I have really stayed away from reviewing Bibles and I'm going to put in a disclaimer at the start of this review. I'm by no means an "expert" in the various bibles and even versions. What I do know is that I've always been extremely encouraged by the devotions found in the Streams in the Desert. They have ministered greatly to my soul, especially in those times when I was wanted to lament to the Lord. The devotions would point me to the word and the truth of God's promises as a balm to my soul.
With that said, I was super excited to receive this Bible that would have the devotions sprinkled throughout it. I really appreciated having access to the devotions, alongside the reference text. I think in the past, I may have been guilty of using the devotional and not seeking the Word of God that it was pointing to. The way that this Bible was simply created made it easy to go from devotional to the accompanying Bible text not too far from the devotions. Likewise, for Bible reading, I was studying particular books for my personal study and to prepare to teach and I was richly blessed and encouraged by the devotions related to what I was studying.
Ive been enamored with the devotional Streams In The Desert ever since I came to saving faith. So when my wife received a copy of the NIV Streams In The Desert Devotional Bible I snagged it. With permission, of course.
Zondervan does the usual great job with the NIV text, including textual aids and some cross references at the bottom of the page. However, this is a devotional Bible, not a true study Bible, so dont look for a lot of that material.
Its strength lies in the devotions that are tied to various portions of scripture; 365 of them, to be exact; one for each day of the year. Drawn from Streams In The Desert, as well as from other authors, the devotions help the reader to put shoe leather to the passage under consideration. I was preparing the evening message when this arrived, and I found material that fit perfectly with my message in the very first devotional. Very cool!
The review copy I received was the hardback copy, with a dust jacket. The dust jacket was designed to suggest that this was a book that had been on the shelves for many, many years. As such . . . some might not find it so appealing. Also, one of the features mentioned on the back cover was a ribbon marker. The copy I received did not have that ribbon marker.
But Im not throwing the book back, by any stretch of the imagination. As mentioned, Ive already put this book to good use, as it was intended.