I try to read the Bible every day and there are many different Bible reading plans available and resources to assist in study. I’ve read the Bible in many ways and studied some of the sixty-six books contained therein more than others. This year I decided to opt for reading the Bible straight through from Genesis to Revelation and signed into an online plan which paces you at about three chapters per day. At the moment I’m a few weeks ahead of schedule as I tend to want to keep reading.
It’s been a bit challenging compared to my normal routine of choosing a particular book and studying what I like. There are lots of familiar and exciting stories in the Old Testament – Noah and the ark, the exodus from Egypt, David slaying Goliath and Esther thwarting plans to destroy the Jewish race to give just a few examples. At the same time, one is faced with ploughing through long genealogies, extensive descriptions of building processes and sacrificial requirements, laws and more laws, rulers and more rulers and detailed accounts of battle after battle.
Yet all this is our history as Christians. God has given us accounts of what went before the time of Christ so that we understand the reason for His coming: and the changes that He brought to this Earth.
What is initiated in the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New Testament. In the Old we have the patriarchal families. In the New we have adoption into the family of Christ. In the Old we have repeated sacrifices to ask forgiveness for sin. In the New Christ is the Lamb of God who takes all the sin upon Himself, a once and for all time propitiation for our sins. In the Old Testament God’s presence on Earth was found in the Ark of the Covenant and later in the holy of holies, inside the temple in Jerusalem. In the New Testament God’s presence is found not in a building but in the person of Jesus Christ, and later in the presence of His Holy Spirit indwelling in His people, who are the church of God on Earth.
We all have a story and a history, and our history becomes our story. We look at our own genealogies, our personal family trees and see where we have come from, who our parents and grandparents and ancestors were, and see where we fit, and who we have married and the children we have borne. Likewise, God has determined our history, where and when our lives will occur and the impact our lives will have in this world.