It’s been seven years since I’ve systemically written devotions each day throughout the Old Testament, and so for 2018, we will once again journey through the Old Testament together.

There are many advantages to reading the Bible systematically.

1) IT HELPS US TO LEARN THE OVERARCHING STORY OF THE BIBLE.

In reading only certain parts of the Bible, we narrow our view of the big story that God has written. Many feel more comfortable remaining in the New Testament because it seems less scary and easier to understand. The reality is that we cannot fully understand the New Testament, in all its gospel-wonder, without reading the Old Testament. If we limit ourselves to our favourite books, we read the Bible with tunnel vision and do not see what we are learning in light of the whole. Upon reading through the Bible, we begin to discover how the redemptive-historical storyline all fits in place. For example,  Leviticus may not be the most popular book amongst believers,  yet upon reading it, we discover how important it is to understand Hebrews and other parts of the New Testament. In fact, as we read the Old Testament together, we will see how much it is Jesus’ story and how parts of the New Testament will just begin to click in place.

2) IT WILL IMPROVE OUR ABILITY TO INTERPRET AND UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE.

As mentioned above, all passages of scripture, rely on the foundation laid by other passages. As we read Bible systematically, we will begin to recognise names, place, people groups as well as a timeline of when these events occurred.

The Bible contains 66 canonical books that are of various genres. Thirty-nine on the Old Testament. Some books are historical, telling the story of Israel, the Law, and surrounding nations. Some are poetic, like the Psalms and Song of Solomon, and need to be read that way. Still, other books are prophetic (Jeremiah and Ezekiel, for example). In committing to the entire Bible, we gain an appreciation for its various genres, how each one fits into the whole, and how each should be read.

3) IT FORCES US TO STUDY THOSE TRICKY, AND LESS TRAVELED ROADS OF THE BIBLE.

Reading the Bible systematically will force us to work through books and passages that might not usually attract your gaze: Numbers, Song of Solomon, Amos, Limitations and so on. So passages will be challenging to read, and some will test our modern day worldview, but we must remember “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16. As we read the Old Testament together, we will find answers to some age long questions and continually be reminded of God’s faithfulness.

So, I really hope that you can join me throughout 2018 as we read the Old Testament together. Along the way, I will also be adding some individual articles and some special side devotional series.

May God bless you and your family throughout 2018

Jon

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