Tips to Studying the Old Testament

Friday, January 15, 2016
image via unsplash 
Hello! I'm Lauren, and I blog over at Victory. I'm so incredibly thrilled to have the opportunity to guest post over here today! 
I'm a Child of God  and I hope by my writing you are pointed back to the One who is the reason that I am existing and who is the One that I am living for. 

I don't know about you, but I've never been the kind of person that wants to jump straight into the Old Testament when I am digging into God's Word. 
It seems nearly impossible to understand what is going on with all of those offerings and altars sometimes.
However, I am finding a another new method of studying the Bible and also have ran across some tips that have helped me in a new-found appreciation for the Old Testament.

1. Adapt the writing in the margins method 
I'm reading this book called Writing in The Margins that has been challenging me in a new way of discovering the Bible. I highly recommend it because the way that you can really connect and bring to life the scripture in front of you through this method is awesome. I used this method to really help me discover some of the amazing things that can be found in the old testament. 
Writing in the margins is about finding a new way in the midst of confusion. It is the back and forth that comes from spending time with an old friend who knows you better than you know yourself. Writing in the margins is about making sacred connections between ancient text and present day--an arc spanning time and space--that intersects the now and the real and sometimes overwhelming, and finds wisdom and depth from those connections. 
Writing in the Margins is simply using the white and empty space around the text of your Bible to make connections, lists, write praises or simply to respond to what you have just read. 
2. Read Praises Written by Old Testament Authors 
I really had no clue that there were so many praises were written in the Old Testament. 
Take for example Exodus 15, which is the song of Moses and Miriam. The entire chapter is full of description about God's character. We can praise Him for so many things about his character such as how His power shattered the Egyptians during the Red Sea story. 
Another example includes 1 Chronicles 16, which reveals God's faithfulness in keeping His promises and how joy and a praise filled spirit are some of the characteristics surrounding someone who keeps their eyes focused on the Lord. 
And it doesn't stop there! Think of Hannah's Prayer which reveals a needy spirit that glorified God for His character, even though she was in the midst of a hard time (1 Samuel 2). 
The Song of Moses is described in Deuteronomy 32. Deuteronomy of all places.

3. Learn from the examples of Old Testament Individuals 
The things that many old testament individuals struggled with are some of the same things we still struggle with today, they just take on different forms. Just like any other form of literature, the themes found in the Bible are timeless. We still need God in the midst of our sin, and we even have the Holy Spirit to help us during hard times. 
Jealously was evident in the lives of Leah and Rachel. Even though a double marriage is not something we run across in our everyday lives, we can still connect with the jealously that these two women faced in the relationship. You can read more about their story in Genesis 30.
Maybe you can connect to Rachel, in that she was a jealous wreck. We are all sinners just like Rachel, who was also a thief and a liar. Yes, she was beautiful on the outside, but her character was not beautiful. Rachel can be an example of someone that we do not want to be: someone who is jealous, selfish, greedy, manipulative and unsatisfied. When we turn to Christ, we can find the answer and power to overcome those types of sins that are often asking to become part of our character. 
There are countless other people mentioned in the Old Testament and whose stories are told that we can relate to and learn from. 
The overall theme found in all of the lives of these individuals points to the love and forgiveness that we can find in Christ. 

The Old Testament is amazing, and I hope that you will join me on this journey in not overlooking this section of scripture. 

What are your tips for studying the Old Testament? 

1 comment:

  1. EEEEEEEEEE LAUREN DID A GUESTPOST. ♥ *dances around* Also, I love that name "Victory" it's just like GAAAAAHFSKJDNVC. Okay done. Done done done.... (Hey I also love the slider on your homepage -- it's just so pretty YOUR WHOLE BLOG IS SO PRETTY LIKE IT SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED. ugh. ;) anyway.)

    Let me just say: I'm a lover of the Old Testament. There was a time when I was kind of intimidated and confused by it, but now I just love it. I find it so cryptic and poetic, but also ridiculously loaded with so much good stuff. LIKE HONEY. IT'S LIKE THICK AND YUMMY AND OVERPOWERING. yep. x) Ooh, I like that idea of "writing in the margins." That is really cool, and a great way to study.

    I love the points you make here. It's true, there is so much humanity in the Old Testament. I think one of the reasons why I love it so much is because it's just packed full of real people. Like they were messed up and fumbling and stupid and sometimes smart and sometimes stubborn and they all wandered around (some closer and some farther) this large, dancing, beautiful consuming fire of love that is God. Like little kids, wondering, prodding, crying, laughing, asking questions and waiting for replies. It's just gah. Fascinating to me. ^.^

    Wonderful post, Lauren! Keep up the good work.