“Then God spoke all these words saying, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” Exodus 20:1-2
I have been reading and studying the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Bible-- for about two months. Be honest. You are thinking , “that sounds about as appealing as reading an article called, “Fire Ants Today,” but I want to persuade you otherwise! Please do not ignore this important segment of the Bible because:
You think it is too difficult
It is the Old Testament, so I do not need to know it
It is boring
The books are sooooo loooong
Did I hit any of the reasons you have used before? I am going to assume I did, because they are some of the reasons I verbalized when I had the prompting of the Holy Spirit to read this segment of the Bible. “Are you sure, Lord? I know I am a nerd, but I am also a smarty pants, so I know most of what is in those books.” If God has eyes that can roll, He was probably doing it after that last comment. But with further prompting and listening, as well as a repentance of pride, I dove in. I started in Exodus, which is also backward, but I’m sure there is some reason for that as well. I learned:
Sometimes the reading is difficult, but so worth your time. Those laws Moses had to bring to God’s people were very difficult; he already felt like the weird one at school because he did not speak well. But he knew if he did not obey God, so many would suffer. If you will read and study (I use the Kay Arthur inductive method) and pray for God to speak to you, He will. He certainly did speak to his people back then. He will do it now, too.
It is the Old Testament, but God will reveal to you exactly what He wants you to hear and learn. Seriously, from Leviticus and Numbers I learned about just how perfect the sacrificial animals had to be in order for God to accept them. Not only did the animals have to be perfect, but the Priest bringing them could not mess up either. I knew a bit about these sacrifices already, but God opened my eyes to details I had never paid attention to before. And each detail was so important to know as a Christian. So much for smarty pants!
Furthermore, one of the most important things to know about these descriptions of sacrifice is that they all relate to the story of Jesus. Hebrews is a great companion book to show how the Old Testament sacrifice links to our savior Jesus.
There is so much repetition in these first five books, and I will not lie, sometimes I read the repetitive patterns quickly. Then God would slow me down like I was swimming in honey. When I reread the passages, the result would be just as sweet! The place I set up camp in Leviticus was Chapter 23, when God gives Moses the appointed times for the Jewish Feasts and Festivals. I probably spent about six or seven hours altogether studying this chapter, and God revealed so much of Himself to me in those hours. I am so thankful for every word. Please do not turn your eyes from these scriptures that are so rich and fulfilling!
I understand that these books are very lengthy. You are correct if this is one of your reasons for not studying the Old Testament. But banish time limits from your mind. My favorite Kay Arthur quote is this one, “There are sixty-six books in the Bible. How many of them does God expect you to know about? Sixty-six.”
These are answers I had to learn for the excuse that the Old Testament books are long:
1. I know God will speak to me through His word.
2. I know Jesus is coming soon.
3. The more time I invest in Him, the more I will know and be able to tell others so that we are all prepared when Jesus comes.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!
“ …so that you might learn that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Deuteronomy 8:3