Answers

By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:

Q:

I find the Old Testament very confusing and hard to understand. We are studying the Old Testament in our Bible class at church, and to be honest, I wonder what use it is to us today.


A:

Yes, some parts of the Old Testament may seem confusing when we first read them, although those same passages can often point us to some very profound truths about God once we understand them.

The Old Testament is God’s Word just as much as the New Testament, and God wants us to use it to teach and encourage us. Through it, for example, we learn that God made the world–including you and me. We also learn how sin came into the world and why Jesus Christ had to die on the cross to purchase our salvation.

Many parts of the Old Testament also help us understand how we should live, especially as we study the lives of its main characters (including not only the good things they did, but also their failures). The Bible says, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

Don’t worry about the parts you can’t understand–ask God instead to help you learn from the parts you can understand. I often suggest people begin reading in the Psalms (which is the “hymn book” of the Old Testament). For many years, I read five Psalms a day plus one chapter from Proverbs (which gives practical guidance for life). Thank God for all the Bible, and “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16).

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