We discussed Amos in the last post and I tried to get the point across about the importance of reading the Old Testament (OT). I am convinced that it is just as important to read the OT as it is the New Testament (NT). You can’t have the NT without the OT, they are a package deal and the writers of the NT understood this.
It doesn’t get any more entertaining than the Old Testament
Before I continue, I know that there are endless genealogies, boring census records and repetitive offerings that will make you snore, but the exciting stories and lessons far outweigh the dry parts.
The Old Testament is filled with drama, intrigue, mystery, action, sex, humor and fantastic stories. Some stories make me laugh, and some make me cry. To get the most out of it is to put yourself there, on the scene. When the Shunemite woman is running towards Elisha because of the death of her child, I imagine it taking place. You can’t help but be moved by it. I have come to tears reading it although I’ve read it before! Read 2 Kings 4.
It never gets old
God, our creative Designer, knows how to keep us enthused and interested. He designed the OT to be filled with romance, sex, action, violence, and drama to beat the band. It never gets old.
Now let’s learn from this…
2 Chronicles 36: 22 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom:
23 “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Any of you who are the Lord’s people may go there for this task. And may the Lord your God be with you!”
This is incredible for two reasons
1. This was prophesied 150 years earlier by the prophet Isaiah:
28 When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’
he will certainly do as I say.
He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’;
he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’”
2. King Cyrus was a Gentile (non-Israeli) and he was happy to oblige!
This demonstrates the God’s sovereignty and how He uses kings for His purposes.
If you are reading the NT there is clear instruction for us to be reading the OT. So if I cannot convince you, maybe the apostle Paul can…
1 Corinthians 10: 1 I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. …
6 These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, 7 or worship idols as some of them did. …
9 Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. 10 And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. 11 These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.
This is just scratching the surface of what there is to learn from the Old Testament and many brothers and sisters are missing out by not reading it.
Will you read the Old Testament with me?
“Dear Lord, as I read through the Old Testament, please reveal yourself to me. Help me know you in a way that I might have a greater reverence for you.”
I suggest that you read 2 Kings 1-4 if you’d like to sample some great stories.