I like the New Testament, but to be honest, I've never been able to understand the Old Testament. Every time I try to read it I get bogged down in all the laws and things, and I finally give up. Is the Old Testament worth bothering with today?


Yes, the Old Testament is certainly “worth bothering with today”! It is God’s Word just as much as the New Testament and God has much to teach us through its pages. The Bible reminds us that “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16).

At the same time, I know the Old Testament can be confusing if you’re reading it for the first time. One reason is because it covers the history of one particular nation, the Israelites, over a period of some 2,000 years — and it’s easy to get lost in the details. You also may wonder what events that happened thousands of years ago have to do with us today.

If you’ve been reluctant to read the Old Testament, let me suggest that you begin with the book of Psalms — which is the Bible’s “hymn book.” In it, you will discover who God is, and why He should be the center of our lives. You also will learn how God is with us, even when life is hard. Read, too, the book of Proverbs, which gives us practical guidance for daily living.

Then take time to study the lives of some of the Old Testament’s great men and women — Moses, Ruth, Esther, David, Elijah, and so forth. They weren’t perfect — but God will teach you many lessons through their example. The Bible says, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us” (1 Corinthians 10:11).