66 Ways God Loves You
Experiencing God’s Love for You in Every Book of the Bible
A new book by Jennifer Rothschild
I was very excited to get this book in the mail. The title and subtitle intrigued me. Four key words stood out to me… Experience…Love…Every…Book. Sign me up! I want to experience love in every book of the Bible. More excited than skeptical, still I questioned finding this “love” in the rule oriented Leviticus and lineage laden Numbers. This experiencing of God’s love even in the hard books felt like a personal challenge direct from the author to me and I was willing to accept the offer.
When the book arrived at my doorstep, I could not have been more pleased. This small, square book fit so nicely in my hands as I gazed at the lovely cover. I wanted to frame it and hang it on my wall. The colors and textures present were so pleasing to look at and brush my hand across, that I found myself engulfed in simply staring at the cover. The beauty of the cover and the promise of the title began to beg me, in the midst of my staring, to open the book.
As a third grader, Jennifer Rothschild, first fell in love with her red leather Bible and thus in love with God and His word. But by age fifteen, she could no longer read the Lord’s beautifully breathed words. Jennifer’s eyes had succumbed to retinal disease and she became blind. Though illness prevented her from reading, nothing kept her from God’s poignant truths. She found that audio books and eventually Bible apps. would become her new norm for imbibing God’s word.
As the Bible begins at The Beginning, so does Jennifer’s book. Starting with Genesis and continuing right through to Revelation. Each section is headed by a beautifully flowered title page. For example, the first one is, “In Genesis God Fashioned Me with His Hands”. Each section of the book follows this heading structure making it crystal clear to the reader what the meat of the section is about. Each section title in turn becomes the take away for the reader to remember, a short summation of the commentary Rothschild includes following each section title. In each of these phrases, she has brilliantly gift-wrapped each of the 66 books of the Bible.
As with all good books, we as readers are compelled to devour and apply the hand-crafted words on each page. Rothschild’s book induces such actions. The commentaries, one for each of the 66 books of the Bible, are short but full. They are easy to read and delicious to digest.
Intrigued by the book’s promise of experiencing God’s love even in the hard chapters, I was drawn to the sections on Leviticus and Numbers. “In Leviticus God Grants Me Access to Him”. Such a simple sentence, nothing difficult in the verbiage, but so laden with depth and love! When I read this I thought to myself, to boil down a meaty book like Leviticus with this sentence makes me see the book in a new light! The whole book of Leviticus, right there, laid out in one phrase. One phrase that carries so much meaning!
Okay, she nailed Leviticus…but what about Numbers? “In Numbers God Shelters Me in Cities of Refuge”. When I think of the word Shelter I do not normally connect it to the word Love. I usually think about shelter as a necessity, not a comfort. I think of shelter as what is needed to get by, to get out of the rain temporarily, not as a permanent structure. But, that is not how God uses the word shelter. God becomes our shelter, not just as a Band-Aid, but as a warm embrace designed to lift us closer to Him. God as our shelter is love.
Jennifer Rothschild continues on with each book of the Bible in this fashion, bringing to light each book’s simple yet deeply profound truth. Each truth is rooted in the love God has for us. And each truth is addicting to read.