He arrives on a huge black stallion after more than a days journey at full speed, bareback riding, and no stops for food or water to a place he has no clue where he’s at and to a man who says had a dream that a man would arrive by horse with nothing to eat or drink and needs to take in. This mysterious man on horseback says his name is Paul of Damascus. If you have any familiarity with the New Testament of the Bible, you might know him better as Saul of Tarsus. Yes, the Saul who later used the name Paul, the man who persecuted those of The Way and later sees Jesus of Nazareth, who tells Saul to stop killing His people and Saul finds himself blind for a few days due to the bright light of seeing God.
Getting back to Empire’s End, the man who now calls himself Paul of Damascus finds himself in a home where there’s a rabbi, a recent widow and her little boy. He comes to learn that this widow’s late husband’s name is Stephanos. Paul has a dream that this family learns he is the one who murdered Stephanos, the one the people of The Way say is the first martyr, Stephen. Paul does not dare suggest this information, but continues to seek a relationship with God every morning in a solitary place. Paul soon takes on responsibility in this encampment and lets his majestic horse return to wherever God will send it. He is stranded with this people, but willing to remain because of this relationship he builds while learning more about God. During his moments with God, he is asked to become a slave to Christ, which means no income but continually working for the Lord. Paul is willing, but how does he continue to live with this family knowing he might be the reason Stephanos died?
Jerry B Jenkins has an amazing way of sharing what life may have been like during a time in scriptures and placing more personality and details into daily loving during a time period. The author’s name might be familiar as he is one of the writers for the Left Behind series. Empire’s End places the reader into the possible life of Saul of Tarsus and what he may have went through after he sees Jesus. It is based off of the New Testament scriptures, but places the reader to getting to know the man a little more deeply. Captivating and easy reading, there’s a constant energy throughout the book that keeps the reader wanting more. A book that’s hard to put down once started, I find the book to be excellently written and I appreciate the possibilities of what Paul may have gone through after he learns more about the God he previously persecuted.