Have you ever wondered how to understand what’s going on the Old Testament? There are so many people, places and times that it can be overwhelming… kind of like a big puzzle!
To begin with, the purpose of the Old Testament is to point to Christ. Many places in the New Testament attest to this fact (Luke 24:44, the entire book of Hebrews, etc.). You can watch a great explanation of the purpose of the Old Testament here (English) and here (Spanish).
But to get to that purpose it is helpful to understand the history of the Old Testament. We can illustrate the Old Testament’s history by using 8 pictures (based on this tool). Here are those 8 pictures…
1. Nada / Nothing
When scripture begins it’s record, there was nothing but God. The dark color and the symbol for ‘zero’ remind us of this. There was no universe and no people of God.
2. Algo / Something
Next the Old Testament records how God created the first man and woman, the earth, and the rest of the universe. He then begins building a people for Himself and eventually the people of Israel grows to numbered in the millions. The green color reminds us of the living creation that God made. The tree and people remind us of the garden of Eden.
3. Salir / Exiting
When the people of Israel became too strong the country of Egypt that they were in, Egypt enslaves them. The next part of the Old Testament describes how they left Egypt. Brown reminds us of the color of the bricks that the Israelites made while slaves. And the arrow is show moving away from the pyramids to signify the departure from Egypt.
4. Entrar / Entering
Although their unbelief and disobedience slowed their progress significantly. Eventually, the people of Israel cross the Jordan river and enter the promised land of Canaan. The blue color and the arrow moving across a river remind us of their entrance.
5. Unido / United
The next significant phase is the establishment of a kingdom with a king (thus the crown). This was Israel’s golden age (thus the yellow color). Saul, David, and Solomon all reigned during this time.
6. Dividido / Divided
But as God’s people turned from Him, He lovingly disciplined them. And the first part of that was that the kingdom split into a Northern kingdom (Israel) and a Southern kingdom (Judah). Two crowns signify this for us.
7. Disperso / Scattered
Eventually, the spiritual rebellion and idolatry of the Jewish people became so bad that God scattered them away from the promised land (thus the circling arrows). The Northern kingdom of Israel was taken away by Assyria and destroyed through intermarriage (thus the ‘x’). The Southern kingdom of Judah was taken away by Babylon. But they were not completely destroyed, they only experienced 70 years of captivity (thus the sad face). God preserved them out of faithfulness to the covenants He had made with His people.
8. Reunido / Gathered
But, as prophesied, after 70 years a remnant of God’s people returned from Babylon to Jerusalem. They rebuilt the wall and settled again in the land of Canaan.