Summary of the Books of the Old Testament Books
Leviticus The book of Leviticus is largely a book of laws. Some key themes include God speaking to the people of Israel to define what it means to be the holy people of a holy God. This is accomplished by God speaking through Moses.
The instruction given to Moses provides guidelines for the conduct of the individual as well as the nation as a whole. These instructions address the individual’s every day needs such as cleanliness, diet, sexual relations, and neighborly interactions. There are also laws given to address the relationship and worship between Israel’s people and God.
There are descriptions of how to properly present God with a sacrifice. There are defined punishments for blasphemy and for child sacrifice. There are also descriptions of blessings for obedience. Though the Israelite people were the chosen people of God, God knew there would be times, as humans, they would be unfaithful. The book of Leviticus is setting the expectations and describing how to approach God for forgiveness if a person fails to observe the Law of God. (Word count 176) Ruth The book of Ruth is largely a narrative. Some of the key themes in this book are kindness and love.
The book of Ruth shows how people of God can experience his wisdom, love, and kindness. These may be experienced and more greatly appreciated while the person is enduring a hardship. This is where we find Ruth and Naomi after the deaths of their husbands. Naomi is returning to her homeland and Ruth is accompanying her mother in law. We can see God’s love and kindness shown through the actions of Boaz and his field workers in allowing Ruth to glean wheat from his fields and assuring her safety. We also see the love and kindness of God when Ruth approaches Boaz in asking for their marriage.
The heart of Boaz is right with God and his actions assure the proper following of the customs so there would be no disrespect or dishonor brought to Ruth or their marriage. God is pleased with both of his followers and blessed them with a son, Obed, who would be the grandfather of King David. (Word count 179) Job The book of Job is a book of wisdom. The key elements are trust and faith. We see Job, a servant of God that has been richly blessed by God for his loyalty and faith. Satan questions if Job’s faith is related to the blessed life God has provided for him. God allows for all to be lost for Job to assure his faith is honest and true.
The loss and suffering experienced by Job offers an opportunity for doubt or distrust in God. Though within this book Job does get angry and questions God . God does not become vengeful, rather agrees with Jobs words and understands his hurt and anger. Due to Job’s unyielding faith God restores his health and bestows double the blessings upon him after this test . The book of Job is simply about God and his relationship with man . It was written to show that in a world where injustices and suffering occur daily God is present. We are not alone. Our continued trust and faith in God will be rewarded by blessings. Word count 178) Daniel The book of Daniel is largely a narrative . The key themes in this book are faithfulness, trust, and not compromising your beliefs. We find that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are captured and placed in exile in a foreign land. The three serve the king loyally yet without compromising their own loyalty to God. When found not to be participating in pagan worship Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were sentenced to death. Even in this time of great turmoil they stood fast in their trust in God and they were delivered from death. God used these three to show his awesome power .
God showed several times in this book that he is a living God of action. His servant needs only to believe with all of his heart and pray and they will be delivered. The heart of the oppressor was humbled at the sight of God’s miracles. The oppressor may not have been converted away from his pagan worship but he had to acknowledge the power of the living God. (Word count 172) Jonah The book of Jonah is a book of prophecy. The key themes in this book are compassion, repentance, and forgiveness. God spoke to Jonah and gave him the direction to go to Nineveh to deliver his message to the people. Jonah disobeyed and attempted to run from God.
God found Jonah and had him swallowed by a fish. In the belly of the fish Jonah asked for forgiveness and God placed him back on land to go to Nineveh to deliver his message. Jonah stayed on task . The message of pending destruction was received and the people of Nineveh repented and asked the Lord to forgive them and not destroy their city. God heard their prayers and let the city stand. This book shows us of a God who can and will readily punish for not abiding by his law but will also show love and compassion on those same people if only they repent and ask for forgiveness. (Word count 160)