It still astonishes me when I hear a pastor, preacher, or evangelist say they are a New Testament preacher. Some feel so strongly about this they will not even acknowledge that New Testament Apostles and Jesus often quote the Old Testament. I call this being entrenched within rhetoric. They were told these things by someone they respected and then latched on like an ole snapping turtle and would not let go. We should latch on to sound doctrine and Biblical scripture alone. But we should not latch on to unbiblical rhetoric. We need to read and understand the entire Word of God. We should specifically read the Old Testament for knowledge and wisdom. I believe every answer to every question humanity has ever asked can be found directly or indirectly within Biblical scripture.
History Not Allegory
Genesis 1 shares the who, what, when, where, how, and why everything came into being. It is briefly reiterated in Genesis 2 and John 1. These passages are obvious when the proper explanation is applied. The problem comes from people trying to add stuff to the Bible, for instance, the old, antiquated, broken-down theory of evolution. All the scientists who know anything about microbiology know the theory of evolution is entirely untenable, unprovable, and bankrupt.
These “experts” must continue to tout this goofy theory of evolution because their religious beliefs and livelihoods depend on it. Imagine being in a teaching or research position founded and funded to bolster or prove evolution. You work there and decide to believe the truth revealed in the Bible. How long will your peers, superiors, and scientific article publishers support your decision? Long enough to try to change your mind, and then you will be completely ostracized. You’ll have to find a Christian organization that needs your skills or join the fast-food industry. Many of these scientists are trapped like fish in a net, and I pity them.
Rich History of Life Lessons
The history, as told through Biblical historical narrative, psalms, and proverbs, shares the lives of real people. These people lived long ago, but the human condition has not changed. People feel angry, happy, sad, embarrassed, used, appreciated, lost, found, and satisfied, just like in ancient times. Nothing has changed about humanity. We simply have more technology and wear different fashions. So, the life lessons that permeate scripture teach us about ourselves and others. The Bible is unique in that it shares the good, the bad, the triumphs, and the tragedies of life. That’s what makes the Bible so unique and able to teach knowledge and wisdom.
Every aspect of life is covered within the Bible, but the Old Testament is particularly rich in these life lessons. These Old Testament life lessons provided much of the life lessons we find in the New Testament through paraphrases and direct quotes from the Old Testament. Jesus and his Apostles knew and understood the importance of the Old Testament, and so should we.
Read the Old Testament for Knowledge and Wisdom: The Wisdom Books
There are Old Testament books specifically designed by God to provide wisdom. They include Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, among others. The Book of Job can be hard to read. It seems like a cat-and-mouse game being played by God and Satan. God is revealing the righteousness of Job while Satan is chasing that notion, trying to disprove it. Job is used as a pawn in this “game.” It’s not a game, though. It’s a supremely thought-out series of life lessons. The most important of these life lessons is that if you genuinely love God, you will not abandon or reject Him, and He will never abandon or reject you. God is eternally faithful to those that are faithful to Him.
Job’s wife, after all her children died and all their wealth was wiped out, said to Job, “…curse God and die.” Job 2:9. You can understand her frustration and sorrow, but you should not understand her abandonment of God. God gave them a wonderful life up to that point, and instead of appreciating what she had, she focused on her shortsighted current situation. Many people fall into this trap. They forget about the wonderful life that God has given them and focus on their everyday trials and tribulations. We should all be like Job and retain our integrity, honor, and unquenchable love for God.
The Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes primarily share the knowledge and wisdom of King David and King Solomon. They share their trials, tribulations, and mistakes, as well as their triumphs, accolades, and wise counsel. You can truly learn a lot from these men. The genuine power of these books is contained in their honesty and integrity. They don’t sugarcoat anything; they just give you the raw truth to learn from.
Read the Old Testament for Knowledge and Wisdom: The Prophets
The prophets and the remaining books of the Old Testament, like Ester, Ruth, and others, provide even more life lessons and give you a glimpse into the culture of the various Biblical eras and the region’s culture. They also provide proof of one hundred percent accuracy of Biblical prophecy. This fact provides a powerful apologetic for the truth of Biblical scripture. They are astonishingly powerful tools for any Bible student or Christian, which are terms that should be synonymous but often are not.
We must read and understand the entire Word of God. It is essential for being a Christian and for truly knowing, trusting, and understanding God’s plan. It is also critical to developing a relationship with God. How can you honestly know what God wants you to do in any given situation if you only have a cursory knowledge of what He shared in scripture? I submit that you can’t know God’s will.
Some people and denominations say you can know God’s will through communing with the Holy Spirit. He can share God’s will through feelings and random inspirations. My question to them is: How can you trust your random, often Biblically illiterate mind? They’ll say, “We trust the Holy Spirit within us.” That’s admirable, but if God clearly condemns what you plan to do in scripture and you don’t know or understand the scripture, your feelings will fail you. Yes, even if you believe you got a revelation from the Holy Spirit. This statement is true because God NEVER contradicts Himself. You both cannot be correct, so you must rely on the truth He revealed in scripture, not your feelings or inspirations. We cannot trust ourselves to properly understand the inspiration of God unless we know the revelation He shared with us through the eternal Bible.
We need to not only Read the Old Testament for Knowledge and Wisdom but also read the entire Word of God. Subsequently, we can know and understand the who, what, where, when, how, and why we need to apply the Bible to our lives. Trust the Word of God beyond your trust for any feelings or supposed revelation. If your feelings or revelation do not reconcile with the Bible, your feelings or revelation are wrong. Trust the Bible, and you cannot go wrong!!