5 out of 5 - Long awaited for sequel
What are we to make of the ministry of Elisha - how always seems to be in the shadow of Elijah? What about the endless succession of kings, where it becomes almost impossible to keep track of who's who?
Davis is a brilliant at explaining the familiar stories, and showing you what is really happening. So often we read the Old Testament narrative as if it was just a filler between Eden and the Gospels - well we may not actually think that in so many words, but we read it simply as stories with a few moral lessons thrown in, instead of asking ourselves what is God doing here. Dale Ralph Davis always focuses on God, the covenant making and keeping God. The great strength of this book is that it helps us to see God rather than the people who fill the stories.
In a way that is refreshing, humorous and penetrating Davis opens up the book of 2 Kings and provides sound, wholesome teaching. It is only when you look in the footnotes at some of the weird and wonderful interpretations from various scholars that you begin to appreciate the quality of what Davis is giving to you. His quick-fire no-compromising-with-scripture demolition job of these authors, coupled with his simple clarity, reassures the reader.
His writing is deceptively simple, but underneath it lies a wealth of knowledge. And one of the great benefits of Davis' books is that as you read them you learn how to understand how books of the Bible are put together, and how to see the big themes that Davis himself keeps coming back to.
Like his other commentaries `The Power and the Fury' is pointed in its application, and revealing in its illustration. It is hard to read this book and not be encouraged by who God is, and challenged by our own faithlessness.
As I said the last time I reviewed Davis - go and buy everything he has written on the Old Testament.
5 out of 5 - Refreshing, penetrating, biblical application & explanation
"Have you ever wondered why bits of the Bible are boring?" asks Dale Ralph Davis with refreshing honesty.
Such open honesty characterises this sane and sensible commentary on 1 Kings. Perhaps the words 'sane' and 'sensible' give the impression that the book is itself rather dull and boring, but not so.
In a way that is refreshing, humorous and penetrating Davis opens up the book of 1 Kings and provides sound, wholesome teaching. It is only when you look in the footnotes at some of the weird and wonderful interpretations from various scholars that you begin to appreciate the quality of what Davis is giving to you. His quick-fire no-compromising-with-scripture demolition job of these authors, coupled with his simple clarity, reassures the reader that, in the words of Dick Lucas, we are in "a safe strong pair of hands to guide us through the treasure - and the uninspiring bits - of 1 Kings."
This is a superbly easy-to-read book on 1 Kings. There is clear explanation, and there is excellent illustration, with the central theme of each section being plainly set out. But the thing I liked best was the incisive application. It is not possible to read this book and feel unchallenged.
But what is there to be learnt? Davis guides us through such themes as the majesty of God, prayer, wise living, and God's faithfulness. He brings a challenge to shake us out of our complacency.
Look out for other books by this author - he has also written on Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel.
And why are bits of the Bible 'boring'? "Because they are the records of sinful men who simply repeat the sins and evil of those before them. Sin is never creative, but merely imitative and repetitious ... Evil carries a built-in yawn. 'And he walked in the ways of Jeroboam and in his sin.'"