DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I don't see what use the Old Testament is to us today. I believe in Jesus, and I enjoy reading the New Testament, but to me the Old Testament seems out of date. Am I missing something? —Z.C.
Dear Z.C.: Yes, you are missing something — you're missing out on the opportunity to discover an important part of God's Word!
After all, God gave the whole Bible to us, and every part of it — including the Old Testament — has something to teach us and encourage us. More than that, it reveals a major part of God's plan for the world — a plan that came to its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. If we didn't have the Old Testament, we wouldn't know how God prepared the way for Jesus to come into the world. The Bible says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
Admittedly, some parts of the Old Testament are difficult to understand if you've never read it before. But other parts aren't difficult to understand — and I urge you to begin making them a part of your life. In other words, don't focus on the parts you find hard to understand; you can deal with them later. Instead, focus on the parts you can understand, like Psalms and Proverbs.
Why do I mention those two books? Psalms is often called the Bible's "hymnbook," and it speaks to every one of us about God's faithfulness in the midst of life's struggles. Proverbs, on the other hand, gives us practical wisdom on how to live according to God's plan.
For many years, I made it a practice to read five Psalms and one chapter from Proverbs every day. Let them become a "doorway" into the great truths God has for you throughout the Old Testament.