its sole support. The Canaanite people dispersed among both Israel and Judah continued worshiping pagan gods, drawing false parallels between El, the father of gods, and the Hebrews’ God, Yahweh.
The northern nation of Israel set up golden calf idols in Bethel and Dan, drawing Israelites into idolatry and stoking Yahweh’s wrath. But more profoundly—Israel broke His heart. God’s chosen people rejected His love. And that is where Hosea and Gomer’s story begins.

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