Monday, June 25, 2012

Rte 66 - Rest Stop 2

I posted a few months ago in Rte 66 - Rest Stop 1 about my plans for a complete read-through of the Bible (see The Message). At my first rest stop, I had just finished reading through the book of Job (the 18th book of the Bible out of 66). So, at about the 1/3 mark of the year, I had completed reading about 1/3 of the Bible. Now at my second rest stop, I have continued along down the road and made some significant progress toward completing my goal. Recently I completed my reading of the 39th and last book of the Old Testament, Malachi.

Over the years I have noticed on countless occasions that most folks purposefully avoid getting anywhere near the Old Testament. Sure, allusions to Genesis, Psalms, and Proverbs in books and Sunday morning sermons at commonplace, but it seems to me that rarely is the Old Testament approached with vigor, excitement, and a thirsty mind and heart. The grumbles that arise almost subconsciously begin at the mere mention of a reading exercise in the Old Testament, "What is the value in slogging through hundreds of pages of names and endless geneologies of people dead for thousands and thousands of years?" or "The books of the prophets just seem to drone on and on with their messages of doom for Judah and Israel."

In truth, I fully appreciate these arguments. However, beneath the obvious things that might seem to weaken your resolve to dive into the Old Testament, there are some very important things that you might find of great value.
  • These books introduce us to the God of the universe.
  • They demonstrate the unlimited power of God.
  • They make clear that this all-powerful creator of time and space wants an intimate relationship with each of us.
  • They show the consistency and constancy of God's message and desires for us.
  • They show countless examples of the enduring patience and love of God to his own.
  • They demonstrate the nature of sin and its pervasive presence in our lives.
  • They demonstrate the unending, ever-present sinful nature of man and why God is critical and necessary in our lives.
I now embark upon my study of the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation. I will post again when I come upon the next rest stop along my Rte 66 journey.