Stories are powerful. They communicate many truths on levels we aren’t even consciously aware of into parts of our inner depths that we are oblivious to. They stick in the recesses of our minds like strong, well fastened suitcases packed with valuables to be retrieved on later journeys. It’s no wonder that God uses stories in the Bible to illustrate His character, love and absolute truths to navigate this thing we call “life.”
Jehovah’s Mighty Acts was written by Natahn J. Langerak, illustrated by Michael Welply, and published by Reformed Free Publishing Association and, I believe, was crafter for the very purposes listed above: to portray God’s historical deeds in an impactful and life-changing way. Please read this review in it’s entirety.
Content of This Book:
Jehovah’s Mighty Acts surveys the Old Testament stories that fall under the theme of God’s mighty acts of salvation. They include the following stories:
The Creation of the World – Genesis 1-2
God’s Friends – Genesis 2
Out of the Garden – Genesis 3
Good News for Adam and Eve – Genesis 3
God Takes Enoch to Heaven – Genesis 4-5, Hebrews 11, Jude 1
The Worldwide Flood – Genesis 6-9, 1 Peter3, Hebrews 11
Babel – Gensis 10-11
Sodom and Gomorrah – Gensis 18-19
Abraham Sacrifices Isaac – Genesis 18, 21-22, Hebrews 11
God’s Choice of Jacob – Genesis 24-25
God Preserves Israel in Egypt – Genesis 41, 46-47, Exodus 1
Moses, Israel’s Savior – Exodus 2-4
God Plauges Egypt – Exodus 5, 7-10
Delivered From Egypt – Exodus 11-15
God Preserves Israel in the Wilderness – Exodus 13, 16-17
Mount Sinai – Exodus 19-40
Rebellion in the Wilderness – Numbers 13-14, 16
Across Jordan – Numbers 20, Deuteronomy 34, Joshua 3-4
Jericho – Joshua 2, 6
The Day the Sun Stood Still – Joshua 9-10
A King Like the Other Nations – 1 Samuel 8-11, 13, 15, 31
The King After God’s Own Heart – 1 Samuel 16-18, 20, 22-24, 26
David’s Sin – 2 Samuel 11-12, Psalm 32
Solomon’s Wisdom and Riches – 1 Kings 3, 6-7, 10
A Kingdom Divided – 1 Kings 11-12
Israel Worships Golden Calves – 1 Kings 12-13, 2 Kings 17
Assyria Smitten – 2 Kings 16, 18-19, 2 Chronicles 31
Jerusalem Destroyed – 2 Kings 20, 23-25
The Return Home – Psalm 137, Daniel 9, Ezera 1-5, Haggai 1-2, Zechariah 8
Lord of the Nations – Esther 1-4
God Catches the Wicked in Their Traps – Esther 5-9
This book is about 100 pages in length. The quality of the binding and pages are very impressive. Hard covered with high end glossy pages and breath-taking illustrations. Intended to be read aloud to ages 7-10 each story chosen exemplifies God’s Mighty Acts of Salvation and blend Old and New Testament passages to give a fuller picture of commonly rehearsed Bible passages.
This book was intended to be part of a series covering many of the stories found in the Bible, but not necessarily in chronological order; rather the passages would be categorized according to themes. The upcoming books will be released in Fall of 2020 and include stories about Old Testament Friends and Servants of God.
How We Used It:
I have what I call a “Morning Basket” that contains a few books that we read together for “Group School” over breakfast. Usually we read a passage from the Bible, and then follow it with a Science, History, or other educational book. We implimented Jehovah’s Might Acts as our Bible study for the last month or so reading a story every day.
The pictures were so detailed and amusing that even my 3-year-old just stared with his mouth open in awe at the scene that traveled through his eyes, paired with the words on the page, into his active imagination. He hung on every word. They all did.
We had amazing discussions and I greatly appreciated how every single story ended with how Jesus Christ was the focus and center of all that has ever happened and all that will ever happen. He can be seen from the story of creation all the way through the Old Testament.
I had my older children read the scriptures listed at the top of the page during their quiet devotional time in the afternoon. This way they could enjoy the retelling and compare it with what the scriptures themselves actually said and make the correlations between the Old and New Testament passages referenced in the tale.
We also brought this book along for our family vacation and used it for our Family Bible Study time in the morning. Alex (my hsuband) enjoyed reading this book as much as the kids did!
Do We Recommend It?
As much as we enthusiastically enjoyed the breathtaking illustrations and throughout recounts of the tales we’ve studied in our Bibles at home, I cannot recommend Jehovah’s Mighty Acts for only one reason. I do not beleive that it illustrates God’s character acuratly.
There were several portions of some of the text, in one story in particular (“God’s Choice of Jacob”) that contained some content that I don’t see consistent with God’s character written in the Scriptures.
“…One of the most important choices God made in eternity was which people in the earth would be his people and which would not. Man does not choose God, but God chooses his people. Because God chooses us, we are saved. God gives us a wonderful example of his saving choice in the story of Jacob and Esau.” page 35
“… God loved the younger boy and chose him as his friend but hated the older boy and rejected him. It was not becuase one boy was better than the other, but only becuase it pleased God to make that choice. That God chose either of the boys was a beautiful wonder full of his grace.” page 35
“Jacob was the friend of God, but Jacob was God’s friend and loved God only becuase of God’s choice. God loved Jacob first, so Jacob also loved God. God gave Jacob grace and blessed him with favor every day. Except for God’s choice, Jacob would have been no different from Esau. God hated Esau, so Esau was the enemy of God and hated God. ” page 37
Malachi 1:2b-3a says, “Even so, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau…”
Genesis 25:27-34 describes the scenario where Esau gives up his birthright for a bowl of stew. It says that “he despised his birthright”. This passage clearly illustrates that Esau was a man given over to his flesh with no desire for the gifts or callings that the Lord placed in his life.
.James 4:4-10 says, “You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God. Or do you think it’s without reason that the Scripture says: The spirit he made to dwell in us envies intensely? But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
I believe that the scriptures are clear that Esau chose things of the world and his flesh instead of desiring to walk with the Lord and in the things that God had for him and therefore chose to become an enemy of God. God “hated” Esau because Esau didn’t draw near to God, Esau was not an enemy of God because God first hated him.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”
I believe that the scriptures say that salvation is offered to everyone who repents and believes on Jesus Christ. Everyone has the opportunity to receive this salvation if they choose to. Teaching my children that God chooses to hate some people and others He chooses to love, and this “choice” is independent of whether the person chooses Him or not, could give them the perceptions that it doesn’t matter what they do in their life: either they are chosen or they are not. I don’t believe this lines up with other doctrine of the Bible and I cannot, therefore, recommend this book.