I know many Christians who do not read the Old Testament in the Holy Bible. In my conversations with people about the Old Testament, my reasons for reading the Old Testament include the practical and personal. Christians should read and study the Old Testament because it provides examples of God using imperfect people like us to accomplish His will and bring Himself honor and glory.
The apostle Paul wrote to believers reminding his readers why we have recorded history of times and people, “Now these things happened to them as an example and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come…” (1 Corinthians 10:11-12). We learn from those who came before us.
What happened to the generations of people who came before are examples and provides needed instruction to live our lives. Unfortunately, we must not be good learners because if we were, we would not struggle with the same problems those who lived thousands of years ago struggled with.
Gideon, (Judges 6:12) “a mighty warrior” as God saw him, was hiding from his enemies, had all kinds of excuses for not doing what needed to be done. What excuses do you have for not doing what you know you should be doing?
Rahab, (Joshua chapter 2) a prostitute, demonstrated her faith in God by protecting the two spies. Rahab is mentioned in the great hall of faith in Hebrews 11 too! What are you doing that you know you should not be doing but still believe and trust in God?
Moses, (Exodus chapters 1-5) a murderer God used to lead His people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. What made Moses kill the man? Was it anger, frustration, a perceived injustice, confused over who or what he was? Was Moses having an identity crisis? What we do know is that God used Moses to do a great work. What in your background are you using as an excuse for not letting God use you?
Noah, (Genesis chapters 6-9) with his home-built yacht filled with all manner of animals. God used Noah to save animals and people to continue humanity. But Noah got himself drunk, embarrassed and brought shame to himself. Was it stress, lack of self-discipline, loneliness for Noah? It does not really matter what and why you did what you did to embarrass yourself – God forgives and gives multiple opportunities to live for Him.
Somewhere in the Old Testament, you can discover someone with similar circumstances, desires, troubles, failures, and successes. Time after time, God uses people to do great things, impossible things. What God did with those people He can do for you! The Old Testament, or more correctly, the Hebrew Scriptures, provide the instruction and encouragement we desperately need for lives.
NO matter your past, NO matter your present, God works all things in your life to bring good, honor and glory to Himself. You are loved, you have a future, and you are highly valued by God!