17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. (NKJV—Galatians 1:17-18)
What happened then?
THREE YEARS went by before Paul began ministering in earnest after his Damascus road experience. Have you ever wondered what happened during those three years? Where in Arabia did he go? Who did he meet there? Was he a hermit living in a mountain hideaway? Did he live among Arabs or Jews or Greeks or Romans? Did he hear directly from God or through believers or both? How did he get from Damascus to Arabia? Did he travel by horseback or camel or with a caravan? What was the culture and climate like at that time? What do we know from history about that time period in Arabia?
Best-selling author, Jerry B. Jenkins, does a great job weaving together history and imagination in his new book Empire’s End showing us what it could have been like for Paul during those three years. Some might say that if God wanted us to know that information He would have included it in the Bible. True. So, all truly important information we do know through reading the accounts of Paul’s life in the New Testament. But God created us with imagination.
As I read Empire’s End I found myself more than entertained. This book challenged me in my own walk with the Lord in trusting Him one step at a time (at a time in my life when I really would just like to see the whole plan laid out and explained). “Somehow I knew I would never be mature enough to perfectly rest in the Lord and trust that He knew best. That seems a logical place to reach if one simply acknowledges that the One who created heaven and earth and mankind is Lord of all . . . .while I didn’t feel particularly persecuted, as I expected I might and was certainly willing to be—I could only praise God that He had prepared me for the task to which He had called me.” –Empire’s End, pp. 242-3
For other reviews by Delana, click here.