Themes of the Old Testament
In the Bible, it talks about names a lot, and the meaning of names. You might think that your name means nothing special, but it probably means something really cool. Some people’s parents named them a certain name because of the meaning, or because it was a family members name, or even because it is a name in the Bible. Some of God’s best-known names are Elohim and Yahweh. Elohim means creator, God is our creator. And Yahweh means loving/ caring relationship. Abrams name was changed to Abraham, and Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah. My name means humble and serene. I think that when you are given a name, either by your parent’s or by God, you need to live up to it. Names are to show a person’s heart or character. A visual that I chose for this is a name tag. When you are given’ a name, you need to live up to it. To me, this means that if your name means follower of Christ or something similar to that, you need to be a follower of Christ.
Another common theme in the Bible is the theme of conflict and doubt. This is a theme that people usually don’t want to talk about. Sometimes it’s because they are dealing with some conflict/ doubt in their own life. In the Bible Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, which means struggles with God. Genesis 32:28 says Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” I think that it would be difficult having a name that means struggles with God. In the Bible lot’s of people struggled with conflict and doubt. Take Peter for example. When Jesus was walking on water, Peter tried to do the same, and at first, he was successful. But then he doubted, and he started to sink. As humans it’s normal to doubt God or to deal with conflict, God can help you overcome it though. The visual that I chose for this was a picture of Jesus and Peter when Peter tried to walk on water. Sometimes we are like Peter and we start sinking, but we need to trust in Jesus, he is always faithful and trustworthy.
Covenant is a common word used in the Bible. A covenant is basically an agreement between two people, or groups. One example of a covenant in the Bible is in Genesis 6:18 when God says to Noah “But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark”. Another example is when God was explaining his covenant to Abraham. When he was done he said, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.” In the Bible (and in real life today) some covenants are “If you obey me, I will bless you, if you disobey there will be consequences.” There are two different types of covenants talked about in the Bible. Conditional and unconditional. A conditional covenant is when there are conditions. Basically, God says “You do this… and I’ll do this”. And an unconditional covenant is when there are no conditions when God keeps his promises no matter what. The visual I chose for this is two people shaking hands. Today in our modern world, we usually shake hands or do a pinky promise to seal a deal. To me, this means that we need to be faithful whenever we promise someone something. If we have a conditional covenant with God (or someone else) we need to be faithful and follow through with it.
In the Bible, God called a lot of people to do things they probably didn’t want to do. God called Abraham and Sarah to leave their country. Abraham and Sarah didn’t always trust God’s call, and they tried to control things on their own. But, in the end, God was faithful and kept his promises. God still calls us to do things that we aren’t comfortable doing today. But, in order to know what he wants us to do we need to listen to him and look for clues. It’s not very easy, in fact, it takes a lot of listening and praying before you know exactly what God is calling you to do. A couple of years ago, my family felt like God was calling us to do foster care. We have had two foster kids in the past 3 ½ years. About a year and a half ago my family felt the same call, but with adoption. We have spent so much time praying and hoping that this is what God is really calling us to do. Sometimes you think that God is calling you to one thing when really he is calling you to something totally different. The visual that I chose for this is a picture of someone’s ear. You might be hearing what God is telling you, but are you really listening?
The 10 commandments are a covenant with God. We said “I will be your God” and he said that he would love and protect us and be our God. Part of being God’s people is to obey his commandments. Some of the commandments are harder to obey than others, but we still need to try our best. God gave us the 10 commandments to protect us, not to smother us. The law was made to cover every single area of our lives. You can’t do anything that doesn’t somehow connect to the law. Some of today’s ‘gods’ are social media, sports, friends, electronics, beauty, popularity and just about everything else. The visual I chose to represent this topic is a seatbelt. God’s law is kind of like a seatbelt. It keeps us safe and makes sure we don’t get hurt.
Salute to a King
The cycle of judges would be basically that things would go well, then the people of Israel would sin, an enemy would attack. The people would cry out to God, and then he would send them a judge. The people looked around and saw that all of the other nations had kings, so they wanted one. Sometimes we act like the people of Israel and we don’t learn from our mistakes. We keep making them over and over, but God has always had grace with us. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, “Do we want what everyone else wants, or what God wants?” The visual I chose for this topic is a sign. The sign says “God’s way” and “Easy way”. You will always face decisions in life that you will have to choose God’s way or your way.
Something is Rotten
When God gave Israel a king, everything went downhill. They had one lousy king after another. God sent Elijah to talk to the people. Elijah tried, and at first, the people didn’t listen to him. Then, Ahab and Elijah went up to MT. Carmel. At Mount Carmel, they each made an altar and put a sacrifice on it. Whoever’s god answered first, is the true God. Most people know that Baal didn’t answer and that God did. The people turned back and worshiped God again.God puts us in difficult situations so that we can make a difference, even though people might not change right away after seeing your light. We need to be patient, it takes time. I chose a pair of running shoes as my visual for this topic because sometimes when you compete in sports there are people who will want you to turn away from the things that you believe. But, you need to stay strong and continue believing in what you believe.
Have you ever been given a gift that makes you swallow your pride? Like, if someone gives you a book called “Overcoming Selfishness”. You probably wouldn’t feel to good about yourself. Well, I know we have all gotten a gift like that. Jesus. He came to save us from our sins. Ok, this might sound like it’s going to be a lesson for little kids, but wait. Don’t stop reading, just hear me out. Jesus came to save us because we can’t save ourselves. We are so lost in our sin and misery, that we needed a savior that badly. God always has, and always will long for a relationship with us. That’s why he sent his son. He has made so many covenants with us, and we have failed to keep them. When the people of Israel could not keep the sinai covenant, God decided to offer them a new one. The new covenant that God offered would not be written on stone tablets. It would be written on their hearts. It didn’t need a sacrifice, because Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice. This new covenant also didn’t have conditions, it was based on grace and forgiveness. The visual I chose for this is a nativity scene. I chose it because this reminds me that Jesus came and brought us out of our sins. He came to overcome sin. Let’s remember that this christmas season.