I love reading. I guess that’s probably normal for a writer… So I enjoy a couple of literature-based blogs every now and then, celebrating what’s new, and why the classics are classic.
Well after reading a couple of pieces recently on different people’s favorite books, I started thinking about my favorite books ~ of which there are many. And then my mind took it one step further, and I started thinking about the books of the Bible I love, and why. So I thought I’d share them with you.
Here are my Old Testament favorites.
My favorite parts of the Bible are the stories. The histories of real men and real women, and the real God who loved them. Genesis is full of these stories. Abraham, Joseph, Noah… And more. And their families. And their enemies. Courage and failure, faith and pride, the people in the Bible are the “what to” and “what not to” of our faith.
My favorite Genesis part? Creation, of course. Mystical and confoundingly simple for Him. He speaks and it is.
Joshua is one of my favorite Bible heroes. Not always right or perfect, no. But strong and obedient and courageous, just as he was commanded to be. And the events of the children of Israel crossing over the Jordan and into the Promised Land are riveting, no matter how many times I’ve read and studied them. Their bravery and obedience in battle ~ even when their instructions are bizarre and incomprehensible ~ are a testament to the power of faith in leaders who follow the Lord.
Surprise favorite in the book of Joshua? Caleb. He unquestioningly followed Moses, and his successor Joshua, without ever wondering why he himself wasn’t chosen to lead. And he patiently waited years to claim what was promised to him by God ~ and then willingly battled giants to do so. At the age of 85. Rock on, Caleb.
If you’ve read the Book of Ruth, then it will come to you as no surprise to see it on this list. One of the things I love about the Bible as a whole is that there’s something for everyone. If you’re a romantic, this one’s for you. Just four chapters long, it’s a touching, inspirational novel ~ except it’s true. And if you like literature, with its symbolism and foreshadowing, you can find it here. And the best part is, it’s all intertwined with our Savior.
Best line with hidden meaning in Ruth? Spoken by Boaz to Ruth in chapter 2, verse 12: “The Lord repay your work and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” Boaz himself will be that reward. And the line that leads to David will continue through Boaz and Ruth.
Nehemiah is another one that is great not only for the events, but for the people. Nehemiah is wise, humble, courageous and persevering. He leads his people in rebuilding the wall of their city, obeying his God without ever disobeying his king. Respect and honor make for a great leader. The going gets tough, but the building never stops. You can read this book one sitting. And I encourage you to do just that.
Best inspirational verse from Nehemiah? Chapter 4 verse 18. “Everyone of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built.” It’s a war, people. Don’t stop working, and keep your sword handy.
Again, being a woman, it’s hard for me to not love this book. This is an adventure story in every sense of the word. A beautiful queen putting her own life on the line to save others, and an evil, scheming villain gets what’s coming to him. Esther seems to show us how we can live out our faith in our own lives.
Best line that seems right out of a Hollywood movie? Esther 4:14 ~ “And so I will go to the king… and if I perish, I perish!”
Short and to the point, or extended and epic, there is something for every person, and every situation. I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite.
I love the book of Jonah, because I’ve lived it. And so have you. Jonah is blatantly disobedient to God and pays for it in a big way. Very big. But even in his punishment, Jonah is serving God as he foreshadows Jesus Himself. God can use us, even in our rebellion.
Do you know the sequel to Jonah? Chapter 4. You think it’s over after Jonah does as he’s told and preaches to Ninevah? No, he still has more to learn. A surprising amount of chutzpah for a man who was recently vomited out of a fish…
Every book gives us knowledge and inspiration, and in a future post I’ll share some tidbits from the Honorable Mentions. But in the meantime, I hope this prompts you to give some thought to why you love what you love about His Word!