Big Ideas of the Old Testament by Dr. Jim Townsend

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Big Ideas of the Old Testament by Dr. Jim Townsend

I am so thrilled to be able to share the following that I discovered. With the help of Sheila Frey from Cook Communications Ministries, I was able to obtain permission from Dr. Jim Townsend to reproduce it here and I know you will be blessed by this. It seems like such a good reference it is too good not to share. Have a blessed day! Heather

BIG IDEAS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

BY JIM TOWNSEND

  

GENESIS

God is creator (1)

God communicates with human beings (1, 2)

Sin is a present reality (3)

Sin messes up relationships (3)

God seeks out those who have sinned (3)

Start-over opportunities are available to those who’ve sinned (3)

Sin is the cause of death (3)

Sin erupts in violence (4)

Sin spirals and invades all of life (6)

God can’t let sin go on forever (6-9)

Sometimes nearly everything must be destroyed to start over

Heritage trees are important (10)

Humans challenge God’s primacy (11)

God calls people for specific purposes (12)

God wants people to respond to his words in faith (15:6)

Faith obedience is a hall mark of faith

God seeks out covenant relationships with people (9, 12, 15, 17)

God uses flawed people (25, 27)

God tests our trust (22)

God’s plans demand patience

Children often have the same flaws as their parents (20, 26)

Peacemaking is a valuable trait (26)

Taking matters into our own hands has consequences (30)

Responsible people don’t let setbacks stall them (Joseph)

Eventually responsibility and excellence are warded (Joseph)

EXODUS

Slavery is a human predicament (1-4)

God raises key people for specific needs (2-4)

God is known through his name (3)

Often people endure long hardship before God bails them out

God’s super drama is behind the scenes of life

Better get used to waiting

Things may get worse before they get better

Salvation comes through God

God is the true liberator

Commemorative celebration is an appropriate response to our deliverance (12)

Eating is a form of celebration (12)

National triumphs can be memorialized

God’s majesty breaks through at times (3, 19, 32)

Divine drama is spectacular (19)

For some issues God has an absolute agenda (20)

God’s law covers a wide range of subjects

Don’t expect deliverance to come without struggles (14, 16)

Leaders need support (17)

God has some distinct ideas about worship (25-40)

God expects to be approached in specific and solemn ways (25-40)

God develops heroes (4, 32-33)

Seeing God’s face means having a personal relationship with Him (33)

You can’t approach God in any old way

Through the sacrificial death of another we may approach God

God’s presence resides among his people (40)

LEVITICUS

How to approach God is vital (1-7)

Cleanliness can depict godliness (11-15)

Holiness is a chief concern to God

God is interested in what people eat (11)

God is concerned with all of life (11-15)

Celebrating is a wholesome experience (23)

Sin must be removed from our fellowship

NUMBERS

Get organized for maximum efficiency

Life wandering can result from sinful choices

God has to discipline his people at times

There’s a place for the gung-ho (6)

God gets sick of people complaining (11)

We must resist mob mentality (13-14)

Rebelion can be serious (16)

God provides (20-21)

Don’t make an ass of yourself (22)

Beware of prophets for profit (23-25)

All God’s people should have their share (34)

DEUTERONOMY

New adaptations have to be made for new generations (5)

Life must be governed by God’s truth

God gives guidelines for teaching children wisely (6)

Don’t have idols (9)

God has something to say on the subject of war (20)

Evading the truth has consequences (28)

JOSHUA

God’s people can conquer with courage (1)

God can do miracles (5, 10)

Don’t be deceived (9)

God is not anti-organization (12, 22)

God’s people both make strides and slip back

Failure can come from disobedience

We are called to stand upon our principles (24)

JUDGES

God develops heroes

God uses flawed people (14-16)

God’s spirit empowers people (14:6, 19; 15:14, etc)

God uses women in leadership roles (4-5)

Humans tend to repeat the same old cycles (2)

Sin has a wild side (17-21)

RUTH

Marriages can be made in heaven (2)

God can reroute tragedy

God’s long range purposes may be hidden in the short term (1, 4)

God is in control despite our desperation

1 SAMUEL

God wants people of character to serve Him

God reveals Himself to the spiritually sensitive (3)

Watch out for the ways of the world (8)

Beware of copying the world (8)

God raises up people for government duties (10, 16)

God champions those who trust him despite overwhelming odds (17)

God is concerned about national leadership (10, 16)

Disobedience spells demotion (13, 15, 28)

Expect to fight battles

Jealousy is a relationship quencher

In-depth friendship is rare (20)

Be bighearted (26)

Beware of dabbling in the occult (28)

Sometimes death seems better than pain

2 SAMUEL    

Cherish people from the past (1)

Get past grievances with difficult people (1)

God eventually rewards faithfulness (5)

Worshipful exuberance can take strange forms (6:14)

God makes agreements with people (7)

Sinful sex messes up lives long term (11)

There is a time for confrontation (12)

Parent-child relationships can be heartbreaking (13-19)

Finishing with the Lord is worth celebrating (22)

1 KINGS

God gives wisdom to those who ask for it (3, 10:1-9)

Organizational wisdom is required to run a nation (4)

Worship takes thoughtful preparation (5-8)

Uncontrolled sex can ruin an outstanding life (11:1-13)

Cruelty to others will inevitably cause a backlash (12)

Integrity begins at home (12)

What heads of state do has international consequences (12-14)

You may be hot stuff in the world’s eyes but not with God (16:21-28)

God can provide for our special needs (17)

Boldness may prompt a showdown (18)

Even great people have setbacks (19)

2 KINGS

God does miracles through people of faith (2, 4, 5)

God is keeping track of records for good or bad (10:24-36, etc)

Those how disregard God can expect serious consequences (10)

God honors those who honor him (12, 18-20, 22-23)

God won’t put up with evil forever (17, 24-25)

Sin ultimately brings havoc (17:21-41)

Even godly people have children who go off the deep end (21)

1 CHRONICLES

God is interested in individuals and their backgrounds (1-9)

History is crucial to God’s people (1-9)

God is impressed with those who step out from the crowd (4:9-10)

The Bible honors heroes of the faith (11:10-47)

People of daring attract followers (12)

Proper worship is important (14-16)

God honors those who want an in-depth relationship with him (17)

Life is full of battles (18-20)

Foolish personal choices can have disastrous results (21)

Worship demands organization (22-26, 28-29)

2 CHRONICLES

God supplies wisdom to those who want it (1)

God values worship (3-5)

God hears sincere prayers (6-7)

God honors those who stand for what is right (14-17)

God has his confronters (18)

Some lives are a patchwork of obedience and disobedience (24)

God is honored when leaders seek purification and reform (29-31, 34-35)

Otherwise godly people can end life in less than godly manner (32:24-33)

Ungodly leaders wreck havoc on a nation (33)

EZRA

God moves through international events (1)

Renewal practices may be necessary (3)

When you get serious about God, expect opposition (4)

When you start a project for God, work till it’s done (6:13-18)

Prayers for confession of sin are healthy (9-10)

God has serious standards for marriage (9-10)

NEHEMIAH

Prayer burdens often trigger action (1)

Building anything valuable requires cooperation (3)

Expect opposition when doing God’s work (4, 6)

God’s Word prompts repentance and praise (8)

Confession of sin is appropriate (9)

Repentance and reform are required if sin has set in (12)

ESTHER

God is working behind the scenes of human activity

Risk is a component of faith (4:12-17)

God puts people in specific situations for a special cause

Personalized guidance is a form of mentoring (4)

Sometimes diabolical plots boomerang (3-7)

Celebration accompanies God’s deliverance (9)

JOB

Satan seeks to bring God’s people down (1-2)

God’s people can expect to experience serous testing (1)

God’s ways often don’t seem fair

Sometimes we’re made to feel like failures

Some attempts to comfort only prove uncomfortable (3)

Suffering is not necessary due to sin (13:19, 23; 23:6-7; 27:5-6)

God reveals himself in unexpected ways (33:12-19)

Gleams of truth can anchor the sufferer (19:25-26)

God’s creation provides staggering insights (38-41)

God eventually comes through for his approved people (42)

PSALMS

Depression due to grief or turmoil is normal (10, 13, 22, etc)

God’s words yields great delight (1, 19, 119)

God’s people call to him in their distress (3, 4, 5, 12, 28, 43)

Believers are like God’s sheep (23)

Sometimes believers face violence (10, 13, 41, etc)

Renewal follows confession (32, 51)

God’s majesty evokes thought and praise (8, 139)

Praise God (9, 18, 29, 33, 34, 47, 48)

God wants purity and integrity (15)

God lavishes his care upon us 23, 46)

PROVERBS

Reverence for God is the source of wisdom (1)

Foolish people despise wisdom

Laziness brings a person down

Real friends are faithful

Words carry power for good or evil

Children need to heed their parent’s wisdom

True piety breeds truest prosperity

God’s wisdom is crystallized in creation (8)

ECCLESIASTES

Life can be meaningless (1:2; 2:11; 4:7, etc)

People try life’s pleasures and other opportunities for meaning (2)

There’s a time for everything (3:1-8)

Be in awe of God and revere Him (5:1-5, 12)

Wisdom is honorable (7, 9:13-18)

SONG OF SOLOMON

A loving relationship is great

Sex is highly pleasurable

Physical attraction is part of human sexuality

Romance often involves paying compliments

ISAIAH

God expects ethical behavior from His people (1:10-31)

God is pro-peace (2)

God announces Immanuel (7, 9)

Nations who sin reap the consequences (13-24)

Placing ultimate trust in military might/force will bring disappointment (31)

God supplies comfort (40)

God is high and holy in majesty (40-45)

God’s Suffering Servant (42, 53, etc)

God summons all people to a freely offered salvation (55)

Judgment and salvation will culminate in a brand new world (65:17; 66:22)

JEREMIAH

God has pre-birth plans for his servants (1)

Trusting superstitiously in religiosity is a crutch (7)

Gods’ servants may have an axe to grind with God (20:7-12)

Judgment falls on the disobedient (25-27)

Restoration is a biblical idea (32-33)

God’s word is indestructible (36)

God registers international concerns (46-51)

Some treat faithful believers as patriotic traitors (37-38)

LAMENTATIONS    

Grief is part of life

The penalty for sin is horrible (2)

Willful disobedience makes prayer ineffective (3)

Grief can be verbalized

It may be best to suffer in silence

Hope in the midst of punishment is rooted in God’s goodness

EZEKIEL

Experiencing God is breathtaking (1)

God calls people into his service (2)

God’s people use various means of communication (3-5)

God warns those entrenched in disobedience of judgment (11, 14, 20)

God withdraws from those who refuse his overtures (10)

Each person is individually responsible for personal guilt (18)

God expresses international concerns (25-32)

God’s people are their culture’s warning sentinels (33)

God can bring life out of death (37)

God thinks in terms of worship (40-48)

DANIEL

Believers interact with their culture (1)

God has the big international picture in mind (2, 7)

God gives some people visionary dreams

No nation is immune from God’s judgment (5)

Believers may undergo persecution (3)

God will protect those who won’t compromise their convictions (3 and 6)

God will wrap up history (12)

The kingdom of God will transcend godless kingdoms (2, 7)

HOSEA

God expects his people to be faithful (1)

Marriage is disrupted by infidelity

Infidelity causes massive damage (2)

God’s love is incredibly forgiving

Repentance brings restoration and blessing

JOEL

Natural catastrophes may contain divine significance (1)

Dreams can be God’s vehicles of communication (2:28-32)

God will judge the nations (3)

AMOS

God has an international agenda (1-2)

God’s people can’t keep sinning and get away with it

Materialistic complacency grieves God (5:11-17, 6:1-8)

God uses various techniques to get our attention (7-8)

OBADIAH

No nation is invincible (v. 3-4)

Enemies of God’s people will eventually be destroyed

What you sow you reap (v. 15)

JONAH

Some people run from God’s calling
Evil people aren’t beyond hope in God’s eyes

Some have a prophetic role

God calls his servants to do some difficult things

God disciplines his disobedient servants (2)

God has a heart as big as the world (4)

MICAH

God’s people must take inventory (1-2)

False spiritual leaders must be reprimanded (2-3)

God is pro-peace (4)

God expects a morality of justice (6)

NAHAM

God is majestic (1)

God is pro-poetry (1-3)

War wreaks havoc (2)

HABAKKUK

God’s ways sometimes don’t seem fair (1)

Sometimes violence seems overwhelming (1-2)

God’s people must exercise hope-filled faith (2:1-4; 3:17-19)

God’s majesty sometimes breaks through (3)

We can trust God’s justice is perfect

ZEPHANIAH

Wicked people and nations eventually get punished

Gathering with God’s people fosters encouragement (3)

God has international concerns (2)

HAGGAI

Prosperity can have its drawbacks (1-2)

God wants his people to put him first (1)

Lack of prosperity might be tied to lack of God priority (1)

ZECHARIAH

God communicates in very varied ways (1-6)

The Bible has a messianic message (9)

Someday God will personally reign over the whole earth (14:9)

MALACHI

God wants our best (1)

Giving is an index of priorities (3)

Judgment is coming (4)

Copyright 1987 Jim Townsend. Highlights of the Hebrew Bible. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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