I recall that many years ago, a high school class was required to present oral reports on books they had read. One student was required to read and report on a book about racial discrimination, and the teacher suggested she choose Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison. But when the day came for the student to present her assignment, it soon became apparent that she had actually read The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells, a science- fiction story that had absolutely nothing to do with prejudice in America. Amazingly, the student drew the themes of racial discrimination and prejudice from the work. Unfortunately, Wells had no such intent when writing his novel, and the student’s approach to the book resulted in a disastrous report.
It is sad, but true, that many Christians make a similar mistake in reading the Old Testament. If someone has a mistaken theme for this part of the Bible, or perhaps worse, no idea of any theme at all, the results can be every bit as catastrophic for their comprehension of the Old Testament as there were for the high school student’s understanding of H. G. Wells. A misunderstanding of the Old Testament’s big picture will lead to countless errors and bewilderment. And having absolutely no idea of its theme will lead the reader to see nothing but a hopeless jumble of stories, visions and narratives that have little or no relation to one another.
This series of lessons is entitled “Kingdom, Covenants and Canon of the Old Testament,” and in this lesson we will see that the Old Testament presents a “big picture” of the developing kingdom of God.
Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr.
We are going to explore these dimensions of the kingdom of God in four steps: 1) Broad and Narrow, 2) Primeval History, 3) Nation of Israel, and 4) New Testament.
In preparation for this lesson, read Psalms 45 and 145. Write down important characteristics of the kingdom of God that are mentioned in these Psalms.
Goals and Objectives of Lesson 2
In this lesson, we would like to accomplish the following:
1. We hope you will grow in your joy and in your desire to study the Old Testament, as you understand that the kingdom of God is a unifying concept in studying the Old Testament.
2. We hope you will make use of all the resources and activities of the lesson to learn the history and significance of the development of the kingdom of God throughout the Old Testament.
3. We hope you make some changes in your life as a response to the teachings of this lesson. It should increase your loyalty to Christ as King, and deepen your commitment to the extension of the kingdom.
When you have done the following, it will show that the goals are met:
1. Use all the resources and complete all the written assignments of the lesson, expressing your own thoughts and attitudes regarding the theme of the kingdom of God in the Old Testament.
2. Obtain a satisfactory grade on the test, demonstrating that you can identify the beginnings and the development of the Kingdom of God as presented in Scripture, trace the themes of place, people, and progress in each era of biblical history, and describe the complexity that attends the three stages of the Kingdom in the New Testament age.
3. Answer the application questions in the study guides, in which you express how you apply the teachings if the lesson to your own life.
If you are not very familiar with the process of doing the assignments for a lesson, you should read this PDF tutorial found in the "Instructions" section of Lesson 1. It will guide you through the lesson, step by step. If you are already familiar with the process, you may skip this and go to the more specific "Instructions for Lesson 2."
Carefully read these instructions. You may want to print them out so that you can refer to them as you proceed through the assignments.