Just over a year ago, I began reading through the Bible. At first, I was striving to read through it in a year. Then I decided to take more time and read through at a slower pace (actually trying to comprehend what I was reading). I am only through Amos, as of today. Lord willing, I will get into the New Testament within a couple weeks. Honestly, I can’t wait to get into the NT! I just want to read about Christ and His ministry, and I’m really excited. It has been a little difficult getting through the Old Testament. A lot of it is pretty depressing stuff. I feel like every other thing I read is about Israel’s sin and how God is going to punish them for their unfaithfulness to Him. There have been two “themes” that I have seen throughout the Old Testament:
1.) God’s hatred of sin (along with His incredible mercy and forgiveness)
2.) God’s unfailing love for Israel
First of all, I am being constantly reminded of how much God hates sin. It is so evident in just about every book of the Old Testament (if not all of them)! Over and over again, Israel turns away from God. There are very strong words used to depict Israel’s unfaithfulness (harlotry, adultery, etc.). As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I have been reading a book called A Fight to the Death, by Wayne and Joshua Mack. Reading through the OT has definitely reinforced what I’ve been reading in this book: sin is serious and God hates it. Yet amid all of the sin portrayed throughout the OT, God’s willingness to forgive and show mercy are never far behind. When I was reading Jeremiah, I was struck by God’s heart for His people to repent. In chapter 3:1-4:1, God says to Israel “Return to Me” or “Return” 5 times. What an amazing God He is! This brings me to the second “theme” I continually see while reading the OT – God’s unfailing love for Israel.
As I keep reading of God’s love for Israel and His promises to her, I am more and more convinced of dispensationalism and premillenialism. I just don’t see how the Church can replace Israel with all the promises that God makes about restoring her as a nation, etc.
So, that’s a little blurb about what I’ve been reading and learning. Also, the more I have read, the more I see how much I don’t know and understand! 🙂 I definitely read Unger’s Bible Handbook right along with Isaiah (and still didn’t understand most of it). I have a whole lot of learning left to do, that’s for sure! 🙂