Growing up, Old Testament stories were my favorites. Daniel in the lion’s den. David and Goliath. Joshua and the battle of Jericho. Moses and the burning bush. The crossing of the Red Sea. Gideon and his small army of 300. The sun standing still. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Those stories came alive for me through colorful illustrations in picture books read to me before I could read, flannel-graph stories in Sunday School, and a pastor who preached much about the Old Testament.
Coming to Christ as a young child, my faith was built on a God who could do miraculous and supernatural things. Later, as an adult, I began to discover why those stories meant so much to me; God gave me the spiritual gift of faith. As a result, I never questioned that the God I read about in the New Testament was any different than the one I grew up on in the Old Testament.
For others, that may not be the case. If you were introduced to faith in God only through New Testament scriptures, the Old Testament may come as a shock. Read in its entirety, (not just the exciting highlights), we discover things about God that are harder to understand. Why did He allow slavery? Why so much emphasis on animal sacrifice? Why couldn’t the Jews marry other cultures? Why was polygamy acceptable? How could God strike down thousands of His people for their sins? What was the point of all those laws, covering everything from what you ate, what kind of material your clothes were made of, and who you could marry?
If you haven’t read it yet, take time to do so, and then pop back over here and let me know your perspective in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you learn about God when you read both Testaments, and how you deal with what seems to be a contradiction in His character or His actions.
Thanks for reading!