One Lesson from Each Book of the Old Testament 

Bible open to the Old Testament
Photo by Tim Wildsmith on Unsplash

As God-breathed Scripture, the Old Testament provides Christians with instruction, encouragement, and hope (2 Tim. 3:16; Rom. 15:4). Because of its length and remote context, the Old Testament can be overwhelming. To help us be encouraged by the Old Testament, here is a devotional lesson for each Old Testament book with a corresponding Scripture. 

Genesis: God keeps His promises 

“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

Exodus: God will deliver His people 

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

Leviticus: God is holy 

“For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy…For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44-45)

Numbers: God provides for His faithful people 

“If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.” (Numbers 14:8)

Deuteronomy: God seeks our complete devotion for our own good

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)

Joshua: God is always with His people to strengthen them

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Judges: Leaning on our own understanding produces chaos 

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25)

Ruth: God works to redeem what has been lost

So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!” (Ruth 4:13-14)

1 & 2 Samuel: God blesses those who are loyal to Him

“But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:14)

1 & 2 Kings and Chronicles: God will remain faithful to His covenant people

“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.’” (2 Chronicles 36:23) 

Ezra: God grants success to those who are doing His will

…“The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” (Ezra 8:22b)

Nehemiah: God equips His people to do work for His kingdom

So the wall was finished… And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. (Nehemiah 6:15-16)

Esther: God’s faithfulness is manifested in His providence 

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

Job: God is always worthy of worship  

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. (Job 1:20-22)

Psalms: All of creation has a reason to praise God

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150:6)

Proverbs: Wisdom is found in fearing the LORD 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

Ecclesiastes: We are here to fear God and keep His commandments 

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Song of Solomon: God blesses sexual intimacy in marriage 

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine…” (Song of Solomon 6:3a)

Isaiah: God’s anger does not nullify His faithful love

“For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:7-8)

Jeremiah: Sin breaks God’s heart 

“Surely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband, so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 3:20)

Lamentations: God is faithful to renew and restore 

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)

Ezekiel: God can give a new heart and a new spirit

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 37:5-6)

Daniel: God’s dominion is over all kingdoms

“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)

Hosea: God can help us return no matter how far we stray

“So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.” (Hosea 12:6)

Joel: God is eager to forgive the genuinely repentant 

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. (Joel 2:12-13)

Amos: Seek good and live 

Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. (Amos 5:14)

Obadiah: Never rejoice in the calamity of others 

“But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress.” (Obadiah 12)

Jonah: God’s mercy is greater than our assumptions 

And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.” (Jonah 4:2)

Micah: God’s will is to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly 

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

Nahum: True refuge can only be found in the Lord 

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. (Nahum 1:7)

Habakkuk: God gives a joy that transcends our circumstances

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

Zephaniah: God’s loving presence is a blessing 

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Haggai: God’s people must prioritize the things of God

“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins? Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:4-5)

Zechariah: God provides cleansing from sin

“On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.” (Zechariah 13:1)

Malachi: Those who fear God will be blessed 

But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. (Malachi 4:2)


READ NEXT: Why Christians Should Read the Old Testament By Hiram Kemp

Forest Antemesaris

Forest serves as the preacher for the Orange Street church of Christ in Auburndale, FL. He is a graduate of the Florida School of Preaching (2016), Freed-Hardeman University (B.S., Biblical Studies), and Liberty University (M.A., Christian Apologetics).

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