Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
How can we become Old Testament people? How can we grasp all that God wants to teach us through the Old Testament? Here are some suggestions:
Set a goal
Set a goal to read the Old Testament, but don’t overdo it. You can read the entire Old Testament in one year by reading about three chapters a day.
Unless you are unusually dedicated, don’t start with Genesis and try to push through the books in order. Vary your reading. Many helpful plans exist for reading through the Old Testament. They line up the readings in an interesting manner, such as interspersing the Psalms and Proverbs throughout, or placing the prophets within their proper historical context within Kings and Chronicles.
Look for themes
As you read, look for themes in the text. Look for the majesty of God, his searching after his people, his Covenant love, the sinfulness of mankind, the way that everything points to Jesus Christ and is fulfilled in him. Let these themes grip you.
Identify with the Old Testament people
Identify with the people about whom you read. They lived in a different time and a different culture, but they are people just like you—with the same kinds of struggles and the same experiences of God. What can you learn from them, both positive and negative, for your own life and work?
Get help from Bible resources
Get some basic resources to help you, such as a Bible dictionary, a Bible handbook and a study Bible with introductions and outlines for each book.
Share the learning experience
Find a ‘discovery partner’ or small group who will read on their own and who will hold you accountable. Share your findings and questions with each other.
Attend an Old Testament survey
Consider attending a one-day or a weekend Old Testament survey. Or ask you pastor to consider holding an Old Testament survey for your congregation. But remember that this should be an introduction for you and should not replace your own reading.
As you become serious about reading the Old Testament, as you encounter God there, as you see the wonderful background and insights into the New Testament, and as you are pointed more surely to Jesus, your life will be changed. And your hunger and thirst for the Old Testament will grow and grow.
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Support Your Hope 103.2
There is hope for a better day tomorrow, for a better future for your family, your friends, your neighbourhood. Hope for a world in which love overcomes fear – and people are not divided but instead unite.