Promises is about the promises we make to ourselves and others; but it is also about relationships. The friendship between Onnua and Eunice is important to both of them. The first problem is that Amos, Eunice’s husband, does not like Onnua. That dislike turns to hate when Onnua marries the man who collects taxes for Rome. So his hate keeps them apart even though their hearts still long for the easy friendship and love the two women shared while they grew up together and were both companions and confidants.
Why is their friendship so important? In the beginning it is easy to see they enjoy being together. Later we see that their marriages have put them in different boxes. And they long for that “woman time” together. Eunice, on the surface, has the perfect marriage. She is married to a rich and successful man and has three beautiful children. Onnua, from Jericho’s view, is married to the hated tax collector. This alone leaves her few friendship options.
But Eunice’s husband is a hard man and her father-in-law even more so. She and her children are to be seen and not heard. Her husband has also cut her off from her own family.
Next door, Onnua is loved and respected by this tax collector. Her circumstances deny her respect in the village but her servants are kind and her husband Zaccheus makes sure she can visit her family whenever she wishes.
Promises shows us that Jesus visiting this man “who is a sinner” changes everyone’s perspective a little. The books that follow show what the friendship meant to the women and what they would do for one another.