THE BIBLE HAS TWO PARTS, THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS... READING ONLY ONE PART GIVES YOU ONLY HALF OF GODS' GIFT TO US !!!
Reading the Old Testament is vital in order to grasp the meanings of many of the lessons given to us by Jesus. But, it is also where we learn about the nature of man and how God treats man in various situations. The accounts of Old Testament events were given to us so that we may better understand how God will react towards our similar actions which certainly is very helpful knowledge, but only if we have read about it all. Probably every human experience is discussed in some way and the reactions that we may take are described and how God will react to our decisions is offered for our edification. God has not changed his expectations from His creations, although many believe that the New Testament altered the way in which God treats man. Certainly we have been offered an opportunity for the forgiveness of our sins and the rituals of the Old Testament people, but God still expects us to behave in a certain way and that has never changed. On the Day of Judgment, we will all be examined in the same way regardless of whether we were Old or New Testament people.
The very beginning of the Bible describes how man chose to be disobedient to God and how easy it was for Satan to persuade man to be disobedient. This has not changed and although, as we read the various stories and see the different ways in which man decided, it is obvious that Satan was influencing man or, at least, trying. The unfortunate part of it is that Satan was very successful then as he is today. Satan is not mentioned as much in the Old Testament as he is in the New, but it is obvious that he was involved in all events of those times.
The other aspect of the Old Testament that is much more prevalent than it is in the New is the enormous amount of wisdom and information given to us that should be very useful to us in our daily activities. When Solomon became king, God asked him what he wished from God and Solomon asked for wisdom to better guide the people of God. So, God gave Solomon more wisdom as well as wealth, more than any man has ever or will have. At the end of his life, Solomon wrote Proverbs and Ecclesiastes which offers us the wisdom that Solomon had acquired during his life. The two books are amazing examples of knowledge and wisdom and they also give us insight into the way by which God expects us to attempt to live. Those two books alone are worth the exercise of reading the Old Testament.
As we read about the Hebrew people and their trials and tribulations, we begin to see that their walk through their history is really a story about the walk that we all take to get through our lives. We see the various situations of their journey and what the results were for obedience as well as disobedience to the rules of God. We begin to see that our lives parallel the lives of the Hebrew nation in many ways, and we can use that information to see the dangers of this life and eliminate many of our own problems. Many of the stories, if not all, are given to us to help us in our journey. The story of Job is not about patience as many believe, but about persistence of faith and how it wanders and is influenced in many ways. It also shows how friends can often times cause us harm without intending to because they are not familiar with the wishes of God for our behavior. And, it also tells us of the rewards of holding on to our faith even during the worst times. We are also shown the pitfalls of government corruption and how the connection between government and the people began to separate until there was no connection at all, and it is still that way today…
The stories in the Prophets prepare us for Christ and show how the people wandered away from the rules of God until Jesus came and unified the religious beliefs back to where God wanted them to be. But, true to his nature, man began to corrupt the rules for his own convenience and here we are today. There is very little difference between the lessons of both Books, but without knowing the stories of the Old Testament, many of the lessons of the New Testament cannot be understood properly. Many think that the Old Testament should be read once and then concentrate on the study of the New. The Bible is both Old and New Testament and if the Old was not important, it would not be part of our Bible !!!