We asked you what Old Testament stories have impacted your life, and we got quite a few responses. Here are some that stand out:
I think now of the Widow of Zarapeth, whose cruse of oil never failed after her holy offering. The Lord knew where a single widow, outside of the purview of the covenant people, who had both tremendous faith and a hurting heart, lived in Zidon. God, knowing the very heart-set and mindset of this woman, her concern for her son, and her specific circumstances, used her as an instrument to provide food for Elijah, prophet of God
Another reader opined that we can see ourselves in some of the more tragic characters of the Old Testament, and avoid their pitfalls:
My favorite Old Testament story is Sampson. Sampson is such a tragic complex character. It is fascinating to see myself in him, because it gives me good ideas for course corrections.
More than one reader mentioned the story of Elisha when he prayed to open the eyes of his fearful companion so that he could see that “they that be with us are more than they that be with them…And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (2 Kings 6: 15-17):
The applications of this story in my life have been endless. I’m grateful for a living God, prophets, and all experiences that enable me to see.
Personally, I’ve found that the Old Testament is a great way to understand how God deals with people and cultures line upon line, only giving them as much as they can handle. Much of the difficulty with the Old Testament for me comes from the fact that it is so foreign to my modern sensibilities.
Some of the commandments of God to the Children of Israel are hard for me to understand, especially those involving the exclusivity of God’s chosen people or commandments involving warfare.
Through it all, though, I can see God teaching people obedience, trust in Him, and prefiguring the coming of the Savior. I am sure we can all learn deep, foundational principles as we study the Old Testament this year if we are humble and trusting enough to receive them. Thank you for your input!