I enjoy books and commentaries that help me study the Bible in a different way. Discovering Your Spiritual Center by David Teems is a unique angle at one chapter of the Psalms that I have never seen before.
The big idea of this book is to take a long, introspective look at Psalm 119. It’s the longest chapter in the Bible (at 176 verses), but it is conveniently divided into 22 eight-verse sections, with each section corresponding to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. David Teems makes the case that rabbis considered the Hebrew letters to be living things, so that there is a significance to why each of these eight verses are grouped together.
The next idea of this book is to take a 22-day journey of rediscovering the power of the Scripture, by reading one 8-verse section each day. Then to take time to reflect on each day’s passage. It’s a good idea to use this one psalm to (re)awaken a passion for Scripture, as all but four of the verses mention God’s Word (law, statutes, commands, etc.).
So far, so good.
However, I did find some of the author’s fascination with the Hebrew letters—like their shape, or their placement in the alphabetic order—a bit unsettling. I also thought at times his pointing out other words in Scripture that start with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet a bit stretched. So although the concept is good in theory (taking a 22-day journey through this psalm), I found the approach a bit, well, creepy.
I am a Leafwood book reviewer.
January 31, 2012 at 11:15 am
This sounded great until you said it was creepy! ha! Really though, it seems like a neat idea to spend so much time on one chapter of the Bible. We often breeze through a chapter and move on to the next.
January 31, 2012 at 11:17 am
Yes, I really liked the idea at the beginning of the book, and I liked going slowly through Psalm 119. I just found some of the thoughts the author attached to the Hebrew letter of the alphabet for that day, or the significance of “Day 4” to be a little unsettling (or “creepy!).