The Bible: Studying the Bottomless Well
Let’s discuss what the young Christians of today, who are the future leaders of tomorrow, should know about the Bible.
Let’s begin with the Old Testament before we come to the New Testament.
You may ask: The Bible is such a big book, what is it that this column on Christian Leadership seeks to inform young Christian leaders about, and what books of the Bible will the discussions focus on?
This is a fair question because, indeed, the Bible is such a vast book and such a bottomless well as a source of knowledge, that to try and look at every part of it can become an endless and pointless exercise that has no real value. It will therefore be necessary to select some key themes and identify those parts of the Bible that exemplify those themes.
Among the themes we shall explore in the Old Testament are the following:
– How God called leaders in the days of old and how they responded to God’s call.
– What we, the Christian leaders of today and tomorrow, can learn from God’s servants of the Old Testament.
– What we learn about the people whom Old Testament leaders led—were they any different from the people we are called upon to lead today and tomorrow?
– What was the role of the prophet in society—are any of the leaders in our time called upon to do the work of the prophets of old? Are we as individuals called upon to act as prophets in our society?
– What does the Old Testament teach us about faith, prayer and spirituality?
With these and similar themes in mind, we shall take examples from the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, namely, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. From that part of the Bible we will examine the call and leadership qualities of such figures as Abraham, Jacob, Joseph and Moses.
We shall also draw lessons from the Books of Samuel, Kings and Nehemiah, learning from the examples of Samuel, David, Solomon and Nehemiah. For the prophets the focus will be on Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
For our lessons on faith, prayer and spirituality we will depend mainly on the Book of Psalms, the book for all seasons that teaches us about our relationship with God — how to praise him for his wonderful creation and mighty deeds; how to express our gratitude to him for all his gifts and benefits to us; how to call on him in times of sorrow and trouble; and how to humble ourselves and atone for our guilt when we have sinned against him.
Indeed, one of the greatest desires of the Christian leader should be to get closer and closer to God and do his will as Jesus did.
I look forward to making this journey through the Old Testament with you over the next few months.