The other day a friend on Facebook asked us to share our favorite Old Testament and New Testament books. I had to think for a bit about the OT because it’s hard to pick just one.
I have to include the Psalms because they are really for every occasion. There have been very specific moments in my life when the cry of my heart echoed David, when his words were my words:
“…deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.” [Ps. 141 (142):6]
And then there’s the Book of Jonah. My, how I have to laugh when I read about Jonah! I see my own grumbly, resentful self in him and the Lord is speaking directly to me. (I just sat here and read it again and I’m snickering out loud. If you haven’t read it recently, or don’t remember everything, read it again right now! It’s so short and you’ll enjoy it.)
After reflection I also had to add in the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah tells me it can get bad, very bad, and has been bad, and will be worse, but to remain faithful and God will prevail. Chapter 40 is a great consolation. Actually, chapters 40 to 45 are very consoling and strengthening.
6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
10 Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
I love most of the New Testament but there is one set of verses that I melt before:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Isn’t this the entire Gospel condensed into 14 verses? I admit I am not a lover of poetry – I prefer prose – but the first five verses of John are an unbridled delight.
I could go on and on, and I didn’t even mention Genesis, the first few chapters of which are beautiful.
So what are your favorite books or parts of the Old Testament and New Testament?