As the year’s odometer is about to roll over (hello, 2012!), you might be considering a new devotional. I’ve used a variety of devotional books over the years, and have even contributed to a couple. Most follow a pretty standard format: a Bible verse or inspirational thought, a short meditation on the passage, a prayer. The best devotional tools serve their intended purpose of nudging readers Godward.
If you’re interested in devotional material that nudges you a little farther and goes a couple of steps beyond the usual, you might be interested in Deeper Into The Word – Old Testament: Reflections On 100 Words From The Old Testament (Bethany House, 2011). (There is also a New Testament version.)
Author Keri Wyatt Kent offers a brief but meaty exploration of 100 Old Testament words like barren, blessing, dust, feast, jubilee, manna, rod, veil and wine. This is not a dry academic book, but a wonderful tool for someone looking for a portable soul food feast. There is solid information about the meaning of each word and the way it is used in Scripture blended with a heaping measure of reflection. These words aren’t meant to stay on the pages of our Bible, but become a part of our lives. She notes
Ironically, although the Bible is more available to American Christians at this time than any other in history, biblical literacy in the Western World is at an all-time low. If Christians read the Bible at all, they often skip the first two-thirds of it, missing out on the bond that comes from reading the same book Jesus read, loved, and memorized when he walked the earth. Ignoring the Old Testament comprises our intimacy with Jesus.
Deeper Into The Word can also serve as a helpful Bible study tool for those interested in growing their understanding of the meaning of the words they read in Scripture. I believe the pair of books (Old Testament and New Testament) would be a worthwhile addition to the libraries of Bible study and small group leaders. Recommended.
*I received a complimentary, “no strings attached” copy of this book from the publisher. The opinion is mine.