The Old Testament is the first section of the two-part Christian biblical canon and contains the Torah or Law. As a piece of literature, it sometimes has been considered too “primitive” for contemporary tastes, but it has also at times been seen as a powerful literary masterpiece. In either case, it is an extremely important historical source and has had a profound influence on all subsequent literature and thought in Western civilization.”
The Old Testament Teaches Us that God Is God and We Are Not.
The Old Testament teaches us that God is God and we are not.
The word “God” in the Old Testament is typically translated as “Elohim”, which means “mighty one” or “strong one”. Elohim is not just a name for God, it is a declaration of who He really is; He has all the attributes of being true to His word and keeping His promises. He is holy (Leviticus 11:44), righteous (Deuteronomy 32:4), just (Psalm 89:14), loving (Exodus 34:6-7) merciful (Exodus 34:6-7), gracious (1 John 1:9) faithful (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The Psalmist wrote Psalm 115 saying “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” This verse tells us that our God controls everything that happens in this world including those things that happen to good people who don’t deserve them such as Job losing all his wealth, family members dying an early death due to sicknesses they didn’t cause themselves such as his wife who was stricken with leprosy from touching her husband’s dead body after he died from leprosy himself…and more importantly it lets us know that our God will never allow anything bad happen without there being some kind of plan behind it even if sometimes we cannot understand what those plans might be until later on down the road when we look back at them through hindsight glasses instead of looking forward through rose colored glasses before making decisions based on fear rather than faithfulness.”
The Old Testament Teaches Us that The God Who Is Really There Is the God Who Cares for Us Deeply.
In the Old Testament, God is seen as a personal, caring God who is present with his people and involved in their lives. The book of Psalms shows this very clearly. David writes about how he feels when he has sinned against God:
“Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me! My eyes grow weak with sorrow; my soul and my body with grief.” (Psalms 6:2)
He knows that he has offended God by breaking his laws, but he also knows that God loves him personally.
The Old Testament Teaches Us About a God Who Acts on Behalf of His People.
The Old Testament teaches us about a God who acts on behalf of His people. In the first three books of the Bible, we see that God is a god of action and not just words. He helps those who call upon his name, gives them strength and courage, and saves them from their enemies for their faithfulness to him. God’s actions in the Bible are examples for us to act on behalf of those around us.
The Old Testament Teaches that People Are Not Just Something God Tolerates, but Something He Actively Cares About.
The Old Testament teaches that people are not just something God tolerates, but something He actively cares about. God made people in His image—people who can respond to His love and relationship with Him.
God wants to get to know His people, and He tells us that we should want to get to know Him too—through reading the Bible, praying, talking with other believers about their experience of God’s presence in their lives, worshiping at church and spending time in nature as a way of encountering God’s creation.
We can show our love for others by treating them with kindness (1 Corinthians 13).
The Old Testament Teaches that Words Matter.
The Old Testament teaches that words matter. We are a word-based culture, and the Bible is chock full of words. Words have power. Words can be used to communicate meaning, influence people, communicate important information and create understanding among human beings who would otherwise not understand each other at all (e.g., when Jesus speaks in parables).
Words also have a double meaning: they can mean one thing to one person and something totally different to someone else! When someone says “I love you”—do they really mean it? Or do they mean something else entirely? And what if that next time you say those same three words back to your spouse or significant other…what if they don’t really mean it either? It’s important for us as Christians to realize this aspect of language because it has implications on how we communicate with others in our daily lives—especially with those closest around us; namely spouses/partners/family members or friends/coworkers
The Old Testament Teaches that We Must Deal with Sin Seriously Both in Our Own Lives and In Corporate Life.
The Old Testament teaches that we must deal with sin seriously both in our own lives and in corporate life. Sin is the reason people die, it is a serious issue. God does not want us to sin, but when we do, there are consequences. We experience those consequences through death, sickness and suffering because of sin. God hates sin because it is contrary to His nature (Isaiah 5:20). He cannot tolerate unrighteousness or evil (Habakkuk 1:13).
The Old Testament Teaches that Grace Does Not Compromise with Evil, but Confronts It Head-On.
The Old Testament teaches that grace does not compromise with evil, but confronts it head-on. There are many examples in the Old Testament where God confronts sin in his people, the world and even the devil himself. It’s also evident that he confronts sin in us—regardless of our position or status in life. And lastly, we see how grace confronts sin when it comes to God’s church:
In Genesis 6:5-8 we read how God confronted Noah with his wickedness and warned him a flood would come if he continued on his path of destruction.
In Exodus 32:1-10 we see how Moses stood against Israel’s worship of false gods after they had seen God’s glory on Mount Sinai.
In 1 Samuel 2:12-17 we find out how Eli confronted Saul for his disobedience towards God and for failing to obey His commands (1 Samuel 3:13).
The Old Testament’s Moral Principles Provide a Grid to Keep Us from Wandering Off Into Sin and Immorality.
The Old Testament teaches that grace does not compromise with evil, but confronts it head-on. The Old Testament teaches that we must deal with sin seriously both in our own lives and in corporate life.
The Old Testament teaches that words matter. God cannot bless you if you are living a lie (Joshua 24:15). We should never think of our words as unimportant, because they have tremendous power to either destroy or build up (Proverbs 18:21).
There Are Many Things We Can Learn from The Example of The People in The Old Testament.
The Old Testament is the story of God’s relationship with his people. The Bible begins with a family—Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac—and ends with another family—David, Solomon and Jesus Christ. In between are countless other stories about countless other families who lived out their lives in faithfulness to God.
This book is also a story about how God wants all people to live in relationship with each other because we were designed that way from the beginning (Genesis 1:27).
Remember, when it comes to studying the Old Testament, we should approach it with humility. While I have tried to clarify what it teaches about God, we should not all of a sudden be sure that we know everything about who God is and why he does things. The Bible itself tells us to “let God be found true” (Romans 3:4), even if our own thoughts and prejudices say otherwise. That’s a lesson we can learn from the Old Testament as well!