Notes From an Old Bible

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

For years I loved my big NIV Study Bible, and I felt free to underline, write notes, and generally make it my own. Unfortunately, half of Genesis fell out of the book, and I had to move on to a different Bible. It’s just not the same. I find myself using my phone or iPad, because it’s smaller and more convenient, but I miss my notes and thoughts.

Recently, I decided to go through the old Bible and remind myself of the verses that were meaningful to me. Sometimes I wrote a date and a comment; other times I just underlined a passage. I used blue, black, pink, purple and all kinds of colored ink. Some of my notes were from teachings I heard and others were my own observations. I’ll never throw that Bible away.

Here are some of the passages from the Old Testament that were, and still are, meaningful to me.

“…I am the Lord, who heals you.” Ex. 15:26  These seven words have come in handy many times to remember that ultimately it is the Lord, not doctors, medication, or diet that brings healing. He uses all those things, but he is the One who heals.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the worlds of this law.” Duet. 29:29 There are some things that we just won’t understand, at least not in this lifetime. However, God wants us to fully embrace what he has revealed to us, and that is enough. More than enough.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Josh. 1:9 For an easily discouraged individual, like myself, this is an important verse to keep in mind. God commanded me to be strong and courageous when it would be far easier to read a book and escape.

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Josh. 24:15 This was an important concept for my husband and me when we were raising our family.

“Go in the strength you have….” Judges 6:14 I love this little quote. God said it to Gideon while he was hiding in a winepress and complaining to God about the trouble the Midianites were causing. God didn’t answer his complaints; he just told Gideon to “go in the strength you have.” Many times that idea has given me courage, energy, to do something that I didn’t feel up to doing. God will supply what I don’t have, but he expects me to use what I do have.

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Sam. 16:7 I often need to adjust my focus when I get too fixated on the outward appearance.

“They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless.” 2 Kings 17:15 We will become like what we worship. Think about that.

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 This verse lifts my spirits every time it comes to mind. It was my daily watchword during the few weeks before my daughter’s wedding. It makes me smile.

“Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord.” Psalm 25:7 I wrote Summer 2003, in purple ink, by this Psalm almost fifteen years ago, and I still say it to myself often.

“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” Psalm 81:10 This was useful when I was teaching in Community Bible Study. I would, at times, stand with my mouth open as far as it would go, and ask for God to fill me with the right words to say. It still comes in handy.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17 Anybody who has had trouble with their work, or getting a business or a non-profit started, can relate to this plea.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 Psalm 91 was the first long passage of scripture that I memorized in February of 2000, and I said it countless times to myself. I still do.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 For the times when you know that something is not right between you and God, but you don’t know what it is.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 True. Brilliantly true.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 Have you ever been sure that you know what the next step is, only to find yourself on a different path? Me too. This confirms that we’re not lost.

“But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3 This beautiful passage in Isaiah was repeated in my mind daily when I had cancer. God was absolutely faithful, and I am so very thankful.

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 Remember this next time you feel unloved.

“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.” Job 19:25 It amazes me that what could be the oldest book in the Bible, about Job’s horrendous loss, contains such excellent theology.

What are some Old Testament verses that you have underlined in your Bible? How do you keep track of important passages of Scripture?



4 thoughts on “Notes From an Old Bible

Add yours

  1. My old Ryrie NKJ Study Bible is held together by duct tape.It is underlined, highlighted, marked, and whatever. Even though it’s an eyesore and I have others, I still use it all of the time.

  2. Judy–My ESV Bible on my Kindle Fire has a feature that allows for highlighting. Then it lists all the highlighted verses and my questions and comments for future reference. I have quite a collection, just some words that jumped out at me at the time. I’ll be glad to show it to you sometime.

    Sara Lamb

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