Talking About the Old Testament

Howdy and welcome back to Beyond the Pew. My name is Taylor Schroll. It’s great to be here with you, sitting on this tree stump, talking to you about the Old Testament.

Now this is an old tree, but it’s not two thousand, four thousand years old like the Old Testament is. A lot of people look at the Old Testament and think, “Oh, it’s this boring old book, and I can’t understand it.” And so we’re gonna address some of those things.

First of all, it is kind of hard to understand. We’ll address that as we go on. The second thing, it’s not boring. You’re either not reading it at all or you’re reading it wrong. A lot of times especially your kids will hear stories of like David and Goliath and it’s like, “Oh yeah, he’s slung his sling, hit Goliath in the head. Now Goliath is dead. Story’s over, right? No! The story keeps going. It’s the adult version that your kids don’t hear when they’re at Vacation Bible School. David hits him with the rock, takes Goliath’s sword, and cuts Goliath’s head off. And then picks up his head and shows it to the Palestinians.

There’s this collection of books in the Old Testament. It’s a heck of a lot of fun, so much fun that when I was in an Old Testament class, when I was an undergrad, the teacher wanted to call it, instead of like Old Testament 101 or whatever, he wanted to call it Lust, Greed, and War, because that’s essentially what this Old Testament talks about in these stories.

Why are we talking about the Old Testament with you guys as parents? Well in working with your kids, they have tons of questions about the Old Testament like why did God flood the earth, are we all descendants of Noah, why’d all the unicorns have to die, you know these really important theological questions that people are wrestling with, and I think if you and I are able to look at the Old Testament and get help in understanding it, we’ll be able to help our kids in answering some of these questions, some of these kind of odd kind of stories.

Well in working with your kids, they have tons of questions about the Old Testament like why did God flood the earth, are we all descendants of Noah, why’d all the unicorns have to die, you know these really important theological questions that people are wrestling with

And I’m not gonna be able to cover all that now, but I can point you in the right direction. There’s some great resources like Catholic Answers, and will answer a bunch of these questions like why did God flood the earth and all these kinds of things. So if your kids ever ask a question just go look it up. Catholic Answers is a great one. If you’ve ever gone through the the Bible timeline from Jeff Cavins, the Great Adventure Bible Timeline, there’s so much great knowledge in there. And they actually have one built for teens, if you wanted to go through it with some of your teenagers by Mark Hart. I’ve done it in youth ministry with a lot of our young people as well, and and I’ve gotten a lot out of it and so have they. So I’d encourage you to do that.

So what is the Old Testament? First and foremost, it’s a collection of books. A lot of people will look at it and see oh they’ll try to argue scientific facts or historical facts, and that’s like trying to say that a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe isn’t historically accurate. That’s not the point of that poem.

So we have to understand there’s a collection of many different books. There’s wisdom books. There’s prophetic books. There’s historical books. There’s teaching books. There’s all these different kinds of things that the authors are trying to accomplish that God is trying to accomplish through these inspired writers. So it’s all of these scriptures are for us to know the truth but not necessarily specific facts about these things.

So what the Old Testament is, is that it’s the New Testament concealed. So when we are reading the Old Testament, it’s a story of God’s people waiting. It’s the story of two thousand plus years of the Israelites, the Jewish people, waiting for the Messiah to come. We’re in this season of Advent now and we too are in this season of waiting for Jesus to come into our hearts in a new way in this Christmas season. I remember as a kid waiting for Christmas morning for weeks and months. Imagine waiting for 2000 years for this Messiah to come in the midst of heartache, in the midst of them losing their Kingdom, in the midst of that just deep wanting for Jesus to come. And it doesn’t happen for quite some time, and then, finally it does.

So when we are reading the Old Testament, it’s a story of God’s people waiting. It’s the story of two thousand plus years of the Israelites, the Jewish people, waiting for the Messiah to come.

An example of this is Abraham. So the Abraham story, you probably heard the story about when God asked him to sacrifice his son. You know God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many of great nations, finally gives him a son, and then he asked him to sacrifice that son. And the story really makes no sense when you read it in its own context. It’s only in the light of Jesus that we can understand this story because Abraham had his son Isaac carry the wood for the sacrifice up to the mountain himself.

And then you all know how it happens, Abraham goes to sacrifice his son and God says, “No, don’t do that. Stop.” And then as he’s explaining to Abraham he said, “On this mountain is where I will show you what love is.” And so there’s a ram or a lamb caught in these thorny bushes and they go and they sacrifice that lamb instead. And if you think about it, at this point Abraham is an old man, he’s 80 or a hundred years old and Isaac’s around ten years old. Isaac could have run away if he wanted to. And so we look at all this and we’re like, “what does this all mean? Why did God ask him to do it?”

And it’s really hinging on that line, that this is where God will show what true love is. And that mountain in the Old Testament was called Moriah, that mountain in the New Testament had a new name, and it was called Calvary. It was the same place. This is the mountain where God was going to show his love, where he sacrificed his only Son for you and me. He was the lamb. The lamb was caught in the thorn bushes. Jesus had a crown of thorns upon his head. He had to carry the wood up for his own sacrifice. We see all these parallels that make it make sense thousands of years later.

This is the mountain where God was going to show his love, where he sacrificed his only Son for you and me.

So if you have questions, if your kids have questions about the Old Testament, check out those resources. You can always ask us too. Shoot us an email or a social media post. We’d love to help you out as well. So that’s the Old Testament. I hope that helped you guys out. Have a very Merry Christmas, and we’ll be back next week on Beyond the Pew.

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