THE WAY TO LIVE_DOT II (YOURSELF) // CHAPTER 7
Abraham and his family really weren’t that special. They were deeply flawed. There were probably better people that God could have made a promise to. In fact, much of the Old Testament seems to be devoted as a chronicle to the mistakes that this family made. But they had one thing: faith.
They may not have believed in themselves, but throughout this collection of books, we see people who fought to believe in the plan that God had for them. That doesn’t mean they “set it and forget it.” People are people. Wherever we find humanity, we find flaws. No one is the exception. Every person the Old Testament speaks of had issues that would cause them to be unqualified for their role in history. In fact, if they were alive today, some of them would be in jail for a long time.
The Old Testament is thirty-nine books and covers thousands of years of history. The books are filled with history, poetry, law and prophecy. Most of us don’t particularly enjoy the law books (Leviticus) or the genealogies (Chronicles). But each one of these books and styles is important and meaningful for different reasons and different groups of people.
Throughout this collection of books, a few things become clear. God has a plan. Humanity plays a role in that plan. To play a role in that plan, people need to get to know the God who created both them and the plan, and God is down for that. People are not good at playing their role—or following or knowing him all that well—and we fail much more than we succeed.
One question to ask when attempting to understand the Old Testament is, “What does this teach us about God?” That is the main purpose of the Old Testament. To know God.
The “newest” book in the Old Testament is the last book. Malachi. Written around 400 BC. When you finish reading the book of Malachi, you’re at the end of the Old Testament. In the New Testament we pick up the story in Matthew. We can assume that some things may have happened between Matthew and Malachi, but the story seems to pick up where it left off.
After Malachi, something happened that hadn’t happened for a long time: God stopped talking to people. Much has been written about this time in history. It is called the intertestamental, or silent period. There is a general belief that there were four hundred years where no one spoke for God because no official Scriptures or text were developed.
These four hundred years in history were characterized by unprecedented human progress: