OT Lesson 1: "This Is My Work and My Glory"

Introduction to the Old Testament

A few years ago while visiting with a member of our ward, I happened to mention my excitement about some study I had been doing on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) recorded in Leviticus 16. She looked horrified as I began to share my discoveries regarding the symbolic use of the two goats on ancient Israel's most holy day. The fact that one goat was sacrificed was abhorrent to her sensitivities. My friend expressed that she viewed the Old Testament as a terrifying book about a terrible (and thankfully past) time in the earth's history. She seemed deeply troubled about the Lord's commandments in the Law of Moses specifically. She could not understand how a loving God would require such behavior, which, in her eyes, was nothing but wasteful and cruel. In the course of our conversation she stated that she had quit studying her scriptures. I have always remembered one of her comments: Why doesn't the Lord just come out and tell us what to do instead of giving us page after page of gory ancient history?

As I left my conversation that day, I contemplated the decidedly different feelings my friend and I had about the Old Testament. Her feelings and concerns were logical. I had experienced similar questions and wonderings myself. Yet, my recent study had been opening up new worlds for me. Most striking of all to me was the frequency of Christ-centered insights that poured into my soul. I had not seen the Savior so much in these historical passages before. Again, why was I getting Christ out of the same book that my friend was so violently opposed to?

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