My Father and mother moved to Shawnee a couple years ago after their house flooded a couple of times back in Louisiana. One of the great but problematic things of their move was the consolidation of tools! My dad and I are both “wannabe” handymen. So, we have many tools and even some inherited tools. The task of going through to see what we had yielded many duplicates and even some “holes” in our tool collection! After analyzing and neatly laying out all the tools we began the process of both pairing down and organizing the tools in my shop. Now, Dad and I can go straight into the shop and know where a particular tool is because it is in the logical place. 

 Sadly, most of our Old Testament knowledge is a shop full of tools that are duplicates, broken, hand-me-downs (that we don’t know what to do with), or even lacking sections. 

 I pressed in the first article saying that “We must reorganize the closet,” and I suggested many different means. As stated, you could organize your Old Testament knowledge by author, topic, theology, century or my favorite covenants. Why do I need to organize my Old Testament knowledge Mario? Why not just explain how to preach it!? 

 If you don’t know a tool’s location or purpose, you won’t find it quickly and may even misuse it. 

 Let’s talk about covenants! I hail from the Old Testament theological lineage of Meredith Kline. Meredith was a famous professor who was potentially the most influential OT scholar of the 20th century. His work not only helped to “rescue” the OT from liberal hands but also propelled the OT to being a preachable text! What Meredith proposed is now called “progressive covenantalism.” If preaching the OT is skipping stones from one bible cover to the other, I submit to you the Covenants are a great means of grasping each skip correctly. (This is how we teach the Survey of Scripture to all freshmen at OBU.)

 As we survey the above chart, taken from Sandra Richter’s “Epic of Eden,” we see that each covenant grows the people of God, the place of God, and the access to the Presence of God. Furthermore, each subsequent covenant brings about an era of not only expansion of the kingdom but purification! 

So if pressed to give a limited 50-word summary of a book for the sweet blue-haired lady with tennis shoes in your church you can reflect on this text’s covenantal paradigm and give her a sense of it quickly. Not only can you answer the sweet lady quickly, but you can ensure that your handling of the OT passage in the pulpit highlights these elements correctly! 

 Example: Nahum.

Nahum falls between the Davidic and Jesus Covenant. Thus, Nahum is about God’s kingdom (Israel) being purified of their idolatry and the nations also being Purified of their sin so that they may be prepared to receive the messiah’s message of repentance and acceptance of Him (John 3:16).

 Give this a try with other books and remember to Preach the word like skipping stones! 

I welcome passages you’d like for me to cover. Yes, even Exodus 4 is welcomed. It is an honor to serve Oklahoma Baptists at OBU.