Books Of The Old Testament
Books of the Old Testament (OT) contain the information that God wanted readers to know about the beginning of the Creation, the fall of man, the flood, the law, historical accounts, poetical accounts, and major and minor prophecy. The two main parts of the Christian Biblical canon are the Old and the New Testaments. The list of Old Testament books contain some timeless truths that can be applied in modern times. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:1-3). "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).
The Old Testament contains 39 books total and Genesis is the very first record covering the creation, the fall of man, the Flood, and how the nations were started. Abraham and Joseph are main characters in the book of Genesis and both show faith in action as they believe God. Genesis also contains the record of the enslavement of the Children of Israel in Egypt. The books of the Old Testament provide very vital illustrations of how God works through people to accomplish His will. After Genesis are Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These are all considered the Pentateuch or Law. Exodus contains the enactments of Moses and how he was instrumental in bringing the Israelites out of bondage. The Passover, the parting of the Red Sea, and the 10 Commandments are all contained in Exodus. Leviticus contains accounts of the priesthood and instruction. Numbers has enactments of false idol worship, punishment, and the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. Finally, Deuteronomy is the account of the ceremonial, civil, and social laws set forth for the Israelites.
The historical account of God's people contains 12 books. These include Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, First and Second Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. This list of Old Testament books is about Joshua, the time of the Judges, Prophets, the Kings, history of Judah, and Israel's restoration. These stories contain real events that happened to real people. People who loved the Lord and desired to serve Him. Some were successful in remaining faithful to God while others gave in to their earthly desires and found that they had much trouble in their life. For God told the Israelites that if they were obedient to His word and put Him first, their lives would be blessed. However, they were also told that they would be punished and suffer consequences when disobedient.
Some books of the OT were beautifully written. These are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon and are considered the poetical accounts. The account of Job shows the illustration of how one man who was considered righteous suffered at the hand of Satan. Without the book of Job, Christians might not get that Satan has to ask for permission before he can touch God's children. The books of the Old Testament provide life application to those contained in its pages. This helps Christians today to learn by seeing the mistakes that others have made when making wrong choices. Psalms is one of the most favorite books of the Bible because of the poetic writings and encouraging scriptures. Proverbs is known as the account of wisdom. Ecclesiastes talks about the futility of man and Song of Solomon is a love story.
The next 17 accounts are prophetical. Five of these are written by major Prophets and 12 are written by minor Prophets. The first five are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel. These show how God works through his Prophets to reach the people, guide them, and to bless them. This list of Old Testament books contains prophecies of future events. Isaiah is largely a look at the sin of Judah and God's judgment. Jeremiah prophecies about judgment to Judah and the establishing of a new covenant. Lamentations is 5 poems about the defeat and fall of Jerusalem and Ezekiel ministered to the Jews who were in captivity in Babylon. Daniel had visions of the future and could interpret dreams. He was faithful to God and God delivered him from the lions den.
The 12 books of the minor prophets contain many accounts of future prophecy concerning Israel and the Gentiles. Some pertaining to end time events and others that happened while they were alive. The list of Old Testament books that are minor prophets include Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Each one of these accounts show God's love for people and how he forgives and blesses them if they repent and turn to Him. Many of these accounts contain judgments because of disobedience, spiritual adultery, moral decay, apostasy, and how many were complacent when it came to obedience to God.
The most important message of the OT is the prophecies that portray the coming of the Messiah to save the people from their sins. Jesus did come and the New Testament tells the account of His ministry and how he does save those who are lost. The work that Jesus did on the cross, dying for sin, and rising from the dead is the fulfillment of the books of the Old Testament and good news for everyone who believes in Him. The word spoken of in the OT was Jesus who was with God in the beginning, who came to earth and walked among men and then gave His life to save them.
Ark Of The CovenantExodus, chapter 25 describes the Ark of the Covenant in detail. God gave to Moses explicit directives on how to build the vessel and all of the other furnishings for the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. Cunning Hebrew craftsmen were called upon to meticulously replicate the Ark according to Moses' description. Measuring 2 1/2 cubits by 1 1/2 cubit, the vessel was constructed of shittim wood and overlaid with pure gold. Atop the rectangular structure was a type of lid, called the mercy seat, with a crown of gold and two winged cherubim at opposite sides of the seat. The cherubim faced one another with outstretched wings nearly meeting above the center of the seat. Between the tips of the outstretched wings, the presence of God would commune with the high priest each year at the Atonement, when he stood before the presence of the Lord to pour out a blood sacrifice for the sins of the people. "And thou shall put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel" (Exodus 25:21-22).
Inside the Ark of the Covenant, God directed Moses to place three items of spiritual importance: the testimony, a bowl of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded. The tables of testimony were the inscribed stone tablets upon which the finger of God had written the Ten Commandments. The bowl of manna was a sample of the angelic food God fed the children of Israel in the wilderness when they begged for bread. Lastly, Aaron's rod was preserved as a memento of the struggle the children of Israel endured and yet overcame by the authoritative power of Almighty God. The reason why God instructed Moses to save these particular items in the Ark of the Covenant is not explicit. However, we can surmise that God did not want the children of Israel to forget the miracles that were performed on their behalf as they journeyed from bondage in Egypt through the wilderness of Sin and onward to the Promised Land. Nor should modern men forget when the Lord delivers them from the bondage of sin and writes His laws upon the tables of the heart to govern their new walk in Christ Jesus. Similarly, born again believers in Jesus Christ require daily bread, a fresh Word from God, to sustain them along the salvation journey. Lastly, just as Aaron's rod budded, a symbol of spiritual guidance, so is God's grace renewed day by day to gently lead believers into all truth.
Since the day Adam and Eve were first formed, God has sought to commune with man. The Tabernacle in the Wilderness was constructed as a place of worship and communion between the children of Israel and God. Because the Hebrews were a nomadic people, the Tabernacle was a portable tent made of wooden planks joined together with rings and staves. To keep out curious onlookers, walls of shittim wood overlaid with gold were covered by a thick layer of curtains made of fine twined linen in blue, scarlet and purple. The Tabernacle roof was made from rams skins dyed red and a second covering of badgers skins, as a waterproof shield. The description of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness is rich with spiritual types. Planks of shittim wood speak of man's humanity, overlaid with gold, which depicts deity. Therefore, whenever scripture references Tabernacle furnishings made of wood overlaid with gold, it is spiritual representation of God's communion with man, as God is his Supreme covering. The fine twined linen of the Tabernacle curtains represents righteousness; and each color has a spiritual significance. Blue typically represents spiritual authority, red represents the Blood of Jesus, and purple signifies the royalty of the Godhead.
The Tabernacle in the wilderness was set up in the midst of the camp surrounded by an ordered assemblage of all twelve Hebrew tribes. In the outer court, was a brazen laver where the priests would wash before attending to the service of the Lord. Just past the laver, the brazen altar was kept burning to offer animal sacrifices for the sins of the people. Separating the outer court from the Holy Place was a thick veil of fine twined linen curtains in blue, scarlet and purple. And beyond the Holy Place, another thick veil separated the Most Holy Place from the rest of the Tabernacle sacrificial and worship areas. Within the Most Holy Place rested the Ark of the Covenant. Only the high priest was allowed to enter into the Most Holy Place once a year to offer atonement for the sins of the people. The high priest would prayerfully come before the presence of the Lord which hovered over the mercy seat between the wings of the cheribum. As the high priest ministered before the Lord, he poured out the sacrificial blood of a lamb of the first year without spot, wrinkle or blemish. God would then forgive Israel of her corporate sin for one more year so that they might have restored communion. While the Old Testament sacrificial lamb's blood only rolled back sin; the true Lamb of God, which is Christ Jesus, shed sacrificial blood at Calvary's Cross over 2,000 years ago. His blood had the power to forever wash and cleanse man from sin -- not just for one year -- but once and for all. Because of the ultimate sinless sacrifice of Jesus Christ, men no longer need to construct tents of worship nor offer animal sacrifices. As born again believers, those who name the Name of Christ can come boldly to the throne of God, which continually resides in the heart, to obtain mercy and forgiveness of sin.