why do we need to read the old testament
Why should we read the Old Testament? We should read the Old Testament because the Bible is the story of God's interaction with the worldвand the Old Testament records the beginning of that story. God reveals His nature and His purpose through His Word. To ignore the Old Testament is like making a new friend and never asking about his past. God is the same in the Old Testament as He is in the New, and studying the Old Testament allows us to know Him better and more fully understand our place in His plan. The Old Testament begins with God's work as it directly relates to humanity. First, He made our habitat (Genesis 1:1-25), then He made us (Genesis 1:26-27). This account explains what we areвcreatures beholden to our Creator, made in His image, and designed for a relationship with Him. Nothing in our lives or in the world's history makes sense without this background. Shortly after the account of creation, the Bible reveals the incredible damage humanity can inflict on itself. Having lost its relationship with God, human society slid into destruction (Genesis 6:5). God's plan was to nurture humanity while giving us the freedom to explore and the authority to rule (Genesis 1:28).
When man-made social constructs threatened to usurp this plan, God had no choice but to wipe out the dangerous influences in a worldwide flood (Genesis 6-7) and remake our habitat in such a way that amassing such human power again would be much more difficult. God did not abandon His plan or His creation. He worked in history to put us back on the right track. God's story continued. Working with a subset of humanity, Israel (Genesis 12:2), God established guidelines to develop a relationship with Him (Leviticus), with the idea that Israel would be able to teach others (Genesis 12:3). The Old Testament shows that the ensuing centuries were a roller coaster of success and failure as human nature, once again, fought with God's design. When the threat of the removal of worldly blessings failed to induce obedience, God had no choice to remove His people's socio-political influence (2 Kings 25) until the world was prepared to receive His own spiritual influence (Galatians 4:4).
The prophets predicted the culmination of God's work in history. First, the coming of the Messiah (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Isaiah 53:3-7; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 9:9; Psalm 22:16-18), then the end times (Daniel 7-12). It is the Old Testament that gives us the context for Jesus' birth, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection. The New Testament is a snapshot of perhaps sixty years of history, plus some prophecy of the end times. The Old Testament shows the character of God interacting with His people over millennia. He is giving, jealous, forgiving, loving, and holy. The Old Testament shows His patience, His plan, and His personality. It presents a stunning, four-thousand-year-long illustration of the unfaithfulness of man and our desperate need for a Savior. The Israelites were not merely an ancient people who lived far away. They were humans, chosen by God but prone to stray, just like us. In them, we see our need for Jesus. And in the God of the Old Testament, we see the holy, loving Christ who came in the New Testament to restore us to Himself. Related Truth:
Hi, Have you ever read a whodunnit murder mystery novel?
Did you read the last chapter first? Why not? I m guessing it was because it wouldn t have made sense without the preceding chapters which gave context to the final chapter and made the final chapter understandable. In a similar way, the New Testament is the final chapter of the Old Testament. It is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. The Old and New Testaments work together to give us the whole picture of who God is, who we are and what God does with our rebellion. The Old Testament forms a backdrop against which we can understand the New Testament. The New Testament is the fulfillment of God s plans, purposes and promises which he gave in the Old Testament. As such then you can say that both the Old and New Testaments are about Jesus - the Old Testament points to Jesus, and the New Testament describes his life, death and resurection, and reflects on the impact this has in the world. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, For no matter how many promises God has made, they are Yes in Christ. Jesus says Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not then smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law (1st 5 books of the Bible) until everything is accomplished. (Matt 5:17-18). Without the Old Testament we would not understand as well the original problem to which Jesus is the solution, that being our sin and rebellion against God (Genesis 3); we would miss out on reading about God s mighty acts of rescue through which we see his character on display (eg in the book of Exodus). we would miss out on the predictions of Jesus death and resurrection which were 1000 years before they occurred exactly in Jesus. In short we would not understand Jesus as well as we do without the Old Testament. As we read and reread the Old Testament, what Jesus has accomplished on our behalf will become clearer and clearer still. If you wish to find out more I would highly recommend a book called Gospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy which is available (as part of a trilogy) at
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