I have chosen as the theme for this year’s reflections, “Why should I read the Old Testament?” The Old Testament forms around three-quarters of the Bible, and that in itself is a powerful, though perhaps not encouraging, answer. It has books with many chapters, so many, in fact, that some books are split into two, such as 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel. The Bible is now available in printed book form, and the longer books no longer don’t need to be broken up so that they can fit onto hand-written scrolls, but we still keep the splits, which is not such a bad idea, otherwise there’d be more books with over fifty chapters!
In the space I have I cannot possibly take you through the whole of the Old Testament, so instead I shall try to pick out some of the themes that I consider to be important enough to merit further examination of the Old Testament.
There are books, like Psalms, that have beautiful and powerful content. There are others, like Numbers, that contain largely numbers. There are books of history that show God working through and sometimes against leaders, judges, and kings, prophets and priests. There are angels, giants and witches and a serpent. There is bloody conflict and assassination, treachery and fraudulent behaviour. There is exquisite beauty and poetic lyricism. There is a key to the future and the promise of the Messiah. Even through the seeming toughness of the Law and a righteous God, there is a background of everlasting love. It’s a good read.
If you feel that you’d like to read a little more as you work through the forty days with me, I have offered some links that you can click or tap on. You might like to open your Bible to the passage of the day and read around it.
Not all of the readings will be from the Old Testament!