As we strive to Know His Word more deeply in 2018, we’ll be reading the Bible together in genres. Our hope is that together we will see how each book of the Bible fits into the overarching story of Scripture. On the first day of each month, we’ll walk through a new biblical genre together. This month, we’ll be looking at the books of History.
We’ve always loved history—learning about different people and cultures throughout time fascinates us. We’re not always into the dates and wars and conquerers, but the stories? We can’t get enough.
This month, we’re reading through the section of the Bible called “History”—Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther. That’s a lot of books! But in those books, we meet some of the heroes of the faith. We get to know Joshua, Ruth, Samuel, David, Nehemiah, and Esther—men and women who messed up a lot, but also followed God’s direction for their lives.
Through their stories, we learn what it looks like to follow God when things are easy and when things are difficult. Like all of Scripture, these books point us toward God. We get to know and love Him more through their pages. The books of history teach us about a timeless God through stories of His people.
In the stories in this section of the Bible, we see clearly that our God is the one true God, our leader and guide. He is the King, He is the merciful Judge, He is the Redeemer. We discover that while He is timeless, we have been put on this earth “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14b). Throughout all of these pages and stories, we grow in love for the One who loves His people dearly.
Again, we love how the CSB Study Bible puts each book in light of the rest of Scripture:
The Book of Joshua provides the means by which God fulfilled His part of the covenant to His people. God’s provision for the people as their leader and guide bore witness to later generations of divinely willed leadership for Israel, and His gracious gift of the land showed how the people’s faithful fulfillment of the covenant would result in abundant blessing.
The Book of Judges shows us that the nation of Israel survived the dark days of the judges entirely by the grace of God. The end of the book shows the eternal truth: the Lord will build his kingdom, in spite of our sin and rebellion.
Ruth‘s covenantal faithfulness to her mother-in-law and her God provided a model showing that those who were not ethnic Israelites could be incorporated into the people of God through faith.
The Books of 1 and 2 Samuel describe Israel’s transition from a loosely organized tribal league under God to centralized leadership under a king who answered to God.
The Books of 1 and 2 Kings interpreted Hebrew history in light of Old Testament covenant theology.
The Books of 1 and 2 Chronicles give us the big picture of Old Testament history, capturing the Davidic covenant in light of Israel’s history back to Adam and pointing to the eternal continuation of that covenant through the reign of the Messiah.
The events which occurred in Ezra and Nehemiah, the rebuilt temple, the stabilizing of Jerusalem, and the Jewish community that developed, all played key roles in the life and ministry of Jesus recorded in the Gospels.
Without ever mentioning God directly, the Book of Esther underscores the providence of God. God’s promise to give the Jews an eternal ruler remained in place, even in the face of threatened annihilation.
We read the books of history to gain an understanding of who God was, because we know our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The CSB Study Bible also says that all history is theological, since history could not exist without God’s purposes. We come to the books of history to study about our God. We can’t wait to know Him better through His Word this month.
Here is a reading plan with selected passages from the Books of History to read this month. We know some of the selections are a little longer, but we also put some space in over the weekend, in case you need to catch up. We can’t wait to read and learn alongside you. Here’s a PDF of the March reading plan to print!
One note: Our friends from the Bibles team are helping us put these reading plans together—we are so thankful for them! They did not add Scripture readings from Chronicles to this month’s plan because Chronicles essentially tells the same history you’ll find in 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. Our goal is to gain an overall understanding of the Bible, so we decided to just read passages from the Samuels and the Kings in order to keep our reading plan doable. We hope that helps you as you read each day!
We would love to hear what you’re learning as we read through His Word together. Share on social media with the hashtag #KnowHisWord18, so we can learn together! We’ve also included an image below, featuring a verse we’ll read this month, perfect for Instagram.