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The Majesty of God in the Old Testament

I am currently working on Preaching Magazine’s annual Bible and Bible reference survey article for early Fall, so it is likely that you will find several book notes here in the coming weeks.

Perhaps the main impression I have received so far in seeking to survey all the Bible reference material that has come out since last fall is that there has been a boom in really good material for preaching the Old Testament. I previously commented on Christopher Wright’s book on the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. I will mention briefly in the next several days other really good, new books on this topic.

Here, I’ll mention Walter Kaiser’s The Majesty of God in the Old Testament: A Guide for Preaching and Teaching (Baker). This is a great book for preachers, providing a homiletics refresher as veteran bible scholar and preacher Kaiser walks through the study and preaching of 10 Old Testament texts. Beyond simply giving help for these 10 passages, Kaiser models the preaching of the OT with a concentration on the character of God. He is particularly concerned with the need for us to be teaching our people about the greatness of God. Here are two quotes:

“One of the greatest enhancements that could come to most evangelical teaching and preaching- indeed, the best among the people of God worldwide- is a whole new appreciation for the majesty and greatness of our God as presented in the Scriptures. Unfortunately, one of the best sources for this teaching- the Old Testament- is all too often neglected in our teaching and preaching.” (p. 9)

“Alas, however, much of our teaching and preaching suffers from a mediocre view of God’s majesty. We are too much like those chided in Psalm 50:21 [in which God says, ‘You thought I was altogether like you.'” (p. 10).

The church will benefit greatly if this sort of admonition is heeded and more preaching reflects the glory of god rather than our own navel gazing.

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