TheHeart of the Old Testament
Youngblood’sbook TheHeart of the Old Testament 2nd Edition, isa puissant publication that seeks to provide an insight concerningGod in the Old Testament. Throughout the entire history of humanity,questions about God are the most incessant. Many individualsincluding theologians have disputed the manifestation of God.Consequently, a debate has consistently emerged with two factiongroups that include people who believe in God’s presence and thosethat refute this notion. This paper seeks to review the God revealedin the Old Testament through the perspective of Youngblood’s book.The scope of the paper will focus on what impresses me about God inYoungblood`s book.
Youngblood begins writing his book by introducing a mind blowingquestion of whether there is one God as described by the OldTestament. An interesting factor disclosed to me by the initialchapter is the idea that despite the disagreements depicted in theOld Testament to elude the notion that God is the only Supreme Being,he ultimately reveals himself to the Israelites as the only God.Youngblood (1998) divulges that monotheism was often challenged bymany incidents in the Old Testament. Such happenings had the abilityto influence the Israelites towards doubting their God. A case inpoint is their captivity in Egypt, a polytheistic nation in whichmost people believed in different gods. Such an environment wouldsway the Israelites to resisting the presence of one God. However,God divulges himself and walks them out of the state of captivity. He later gives them the Ten Commandments asserting ‘’ You shallhave no other gods before me’’ (Duet 5: 7 Exodus 20:3).Thecommandment was instant that Israelites were to have no other gods.One interesting factor I noted was that God was able to reveal thathe is the only God.
The sovereignty of God is another interesting aspect discussed byYoungblood. The supremacy of God makes him have authority therefore,he can do whatever he pleases. I have talked to individuals whobelieve that the notion the Lord does what he delights can beperceived as dictatorial. In my opinion, however, I think that themanner in which Youngblood depicts the God of the Old Testament asSovereign is believable and motivating. Youngblood discusses asignificant aspect of God’s sovereignty which is creation. TheAlmighty chose to create man in his own image. As a result, he hasthe authority to do whatever he desires with his creation(Youngblood, 1998).
Inthe Old Testament books, the word faith is a rarity, only used on afew occasions. Youngblood, however, in his analysis of the concept,substitutes and encourages different meanings of the topic of faith.Youngblood explains that faith in itself can be described as both abelief and way of life. Thought-provoking elements are howevernoticed in the Old Testament. Believers are urged to strengthen theirfaith. Unconditional belief in God is seen as beneficial tobelievers. The Israelites, according to Youngblood trusted and hadfaith in God but in certain circumstances looked to other kingdomsand communities in which little faith existed. In turn, this led totheir downfall and realization that it is only through strong faithand dependence on God that all can be delivered.
Youngbloodalso lays emphasis on the adage that faith had no meaning if keptfaintly and practiced without any belief or heart. Dependence onsecondary gods practiced by kings of both Israel and Judah provedcostly and portrayed God in a negative light. He goes on to maintainthat faith must be practiced at all times. A good example of strongand everlasting faith is that of Abraham. Youngblood emphasizes thefact that he (Abraham) had explicit faith in God that he left hiscountry, friends, and family and settled in a land completely unknownto him. It can be stated that Abraham acted in such a manner due tothe guidance of God. His faith too was tested when God ordered him tosacrifice Isaac his only son conceived during old age. Otheroutstanding leaders who exemplified true faith, trust and belief inGod included Moses and David. When Youngblood pinpoints David, apicture of him slaying Goliath a giant said to be over 10 feet tallarmed with only a sling comes to mind. David at the time was just buta young boy, but his faith in God saw him through (Youngblood, 1998).
Iwas also impressed by how Youngblood depicted God in the OldTestament as a redeemer. The book projects the manner in which Godactively took part in the redemption of the Israelites. Foremost, thedeliverance of the Israelites from captivity in Egypt portrayed thatGod was indeed a liberator. Youngblood further discloses that Godredeemed the Israelites by intervening in the many battles theyfought. The redeeming attribute of God is significant.
Theabove discussion has presented various aspects that were appealing tome after reading Youngblood’s book. I must confess that the bookprovides an affirmation of the fact that God is the only true God andhis sovereignty should not be doubted despite the existence manycontroversies. The book is also prolific in building one’s faith.
Youngblood,R. (`1998). TheHeart of the Old Testament. Baker Publishing Group.