This review appeared in the Apr-Jun 2013 vol. 170 no. 2 issue of Biblotheca Sacra, DTS’s quarterly academic journal.Subscribe Today
Thirty Days in the Land with Jesus: A Holy Land DevotionalMoody Publishers, Chicago March 21, 2012
A devotional? Yes. A tour guide of Israel? Yes. A discussion of Jesus’ life and the places He visited? Yes. This book is all three—but it is more. Dyer, former faculty member at Dallas Seminary and presently professor-at-large with Moody Bible Institute, writes, “I have two goals for this book. First, I want to guide you in a month-long journey through the land of Israel. If you’ve already been to the Holy Land, this is an opportunity to relive that adventure. And if you’ve never visited there, [this book] will help you experience the journey without the hassle of packing and flying. [Second, I hope] these thirty days will spotlight the life of Jesus in a way that draws you closer to Him” (pp. 11–12).
This “tour guide” begins with comments about Jesus’ birth, discusses many events in His life, and ends discussing Jesus’ post-resurrection time when He told His disciples, who had been fishing all night and caught nothing, to cast their net on the other side of the boat. Each event in Jesus’ life is related to the geographical setting where the event took place.
Each daily devotional (actually a Bible study) of four or five pages ends with a brief one-page application with one or two lessons to be learned from the event in Jesus’ life just discussed.
Dyer, who has served as a tour guide in Israel on scores of occasions, is a leading authority on the land of Israel. And as a diligent student of the Word, he gives helpful insights into many aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry. Reading this devotional is like traveling with Jesus to the many places where He ministered, including Nazareth, Mount Gerizim, Chorazin, the Sea of Galilee, Decapolis, Bethsaida, Caesarea Philippi, Mount Hermon, Nain, Jericho, Jerusalem, Gethsemane, Emmaus, and others.
This book will help readers know the land of the Lord and also the Lord of the land. As Dyer writes, “My desire is to help you fall more in love with the God of the Word as you journey through the land with the Son of God” (p. 12). This devotional/tour guide/Bible study is highly recommended, for it will enable readers to do just that—to enjoy “a thirty-day spiritual journey through the land, walking alongside the Savior” (ibid.).
—Roy B. Zuck