The Old Testament (OT) of the Bible is principally about the Creation, the history of the Jewish nation, the character of God, and his direct influence in human affairs. While the OT emphasises God’s relationship with Israel, it also makes clear that the principles of life and conduct apply to all of us, though specific practices regarding health and behaviour (especially in the earliest Books of the Bible) are often targeted at the itinerant nation. It is important to read the Old Testament as first and foremost a record of God declaring his character through the Jewish people but also providing a view of God and His priorities for the world.

In the OT we find history, poetry, prophesy and intimate details of the way in which God deals with individuals. The writers do not pull their punches but rather expose the ways in which obedience to God brings satisfaction and contentment, whereas disobedience results in misery and tragedy. You cannot read the OT calmly and coolly: it is far too gripping and, in some places, alarming. God is the One who created the heavens and the earth and all that lies within the universe. He is not a comic character who casually glances towards humankind or uses people for His recreation; on the contrary, His never-failing love, together with His justice, permeate the pages of the Bible.

Although it may be tempting to marginalise the Old Testament and claim that it is irrelevant for modern society, its pages are a veritable treasure trove of wisdom, guidance and insights that strike to the heart of every person, demonstrating the wonder of life, exposing our sinful nature and making it clear why we all need a Saviour.


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