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5 Reasons to Study Old Testament History

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5 Reasons to Study Old Testament History Empty 5 Reasons to Study Old Testament History

Post  Admin on Thu 14 Jul 2016, 8:45 pm

5 Reasons to Study Old Testament History

Shakespeare wrote that each person’s history is “a tale told by an idiot, 
full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” The Christian view of personal 
and
world history is quite a contrast; we believe God ordained it, organizes it, 
and moves it towards a meaningful, definite, and certain purpose.

Many Christians, however, entertain a negative view of Old Testament 
History; of its usefulness and even of its accuracy. It is often regarded as 
“far
away” and “distant” chronologically, geographically, socially, and 
theologically. “What can it do for me?” and “Why study it?” are common 
questions. Here
are five reasons to study it and benefit from it:

1. OT History is True History

Israel’s neighbors expressed their beliefs through fantastic, elaborate, 
“out-of-this-world” myths. In contrast, Old Testament narratives about 
Israel
describe real events in real time involving real people and a real God. The 
reality of Israel’s faith rested on the reality of Israel’s history.

Similarly, if we lose or give up the truthfulness of the Biblical record, we 
lose and give up the Truth. We also lose our Christian faith because it is
founded not on detached philosophical speculations but on God’s acts in 
human history.

Approaching Old Testament narratives with unshakeable confidence in their 
accuracy and truthfulness will build up unshakeable faith.\

2. OT History is Selective History

No matter how much they deny it, every historian has an agenda. Though often 
unspoken, that agenda can often be deduced by analyzing his selection, 
arrangement,
and editing of events. Old Testament writers also had an agenda that guided 
the selection, arrangement, and editing of their accounts. The only 
difference,
and it’s a major difference, is that their selectivity was divinely inspired 
and, therefore, in no ways diminishes their truthfulness.

Therefore, when reading Old Testament history, ask yourself why the author 
selected these events and that particular angle on them. It will get you 
much
closer to the message he intended to convey to his original audience.

3. OT History is Relevant History

Old Testament preaching often faces the charge of seeming irrelevance. There 
are vast differences between the world of the Old Testament and the modern
world. However, this “relevance gap” cannot be bridged by forgetting Old 
Testament history. Attempting this may make the sermon relevant but it makes 
the
Scriptures irrelevant.

Rather, a right understanding of Old Testament history enables us to 
understand the original message to the original audience at the original 
time and
place; and that having done this, the bridge to the present message is far 
easier and safer to construct.

4. OT History is Purposeful History

Many history books simply relate the what, when, where, and how of each 
event. Not many attempt to answer the “Why?” question, and those that do 
usually
prove laughably unreliable.

In contrast, biblical history has a clear purpose: it is a progressive 
revelation of the mind and heart of God for the benefit of needy sinners. 
God is
the subject and the hero of the Bible. Therefore, when we read an Old 
Testament narrative, we ask three questions:

• What does this story reveal about God?
• How is this intended to help needy sinners?
• What role does this story play in the larger and longer biblical story?

The last question will help prevent us reading the chapters as disconnected 
dots and unrelated atoms.

5. OT History is Redemptive History

The Old Testament is redemptive history. God actively directs human history 
for the purpose of redeeming sinners to Himself. The Holy Spirit inspired 
the
writers of the Old Testament to record what would graciously reveal that 
redemptive purpose, and even the Redeemer Himself (Luke 24:27). The Biblical 
history,
then, is not just facts to teach us theology. These historical facts serve 
to bring in God’s elect. What greater motive do we need to study it than 
that these Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15).
Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
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