I am going to be preaching through Genesis from September 18-November 20 each Sunday at Grace Bible church this Fall. In preparation for this I am going to be reading a lot of OT introductions, backgrounds, and commentaries. In doing so, I am finding it incredibly valuable to read the introductions (always, always, always read the introductions!!!).
Below is an excerpt from A Survey of the Old Testament 2nd Ed by John Walton and Andrew Hill (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991, 2000), page 21.
“As God’s self-revelation, the objective of the Old Testament is that the reader comes to know God better. This process, however, is not intended to be merely cognitive. In addition, knowing God is also accomplished by experiencing his attributes.Being able to list God’s attributes is but a first step. What must be achieved is that his attributes become a framework for our worldview. By this we mean that our perspective on ourselves, our society, our world, our history, our conduct, our decisions-everything- should be knit together by an informed and integrated view of God. The Old Testament’s objective is not transformed lives, though knowing do should transform one’s life. The Old Testament’s objective is not the adoption of a value system, though a value system would certainly be one outcome of knowing God in a real way. The Old Testament is not a repository of historical role models, dusty hymns, and obscure prophetic sayings, but God’s invitation to hear his story.”
My prayer is that I can see God more clearly as I study Scripture. My prayer is then continued into one asking God to conform me more and more into one who accurately lives out his attributes in this world. By extension of this I pray that all who hear the sermons I will preach will be hearing God’s story and encountering him as he has revealed himself to be. I pray that my (mis)conceptions of God may be diminished and that his true glory shines.