Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review: The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament

book cover

The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament
by Nancy Guthrie

ISBN-13: 978-1-4143-3590-2
Trade Paperback: 386 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Released: October 2010

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Back Cover:
The entire Old Testament tells a story that only finds its completion in Jesus Christ. In The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament, Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie takes readers from Genesis through Malachi, shining the light on how the Old Testament points to Christ: he’s the offspring of Eve who put an end to the curse of sin; he’s the Son offered up as a sacrifice by his father; he is the true Temple where people can meet with God; he is the Suffering Servant Isaiah wrote about and the King whose throne will last forever—and so much more. Day by day throughout the year, readers will develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for who Jesus is and what he accomplished.

My Review:
The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament is a year-long daily devotional. Each entry had the day's date, the title for the devotional, the page-long devotional (which included short quotes from the Old and New Testament with a summary of an event or passage from the Bible), and a short prayer related to the lesson.

It's a Christ-focused devotional that compares the Old and New Testament. In the various devotional entries, the author used "just like such-and-such happened in the Old Testament, Jesus dealt with a similar circumstance in the gospels" or "...Jesus was even better" comparisons, she pointed out some types and symbolism found in the Old Testament that pointed toward Jesus, and she discussed various Messianic prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus.

I think all of the Old Testament books had at least one devotional entry. Several Old Testament books were covered in detail, sometimes with multiple entries per event or verse. For example, the first four months of devotionals covered only Genesis and Exodus. Another month was spent on the Psalms. Three and a half months were spent on all the books of the major and lesser prophets.

You need to read the title for each devotional entry to get the most out of the devotional since some connections weren't obvious or were a stretch. I didn't agree with the accuracy of a few of the author's theological statements, especially in the section about Noah, but I enjoyed the devotional overall. However, with so many obvious references to Jesus found in the Old Testament, I was disappointed that so many of the devotional entries focused on tenuous comparisons that weren't originally intended nor were later made in the New Testament.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from March 7
March 7
From His Fullness We Have Received

Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dream, which predicted a coming famine. And when Joseph outlined a plan to Pharaoh for preparing for the famine, Pharaoh not only accepted the plan but also put Joseph in charge. "Joseph gathered all the crops grown in Egypt and stored the grain from the surrounding fields in the cities. He piled up huge amounts of grain like sand on the seashore. Finally, he stopped keeping records because there was too much too measure" (Genesis 41:48-49).

When the time of famine came and the hungry came to Egypt after hearing about the storehouses of grain Joseph had laid up, Pharaoh sent them to Joseph: "'Go to Joseph, and do whatever he tells you.' So with severe famine everywhere, Joseph opened up the storehouses and distributed grain" (Genesis 41:55-56).

Here, as in so many other ways, Joseph points us to the heart of the ministry of Jesus--the One who dispenses bread to a perishing world. When sinners, with great hunger in their souls, cry out to God, what is God's response? He points them to Jesus because "there is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

But while the plenty Joseph dispensed points us to Jesus, it also helps us to see the infinite superiority of the sufficiency of Jesus. For many in Joseph's time, coming to Egypt to be fed required an arduous journey. But faith brings us in one moment to Christ's storehouses of grace. Perhaps there were appointed hours when Joseph distributed grain, but the grace of Christ is always at hand. Those who came to Joseph were required to purchase their food. But we receive all in Christ without cost. We merely ask, and we receive. The Egyptian granaries, though very full, were one day exhausted. But "from his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another" (John 1:16).

In Christ, the empty are filled; the impoverished are made rich; the weak become strong; the faint are revived; the famished are fed.

+ Son of Joseph, gracious Provider, I come to you from a land where there is no good thing to feed my hungry soul, confident that you have provision you will gladly give me from you abundance.


John Wilson said...

Hey Debbie, my name is John. I read a lot of blogs on religion and prayer and I've ended up here once or twice before. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this prayer exchange website I thought it was an interesting idea and would be curious to hear what you (or other christians) think about it

I'll check back here in the next day or two, thanks & God bless
John W.

Debbie from ChristFocus said...

I took a look at the PrayerMarket website. It seems a little odd to me, but then I'm also not one to video myself praying so that others online can view it. It also seems to make praying for others into a rote, commercial transaction rather than something Christians do abundantly for anyone who asks.

So I'm not inclined to sign up for it.