I can remember sitting in Bible class in middle school, when my dad was teaching at the time, and I remember him telling the class about two laws: the Old Law and the New Law. And he taught the class that we were under the New Law, the law that was set in motion in the New Testament, the New Law that came to be when Jesus gave up His life on the cross so that we may be saved from sin.

But the Old Law is not something to be pushed to the wayside by any means. The Old Law was part of the Old Testament; such a strong part, in fact, that it dictated the way of life for not only individuals, but also the entire society of God’s chosen people. God meant it that way for a reason.

The Old Testament not only points to the history of His people, but also the praises given Him and the anticipation and prophesies of His Son.

Let’s talk about that, shall we?

The Old Testament is a history.

We can’t discuss the Old Testament as history without first mentioning the Creation account. Genesis 1 tells of the beginning, when God created the Heavens and the Earth in verse 1, recounting every detail through all seven days of His creation process, including His rest and that “everything was good.”

The Old Testament also recounts the fall of man, after Eve was tempted and enticed, and Adam followed her, but it shows God’s care for them even in the face of such dire consequences of bringing sin to the world.

And let’s not forget the actual books of history in the Old Testament. Not only do we have the book of Exodus, where Moses stepped up and took his place as a leader of God’s People, but we also have all the other books Moses wrote – Genesis, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy – plus Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles. These are all books of history in the Old Testament, and they are not only there for us to learn from, but also for us to see how God cared for His people and that He is still unchanging, even from so long ago.

The Old Testament is a collection of praise.

When you think of Bible verses praise, what do you think of? You often think of the Psalms, right? There are 150 chapters of psalms for us to read, some by David, some by other men, but they all have the purpose of glorifying God, no matter the perspective.

The Psalms vary from unabashed praise (see Psalm 100; 150) to pleas from a contrite heart (see Psalm 27; 51). Regardless of the content and context, the Psalms are an indicator that God’s people praised Him with all their hearts and an example for us as Christians today to glorify our God no matter where we are.

The Old Testament anticipates our Savior and His great sacrifice.

Finally, the Old Testament points to the coming, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We can look to the book of Psalms we visited previously for this: “I will tell of the decree: the Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you’ (Psalm 2:7). And this is just one mention of Jesus in the Psalms (see Psalm 16:8-10; 22:7; 34:20; 89:3-4; 110:1,4…and that’s just scratching the surface).

We can also look to the fall of man, of all places. Jesus tells the serpent who tempted and enticed Adam and Eve: “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:14-15). Even on one of the darkest days of our history, the Lord brings the hope that the devil will be defeated by His Son’s ultimate act of love and sacrifice. In summary, he tells the serpent that death cannot keep his prey.

Finally, we can look to references within the New Testament. Paul wrote to the Galatians about the Old Law (Galatians 3:10-14), and he says that “in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14). Jesus’ coming ties in with God’s promise to the man who was to be the father of many nations.

These are just three ways that the Old Testament is valid; the truth is that the entirety of Scripture, both Old and New Law, is valid; “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). As such, we can rest assured that God’s Word – all of it – is ours to learn from, to teach others about, and to be our source of strength, comfort, and understanding as children of God.

By Savannah Cottrell