Bible reading looks a little different for everyone. At least for everyone actually reading their Bible. 🙂
Some people follow a plan generated by the Bible app. Others just start at the beginning and read it through. I choose to read one chapter from the Old Testament and one chapter from the New Testament daily. Beginning with Genesis and Matthew, I read to the end of those testaments and begin again.
I find this a pleasure when the beauty of Psalms and rich teaching of Paul coincide. But I also find it a chore when Numbers and Revelation meet. Or when I’m reading through Jeremiah and Lamentations. Those are cheery book. 😀
If I had to choose only the Old Testament or the New Testament, honestly, I would choose the New.
Truthfully, Old Testament Bible reading can sometimes feel like a chore. When reading through Numbers 7, it may even feel like punishment. There are still good lessons and nuggets of wisdom but they can be difficult to see. I think this is why we all tend to spend more time in the New Testament rather than the Old.
However, the Old Testament is A-MAZE-ING! The OT is full of stories packed with God’s grace, mercy, and power. Yeah, I still have problems reading through all the names and numbers but I’m falling harder and harder in love with the OT.
Even after I hearing many of the stories growing up, I’m always amazed at how awesome God is when I read them again. Further, there are so many stories that we simply can’t tell to children. Like Judges Chapter 3: 12-30 or Chapter 4 — particularly verses 17 – 22. Or most of Nehemiah. The names and numbers come up again but the story is still wonderful.
If you’ve been reading Genesis and Exodus before skipping straight to Psalms, you’ve missed some great stories! But maybe you need a little more convincing.
Here are my top three reasons why you should be reading the Old Testament — completely!
God recorded it for a reason.
This may seem like a dumb reason but sometimes it’s all that gets me through. When reading through 1 Chronicles 1-8, I grow weary. I have to remind myself that God knew these people. They were living and breathing people who God saw and longed to have a relationship with. They were His people, even if they were not obedient. For me, knowing that God passed down their individual names through the generations, encourages me. Somewhere, up in Heaven, my name is recorded. It may only be a quick read over name for some but for me — it means life eternal, everlasting love, and a heavenly inheritance.
God’s strength is regularly on display.
The New Testament is wonderful because it’s full of Christian living guidance and it’s a constant reminder of God’s love and grace. However, when we only read the NT, we can quickly forget that God is powerful, jealous (Ex 34:14) , a consuming fire (Deut 4:24), holy, and fighting for us (Ex 14: 14). God will always reign and His name is to be feared (Malachi 1:14b). If you read and really look, God’s power and strength is constantly on display. He’s not a weak, passive, always patient God. He is the One who turns the hearts of kings, defeats armies without a fight, and controls nature.
God is ever present.
If you read through the Old Testament, one thing is always consistent — God’s presence. Even when His people sin, God is always waiting. He does eventually bring punishment but He is slow in His anger. (Nehemiah 9:17). He may have spoken through a Prophet or a Judge but He was always calling out to them. God is an ever present help (Ps 46:1). If God remained present through all the cycles of turning away and returning, then I know that God is ever present with me. They had the promises given to Abraham. I have the blood of the Lamb.
So, go ahead — Read! You’ll find some amazing stuff in there!!