Ouxano: General Principles to Keep in Mind When Reading the Old Testament

1) God is the hero of EVERY story.

  • We tend to get off track and view different people as the heroes. For example, in the story of David versus Goliath, the Philistine giant threatens to destroy the Israelite and David was the shepherd boy who took him out with a single stone. But David was not the hero. He merely made himself available for God. You see, anytime any person works on God’s behalf, usually it’s because they love God and are available to do His will. It’s God truly doing the heroic work through His people.

2) Compassion for the less fortunate – especially foreigners, orphans and widows – is emphasized throughout the Old Testament.

  • Too often, people today view God of the Old Testament as an angry, vengeful judge, but He’s actually full of love (albeit sometimes “tough love”) and compassion.

3) Sin must be dealt with

  • God is holy and does not take sin lightly. God hates sin because sin hurts us.

4) God saves people by faith.

  • Even in the Old Testament, God’s people were saved by their faith in God, not by what they did. Consider God’s covenant with Abraham. When God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a nation, there was nothing Abraham could do to make himself worthy of God’s promise. He simply had faith and believed God’s word.

5) God is ALWAYS pointing us to Jesus

  • We too often forget that Jesus is there in scripture from the very beginning and throughout. Genesis 3, Psalm 22, the stories of Joseph and Daniel are just a few examples that clearly point directly to Jesus. The more we understand that God was always pointing us to His Son, the more clearly we can recognize the redemptive pattern moving through the Old Testament and to the cross of the New Testament.

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About Jefferson Drexler

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