I’ve been reading through the Old Testament this past year, and finished it today. You can not understand how relieved I am. Now understand, I’ve read through it several times before. But this time, it really had an effect on me I had not predicted. I have been so beat down by the story of the nation of Israel. It has made me tired. Here’s why:
- In the beginning – the story is good, God is great, and things are beautiful. Until we eat the fruit.
- The early stories – God is working with people who are kind of clueless to use them to change the world. These stories are often funny, and encouraging to me.
- Dark days – The people repeatedly hear from God, and ignore Him. It convicts me at times, frustrates me at other points.
- Darker days – The prophets become one endless warning of destruction. Honestly, their words weigh so heavy on me, I have trouble reading them after awhile. It emotionally is wearing me down.
- Gone – The people are drug off into slavery, and pain after pain falls on them. I hurt for them, until I see they still won’t repent.
- Promises, promises – Even though the people really don’t come back around, God promises hope. He promises to send someone to pull them out of this mess. I am so desperate for the story to change, I can’t wait for this guy to show up and save them.
Clearly this is God’s point. I get it. I had just never read the O.T. in chronological order (the order it actually happened). When you do, the weight of the story is much, much heavier. It has been for me, that’s for sure.
So, today I finished it. Tomorrow I start the book of Luke. I am so happy to be done with it. I am ready for Hope, for a chance at Light, for someone to show up to change things.
I’m ready for Jesus! Even though I know the rest of the story, I’m still excited to have that part behind me, and a new beginning to come.
It’s a good story. It really is.