If you have ever found the Old Testament intimidating, you’re not alone. The less-familiar history, themes, and language, coupled with the length of the book, make it a difficult read for many. But author Emily Freeman loves the Old Testament, and as she shares some of the wonderful things she has learned in her study of this book of scripture, you will find yourself coming to love it too.
Written on Our Hearts:Invitations from the Old Testament is not a commentary or an intensive doctrinal study. Instead, Emily writes about the stories of the Old Testament, stories of trusting and overcoming and enduring and believing. Within these stories are all kinds of applications for the challenges we face today.
“There will come a moment in your life,” the author says, “when you or someone you love will struggle with a challenge so great you will wonder how you will make it through. In that moment you will long to better understand the Savior’s role as the Deliverer, and to do that you must go to the book of scripture that describes that role the best—the Old Testament.”
I love the scriptures. I love reading and finding words of inspiration that seem to have been written especially for me. It’s kind of like God leaving love notes in my lunch box.
The Old Testament, however, has always been a challenge for me. I read it once as a teenager, and I did enjoy the stories. However, it was difficult for me to see how those stories related to me and my life.
Freeman does exactly that — she takes the stories from the Old Testament and makes them relevant to our lives today. Each segment is a page or two of meditation, insight, and challenge. She encourages us to stand in holy places, to listen to God’s messengers, to be grateful and acknowledge God’s hand in all things, and to remember — to remember God’s goodness and to remember our duty.
Freeman does not relate the stories of the Old Testament in depth. Some of the stories she mentions were unfamiliar to me, or I remembered them but vaguely. In that respect, I think the book would be an excellent companion to a study of the Old Testament. I believe it would take on greater richness and meaning to read the actual story first, and then to turn to the book for a better understanding.
It’s been many, many years since I last attempted to read the Old Testament. With this book as my companion, I think I’m finally ready to delve into it once again.
Written on Our Hearts can be purchased from DeseretBook.com or at a local Deseret Book store near you. It is also available at Amazon.com.