How would you spend a year with God?
I recently got the chance to read and review the daily devotional book A Year with God, thanks to the website BookSneeze. A Year with God is a 365-day devotional that uses scripture from the Old Testament. (I'm not sure why the book is Old Testament-only. The author, R.P. Nettelhorst, does not explain in the book's introduction.)
This devotional book is divided into several themed sections, such as Hope and Fear, Love and Hate, and Faith and Doubt. Readers can either start the devotionals from the beginning and do all 365 of them in chronological order or jump from theme to theme based on personal preference. I liked that the devotionals were categorized because there are some days when you might really need to hear God's message on specific topics, like mercy and judgment or companionship and isolation.
I wanted to be able to fully absorb the devotionals by reading one each day, as the book intends its readers to do, which meant that I obviously haven't made it through all 365 devotionals. I started at the beginning with the 29 devotionals in the Hope and Fear section (and a few in the Love and Hate section). As I read through the devotionals, I felt like using only one half of the Bible was both a pro and a con.
I'm much more partial to the New Testament, but it was nice to read through Old Testament passages that I haven't read in a few years. On the other hand... I'm much more partial to the New Testament. I feel like the New Testament is more accessible and easier to translate into my everyday life. I think Nettelhorst was trying to do this with the Old Testament passages in this book, but those connections sometimes weren't explained very well. After reading the Bible verse and then reading Nettelhorst's summary of the verse (complete with background information, which was very helpful) and explanation of what the verse should mean to us, often I would find myself going, "Wait, huh? That's what I'm supposed to get out of that?" I'm not sure if that is due to poor explanatory skills on Nettelhorst's part or the fact that sometimes the Old Testament is not very user-friendly and God seemed a lot meaner then.
Still, there were several pages that I bookmarked because I liked the message that a particular passage conveyed. Such as Job 38: 31-41, which Nettelhorst explains essentially means that God is saying, "Why are you so worried and afraid? You don't know much and can't do much. But I do. I'm God, so relax."
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”