30 Days in the Land of the Psalms: A Holy Land Devotional
by Charles H. Dyer
A devotional is such a personal kind of writing. Readers bring their backgrounds to the process. Then the Holy Spirit uses the author’s words, guiding their thoughts and providing inspiration for understanding and change. As a reviewer, I read 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms: A Holy Land Devotional daily to capture the devotional experience.
The author, Charles H. Dyer, has a lifetime of experiences in the Holy Land, having led many tours as a licensed guide. He also has outstanding academic credentials, and I am sure he knows more about the Bible than I ever will. He excels at analyzing the structure of each psalm. I discovered at the end of my reading that I had noted many more memorable passages than usual. Dyer’s format is to draw the reader into the psalm with a description of the area the psalm would have been written in or about and some historical background. Next he talks about the format of the psalm in terms of the repetition that is so important in Hebrew poetry and why it was written the way it was. Lastly he includes a section, “Walking in Our Land,” which applies the psalm to the reader’s life.
While 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms: A Holy Land Devotional has many good points, it did not offer personal inspiration for me. I have two major criticisms. As someone who has led forty tours in the Holy Land, he could have included more photographs and they could have aligned better with the point he was trying to make. Also, his efforts to make the book sound like a tour fell flat for me. An example is his writing in several chapters as if someone had posed a question, “I am glad you asked that question.”
I found 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms: A Holy Land Devotional to be an acceptable devotional, but not sufficiently interesting to encourage me to purchase other devotionals by this author.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Moody Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publication: May 2, 2017—Moody Publishing
Whether we’re facing life’s struggles or rejoicing in God’s blessings, it seems we can always find a psalm that matches the mood of our spirit. And that’s what make the book of Psalms a songbook for all occasions.
The enemy might be somewhere just outside the city, but God is still seated calmly on His throne in heaven—and nothing takes the God of heaven by surprise.
We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can choose how we’re going to respond. David had enemies, but during those times of trouble he also experienced God’s loyal love. And remembering how God had worked in the past gave him confidence that God would continue to bless the rest of his life. He rested in the presence of God.
Pride (the attitude that I can do it all myself) and impatience (thinking I want it all now) bring us into conflict with God…while humility and a sense of patient trust place us in proper relationship to Him.