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Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  631 ratings  ·  81 reviews
The Bible is full of clever plots and compelling stories, laced with historic insights and literary beauty. Despite its richness and depth, many of us struggle to close the gap between the ancient world and our own. What does it mean to know that Jesus is the Good Shepherd when the only place you’ve encountered sheep is at a petting zoo? How can you understand the promise ...more
Hardcover, 219 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Zondervan (first published September 18th 2009)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  631 ratings  ·  81 reviews

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Paul McDonald
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
While a different flavor than some of Margaret's other books like Wonderstruck or Fight Back with Joy, Scouting the Divine invites you to a join her on a pilgrimage. Our world is disconnected from the agrarian society of Biblical times, and Margaret takes us with her on her journey to understand the Bible better. How do shepherds care for their sheep? What can we learn from vintners about our own lives? What do bees have to teach us about the Promised Land? Scouting the Divine was like listening ...more
Katie Bowman
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
How pleasant and peaceful it was to view Scripture through an agricultural lens! The part I loved most was when Margaret met a real shepherdess. Scripture on all things sheep came alive to me as I learned about the loving care and sacrifice a shepherd gives to his or her flock. Jesus’ title, The Good Shepherd and his parable of the lost sheep now pack a stronger punch. As a daughter of a beekeeper, I also loved the section of the book dedicated to exploring the honey biblical references; bees ...more
Willie Krischke
Oct 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Margaret Feinberg visits a shepherdess, a beekeeper, a farmer and a vintner to understand the symbolism and references in the Bible. Feinberg really did her homework on this one; she is able to approach each of the "experts" with a list of good questions and emerge with productive, insightful conversations. It is surprising to realize how out of touch we are with the agrarian world in which the Bible was written; the depth and richness of its metaphors are mostly lost on us. It makes me wonder ...more
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-this-again
Feinberg takes us on her journey to discover deeper meaning in the Bible through better understanding vineyards, shepherds, farmers, and bee keepers-- and their relationship with their vines, sheep, crops, and bees. There are four sections, and if I had my own copy of this book I would read one section at the beginning of each season. Not because they represent each season, but to spread out the analogies so I can read more slowly and savor the impact of each.

She includes a set of songs in the
Robin O'Brien
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book for Christians to read. A personal look at many of the trades referenced in the Bible. I now do and will continue to understand the Bible on a deeper level. My hat goes to this author who personally went to the location of these people and observed them and allowed them to speak from their hearts. Thank you Margaret Feinberg, her husband and all those who welcomed her into their lives allowing her to write a deeply, insightful book.

Jan 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved this book. I rarely read non-fiction because I find a lot of it tedious. This book was far from tedious. The information was fresh and so interesting. I especially enjoyed the chapters on shepherding and winemaking. Feinberg does an amazing job of drawing parallels between the everyday responsibilities of these vocations and what is in scripture regarding them. I found that scripture that I have read many times suddenly came to life with new meaning for me.
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
Wow Margaret Feinberg is a great writer. Her colorful and poetic discriptions of travels she made writing the book are truly delightful. Sometimes she describes the food she is going to eat and it makes me salvitate. She has a wonderful gift to take parts of the world I have ignored and brought it to life. She visits a sheep herder, farmer, bee keeper, and a wine maker and brings a deeper understanding of their labor as it reflects on God. I look forward to reading more of her works.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, christian
A very neat look at the Bible from a modern agricultural viewpoint. It's so true that we have very little personal experience with some of the agrarian references in the Bible and considering them makes the stories and promises that much more colorful and impactful. I've listened to a few author as narrator audio books I disliked, but Margaret is perfect for telling this personal narrative in her own voice.
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Insightful read that is beautifully written. Love how the author has taken what had to be an immense amount of learning and shared the most precious parts with the reader in a way that left me fascinated and delighted.
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm maybe 2/3 of the way through, and I'm not going to finish. It's too bad b/c I really love the concept of the book, but it's just poorly executed. It's sloppy. Bummer.
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much from reading this book!! Highly recommend!!
Angela Shook
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book wasn’t what I expected, but that’s a good thing! I expected a very preachy book, expecting that was what I needed to learn from. But in this book, Feinburg has an incredible talent for weaving storytelling into spiritual guidance. I’ve read and studied scripture my whole life, but I’ve never thought to dig quite so deep into understanding the metaphors throughout scripture quite like she has done. Feinberg takes you from one travel journey to the next, studying the process of ...more
Emily P
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once again, Margaret Feinberg has written an engrossing book that connects the ancient culture of Scripture with today's artisans, farmers and crafters.

I love Feinberg's prose. She writes in a way that draws you in and makes you want to revisit the biblical stories we are all familiar with and see them with fresh eyes.

From a sheep farm to a beekeper's operation to a farmer's homestead and back to a vintner's paradise, "Scouting the Divine" opens doors to new experiences with common items one
Giselle Smith
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was a wonderful read with plenty of things to think about from Scripture. We in the 21st Century are so far from our agriculture/husbandry roots that when we read the Bible or other historical documents and books it's hard to picture what being a shepherd, vintner or beekeeper was really like then.

Margaret spends time visiting people who are in these professions along with a farmer and gives insights that make you picture what things were really like during those times as well as today
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another amazing adventure with Margaret Feinberg. Scouting the Divine like most of author Feinberg's books are an adventure for me to take as I look at simple things in my life and how they relate to the bible and God. With each book, I read I gain a deeper understanding of how God is indeed in everything we do. I will never look a wine, wool, and honey quite the same. I have a much richer understanding of the care, love and deep understanding that Gods hands are in everything we do and each of ...more
Denise Ballentine
A thoughtful gentle read exploring the biblical motifs of shepherding, harvesting, honey, and wine. I enjoyed being taken along on her personal scouting journeys, and her thoughts about how these things were related to biblical times. She has a way of storytelling that helps us understand the meanings God was trying to convey to us.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
At times the book was hard for me to get through. My mind seemed to be all over as I read it, but learning about the historical and scientific significance of wine, wool, and honey has REALLY helped grow and support my faith. God is a God of the littlest details, and the big picture!! I love the kind of life Margaret lives. I’m thankful she shared her journey with us!
Eryn Dillion Johnson
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love Margaret's writing. This book is very in depth and I learned so much in the connections between Biblical context and modern day understandings. A whole new insight into beekeeping and how God intricately created us.
Jenn Johnson
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. The audio version is my favorite. I love Margaret's infectious drive for adventure and delight. I feel like I am there with her as she is plowing in the field, touching grapes in a vineyard, or interacting with bees. I love this book!
Lisa M Andrade
Apr 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
The lady who reads this book is terrible. I had to quit about half way through. I think that if I actually had time to sit down and read it I would have enjoyed it so much more.
Mona Johnston
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read.

What a beautiful reminder of how God shepherds and grows His children. This is a great look at God’s detailed work in our world.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very readable and enjoyable; insightful.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book opened my eyes to a new way of reading scripture. I loved it.
Kathy  Bailey
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful book with insightful information on sheep, honey and wine that gives deeper meaning to mentions in the Bible.
Brian Christensen
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
A great book weaving knowledge of wine, wool, harvest and honey with the images of those in scriptures. Plenty of insight into several passages that use those as a way to convey a spiritual truth.
Maggie Burleson
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite bible studies. Changed the way I saw harvesting.
Madonna Barker
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book!
Jun 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
tried to read. too many adjectives.
May 28, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was an enjoyable read about the author's adventures throughout the US in places like Alaska, Colorado, and Nebraska as she explored the richness of the Bible's parables, metaphors, and historical events that reference the agrarian culture God's people lived in. For the vast majority of the Western world today, we live in societies that have no context or appreciation for the lessons and beauty of Scripture.

As the book's description puts it, how can we understand a land overflowing w/
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
"When I embrace a life that is pleasing to God - one that chooses righteousness over being merely right, one that chooses kindness in the face of rejection, one that chooses love rather than silent withdrawal - something comes alive in my heart and in the hearts of my community. "
Galatians 6:7-8 "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit
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A self-described "hot mess," Margaret Feinberg is a popular Bible teacher and speaker at churches and leading conferences such as Catalyst, Thrive, and Women of Joy. Her books, including The Organic God, The Sacred Echo, Scouting the Divine, and Wonderstruck and their corresponding Bible studies, have sold nearly one million copies and received critical acclaim and extensive national media ...more
“Jesus knew that many of his listeners believed the old wineskin (or way of doing things) was good enough. They were comfortable with their beliefs and practices, but Jesus hadn't come to patch up old religious traditions. He was offering a new garment, a new wineskin, a way of life that didn't abolish the old ways, but fulfilled them.

The teaching illuminated my own need to remain pliable before God. I realize that I must have a softer housing for my growing faith, one that can flex and change as God is at work inside of me. All too often I find myself clinging to that which is comfortable and familiar, rather than embracing the challenges that emerge with change and growth. Sometimes I shy away from people who have strong views that differ from mine, even though sharing a great conversation... could temper both our viewpoints and deepen our relationship. Why do I run away from strong opinions and potential conflict? Am I too comfortable and unwilling to change? Such a realization highlights the need for the Spirit in my life not just to discern and distinguish, but also to illuminate and invite me to move forward into the fullness of life with him." -Scouting the Divine”
“And God did not just ask for the perfect sheep; He also wanted its wool. Deuteronomy 18:4 instructs shepherds to give the first shearing of the sheep as on offering to God. Above the crackling warmth radiating from the stove, I read the verse aloud to Lynne. "Is a first shearing a once-in-a-lifetime offering?" I asked. "Yes, everybody wants the first shearing, especially if it's from one of your best lambs. The first shearing is the finest fleese that's used to the best ask for that is a real sacrifice." ... For the first time in a long while, maybe ever, I had felt with my own hands what God desired from sacrifice. It was nothing like what I expected...In asking for the first fleece, God isn't asking for the biggest. He wants to smallest and the softest. He doesn't want more-He wants the best." -Scouting the Divine” 2 likes
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