Over the past 7 or 8 months, I have made the commitment to read the Bible completely. I did finish the New Testament some months ago, at that time I was not posting my daily reading. Although, they are in a notebook or two. Now, there is so much difference between the Old Testament and the new, of course starting with the birth of Christ, which actually brings me to my point about the difference between the two Testaments.
The new Testament is all about Jesus, the entire thing! Well truly it’s not specifically about him, other than the first 4 Gospels it is more about his teachings and how we can come to know Christ through His teachings. The bulk of the new Testament is letters to Churches with instructions.
As I am reading through the Old Testament, I am currently reading Job, I realized the Old Testament are mainly stories, little philosophy/wisdom, such as Psalms and Proverbs. The story of Adam and Eve, the story of Cain and Able, Jacob, Joseph, Danielle, Esther, of course Moses and Noah and Abraham, but there are so many more. The stories of Judges and Kings, these are not just stories for our edification, they are stories that allow us to relate to what is happening in the Bible to ourselves.
I originally, when I read the stories, I could not identify with these people. I was not the son of Adam/Eve, I was not a selected one of God to inherit the promised land, nor appointed to a position of leadership by God. As I read on, it hit me after I read these stories, maybe our story is not exactly the same, but the circumstances might be. In other words, we can learn from these stories – about ourselves and see how other people in the Bible handled it.
If we look at ourselves, I believe it is very possible we can go into the Old Testament and find someone with the same characteristics as ourselves and see what they did, how did they do it, what mistakes they made, how did they repent from them, if they did. So, in truth the Old Testament has a different way of offering what the new Testament does. We can look to the Old Testament and say, wow, I was or am just like this person and look what happened to him. See what he did wrong, I wonder how to correct those deficiencies in me. Then go to the New Testament and find those attributes and see what Jesus , God and the Word of God says about how to change our behavior, thinking and actions.
For those of us who think we are going through and endless hell on earth, we can turn to Job for hope and faith. For those of us who seemed to be put into a situation we did not ask for, we can look to Jacob and Joseph or Esther or Ruth, for issues with leadership, there is Saul, Solomon, David. The Bible is full of stories that cover the vast of human suffering and success.
Instead of spouting off verses from the Bible when someone is in need, maybe go to a story in the Bible and begin to read. Let them know God knows way more about their suffering then they ever imagined.