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Download Strength of His Hand Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Strength of His Hand (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Lynn Austin
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,341 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lynn Austin Narrator: Suzanne Toren Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2007 ISBN:
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God has blessed Hezekiah; his kingdom is flourishing. The people are prospering and the city of Jerusalem is safe from invaders. But the king worries that his beloved wife may be barren. After all his hard work in preserving the faith and protecting the faithful, the thought that one of his pagan-worshiping nephews will become ruler is upsetting. But he suffers greater anguish when he stumbles upon the secrets of his queen. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tami | 2/19/2014

    " This was my favorite in the series. Some say it moved slow, but I loved that. It was so intense and rewarding! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori Epperson | 2/17/2014

    " This was by far my favorite in the series! Loved every part of the story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen | 2/14/2014

    " On to book #4. Great series. Love this writer and her subject matter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betsy | 2/6/2014

    " If I could give it more than 5 stars I would. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 2/1/2014

    " This entire series is one of the best series I've ever read. I learned so much from each book. I give the series my highest recommendation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natasha | 1/26/2014

    " Although King Hezekiah has fought to turn his nation around he struggles against his pride and unforgiveness, and discovers that his choices have far-reaching consequences. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 1/12/2014

    " After surviving the threat of Assyrian invasion, Hezekiah has seen the kingdom of Judah blessed with extraordinary peace and prosperity. Life seems almost perfect, except Hezekiah lacks an heir. Desperate to retain her husband's affections and secure his succession, Hephzibah vows to sacrifice her firstborn to the pagan goddess Asherah. When Hezekiah discovers her idolatry, he flies into a rage and is critically injured in the resulting fire. Deeply and bitterly wounded by his beloved wife's betrayal, Hezekiah wavers between life and death with nothing less than the future of the kingdom and his people at stake. When God grants Hezekiah a reprieve, the broken king sets about attempting to solidify his legacy, risking everything for a chance at personal glory by signing alliances with neighboring -- pagan -- nations, alliances that bring Assyria once again to Jerusalem's gates. Will Hezekiah find the strength to return to the faith of his youth and once again trust in the never-changing God of Israel to redeem the results of his sinful pride and save his people from annihilation? The Strength of His Hand is the third volume in Austin's Chronicles of the Kings series to cover a portion of Hezekiah's reign. Taking 2 Kings 18-20, 2 Chronicles 32, and Isaiah 36-39 as her basis, Austin explores Hezekiah's reign at its critical midpoint -- facing death and the systematic dismantling of all the religious and political reforms he'd overseen since his coronation, the Hezekiah we meet at this point is a more vulnerable, almost desperate, man than the assured, faith-filled ruler we were introduced to in the first two volumes of this series. One of the main reasons I love biblical fiction is how it can flesh-out and humanize the individuals forever immortalized in the pages of scripture, reclaiming them from character status and reminding us that they were once living and breathing human beings, ever bit as fallible as we are today. The first two novels in this series sketched a fascinating, compelling portrait of Hezekiah -- but Hezekiah at this point in history, at least as brought to life by Austin -- is frankly unlikable. There is so much time spent on Hezekiah's illness, his regrets, his penchant for making decisions that go against every belief he's professed to hold dear up to this point. But the portion of Hezekiah's life covered in this novel is presented in too repetitive and redundant a manner to make for a truly compelling read. Hezekiah faces some truly appalling prophecies as a result of his decisions -- i.e., when Isaiah prophesies the Babylonian exile (2 Kings 20: 16-19), and the best reaction Hezekiah can muster is relief that this won't happen in his lifetime. One never really gets a clear sense of Hezekiah's remorse until the novel is nearly over, and given the far-flung repercussions of his actions, it is to my view a missed dramatic opportunity. The strongest characters in this novel are members of the supporting cast -- Eliakim, the man responsible for overseeing the construction of Hezekiah's tunnel in Song of Redemption (and now the Secretary of State), his wife Jerusha, the former Assyrian captive, and Hephzibah, the disgraced queen. In many respects Eliakim as a hero figure foreshadows the leading men of Austin's later works -- atypical, sincere, intelligent, bookish types. I loved Austin's exploration of how the pressure of Eliakim's new government position forced a new set of societal expectations on him -- expectations that clash with the grace-filled tenets of his faith. It is his wife Jerusha, the once-broken and bitter Assyrian slave who reminds Eliakim of the need for grace and forgiveness when she is compelled to reach out to the shunned queen. I love how Austin has developed Jerusha's story, particularly in how she doesn't shy away from the ever-present traumatic impact of Jerusha's years in captivity. I found Hephzibah's battle with guilt and unforgiveness extremely well-drawn and realistically presented, and Jerusha's unexpected friendship with Hephzibah is a lovely portrait of grace and redemption at work in the lives of believers. Lacking some of the spark that made the first two volumes in this series so fascinating, The Strength of His Hand is nevertheless a competently presented final chapter in Austin's exploration of Hezekiah's life and reign. I look forward to the fourth book in the series, covering the reign of Hezekiah's son -- I think perhaps a new generation's challenges will interject a much-needed infusion of life into the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beverly | 1/9/2014

    " Great book...intense! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shellie | 12/29/2013

    " This book reminded me that when everything seems bleak, God is able! This series is making me want to read the Old Testament accounts of the kings. Excellent writing! Couldn't hardly put this book down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 12/22/2013

    " Another good read!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 12/13/2013

    " This is the third book in a five book series. I enjoyed this one just as much as the first two. Austin is a great writer. She applies scripture and imagination to create a believable elaboration of the life and times of the kings of Israel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leigh Ann | 12/3/2013

    " This is the 3rd in a series and was my favorite so far. It deals with the life of King Hezekiah and I LOVED it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Felicia | 11/19/2013

    " IT'S HARD TO READ BUT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE UGLINESS IN OUR OWN LIVES. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 10/22/2013

    " The wars of this period in the Bible are easier to understand when the people come alive--even fictitious ones. Especially the kings of kingdoms other than Judah were made real to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 5/1/2013

    " More about the Old Testament kings, loved this series! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 1/11/2013

    " On to #4; I love this series!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen Haste | 1/4/2013

    " Brilliant again "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 4/13/2012

    " Enjoyed this third book in the series. A continuation of the story of Hezekiah, Eliakim, and the Assyrians. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bekah | 3/8/2012

    " Really liked it. Makes Biblical history come alive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaishauna | 3/7/2012

    " Great read! Historical, biblical, totally engaging!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 2/11/2012

    " This one is just as good as the others, although compared with the Biblical account it seems the author has put some events out of order. That being said, the book is still enjoyable and enlightening. It is changing the way I view God. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 1/26/2012

    " Excellent! My favorite so far in the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sean Lynch | 1/16/2012

    " Really did a great job of bringing Assyria and Judah alive! Thoroughly enjoyed it!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelley | 11/23/2011

    " Very good story of King Hezekiah and the evolution of his faith in the one true God. Helps you visualize the extent of God's love for his children. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 6/29/2011

    " Bible Alive "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Felicia | 5/24/2011

    " IT'S HARD TO READ BUT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE UGLINESS IN OUR OWN LIVES. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sean | 5/4/2011

    " Really did a great job of bringing Assyria and Judah alive! Thoroughly enjoyed it!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 12/18/2010

    " Despite some of the cheesy aspects of this book, I found it interesting. Especially the scene when Hezekiah is dying and asks Isaiah for a specific sign from God that He will live. That event is not only recorded in the Bible but present day scientists know about it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elena | 10/27/2010

    " I like it a lot!
    Very captivating book, at the same way it motivates to dig deeper in the Bible.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Desarie | 10/10/2010

    " This might be favorite of the series thus far. However, the war parts just make me sick and it is not a graphic book. I am just so grateful to live when and where I do. Really helps to make the old testament come alive for me more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 9/8/2010

    " The wars of this period in the Bible are easier to understand when the people come alive--even fictitious ones. Especially the kings of kingdoms other than Judah were made real to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 9/4/2010

    " I could not put this book down. It is a excellant series! It shows how God is merciful, loving, and forgiving and with your faith in Him anything is possible! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Virginia | 7/23/2010

    " Another very special book. Lynn Austin first has the reader review the Scriptures on which the book is based--in this case, they are about Hezekiah. Her easy reading style, yet wonderful cultural detail, added to the exciting plot, make this an uplifting and encouraging book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mari | 6/15/2010

    " A reminder of God's sovereignty, despite the odds. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leigh Ann | 5/17/2010

    " This is the 3rd in a series and was my favorite so far. It deals with the life of King Hezekiah and I LOVED it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 1/22/2010

    " More about the Old Testament kings, loved this series! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 3/28/2009

    " This is the third book in a five book series. I enjoyed this one just as much as the first two. Austin is a great writer. She applies scripture and imagination to create a believable elaboration of the life and times of the kings of Israel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 3/23/2009

    " Excellent! My favorite so far in the series. "

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About the Author
Author Lynn Austin

Lynn Austin is an award-winning author of historical fiction novels. Five of her books, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, and Until We Reach Home, received Christy Awards for Excellence in Christian Fiction. Her novel Hidden Places was also made into a movie for the Hallmark channel, receiving an Emmy Award nomination in 2006. She received her BA from Southern Connecticut State University and studied biblical backgrounds and Archeology at Southwestern Theological Seminary. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full time, she currently lives outside of Chicago.

About the Narrator

Suzanne Toren has recorded hundreds of audiobooks and has earned twenty-nine Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She has received the Narrator of the Year Award for her audiobook recordings for the Library of Congress. She has performed on Broadway and in regional theaters in works penned by Shakespeare, Molière, and Arthur Miller. She has also appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas.