Not often do we find some of the most stimulating and challenging words of a book in the introduction. But here Michael Black’s personal conviction on the brevity of life and the vital necessity of living each day in the light of the End rings out from the very start.
Here is a book written in an almost colloquial and highly readable style which comes as a challenge to us all, whether young or not so young.
Black chooses seven biblical characters whose diverse life experiences confront us with very different outcomes. First we trace Caleb’s long and heroic perseverance, with his 40 years of travelling through the desert before entering Canaan, and then 40 more before receiving his promised inheritance — an astonishing example of unwavering faith. To end the book we see the equally noble life of Caleb’s fellow spy Joshua who clung to the promises of God and also ‘finished well’.
In between these two splendid examples, Black traces the lives of five other characters, including Solomon, who started so well; the Apostle Paul, snatched by the risen Christ from unbelief to serve and to die a hero; Demas, who sadly ‘loved this present world’; and Lot, whose choices cost him dear.
Much helpful and challenging material is included in each chapter, written in an easily read but thought-provoking style — an excellent book and also well worth using as a gift.