The Old Testament: Is it Actually ‘Useful’?

24 Dec

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

All Scripture, Old and New Testaments, are useful in teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness… However, there are some books of the Bible, such as Numbers, Lamentations, and Leviticus, which, when we look at them, don’t appear to be exactly “helpful” in any of these areas. The book of Numbers can seem like nothing more than a bunch of useless numbers and history. The book of Lamentations can appear to be nothing more than a man lamenting. The book of Leviticus can seem like nothing more than rules and regulations which are no longer helpful to us.

They are much more than that though: Numbers is an account of how God sustained His people. Lamentations shows us that, even for a believer in God, things do get tough at times (we have to look at the New Testament in order to see that, even when things get tough, God always either helps us endure or provides a way out). As for Leviticus, while the rules within it are no longer applicable to those who have been saved through the blood of Christ, it can still aid us in showing us exactly what Jesus went through for us on the cross. For example, burnt offerings were consumed completely in fire. Likewise Jesus, the final burn offering, was consumed completely in God’s wrath for us on the cross.

The Old Testament is more than a collection of stories. It can be, when we look at it in light of what Jesus has done for us (i.e., in light of the New Testament), can be an encouraging and helpful aid in our walk with the Lord. We just have to look at Job in order to see that whatever trouble we’re going through now is meant to build us in the Lord. We can look to Noah’s ark, and see that God saves His people through the wood. 1 Kings 19:18 tells us that, even when it seems like no one around us believes in Christ, there are those that do.

In conclusion: The Bible doesn’t lie. When Paul says that all Scriptures are useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, he truly does mean all Scriptures, both from the New and Old Testaments.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland


Posted by on December 24, 2012 in Delivered Through Love


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2 responses to “The Old Testament: Is it Actually ‘Useful’?

  1. Joe Quatrone, Jr.

    December 24, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Amen! Merry Christmas!

    • Joshua Cleveland

      December 25, 2012 at 4:01 PM

      Thank you, and a very merry Christmas to you too.


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