St. Edmund's Church, Crickhowell

Introducing the Book -
Old Testament History


Henry Ford said: “History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history we make today.” George Santayana wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Who do you agree with?

The Books
Joshua, Judges, Ruth,
1 Samuel, 2 Samuel,
1 Kings, 2 Kings,
1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles,
Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther

Why study Old Testament history ?

  • The New Testament constantly refers back to it
  • The Old Testament prophets can only be understood in context
  • People are still the same and we have many lessons to learn from Old Testament characters
    e.g. Jonah - you cannot escape from God
  • The cycle of Old Testament history is complete
    The birth, development, prime, decline, disintegration and regeneration of a nation are recorded there and any society can see its current state mirrored in some phase of Israel's history and can see how God worked within it

Puzzle Corner
Can you identify the peaks and troughs of Old Testament history in the diagram in the top right?


  1. Much of the history of the Old Testament revolves around some major characters and there is one who is the most significant of all, King David.
    We see the best aspects of David's character in 1 Samuel 24.
    1. Since Saul was trying to kill him do you think David got things out of proportion in verse 5?
    2. What was David's reason for not killing Saul? What might you have done?
    3. What were the consequences of David's action. Is there a message for us here?
  2. The worst side of David' character is seen in his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah (2 Samuel 11). Read about the consequences of this in 2 Samuel 12.
    1. Notice the way that God made David realise the seriousness of his sin. What does this tell us about how God deals with people like us?
    2. Was David's repentance in verse 13 sincere?
    3. What can we learn from David's actions after the death of his baby son?
    4. What do you make of the fact that the future king Solomon was the product of a relationship that began so badly?
  3. One of the lovliest but least known stories about David is in 1 Chronicles 11:15-19.
    1. Do you have any favourite David stories?
  4. From time to time insignificant characters take some decisive action. Read 2 Kings 6:24-7:20 (If there's time)
    1. Are we keeping the good news to ourselves?
    2. Reflect on what happens to those who get in the way of God's plans


Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor?[Rom 11:33 & 34]

As a focus for your worship think about God's sovereignty and power as shown through the history of his people, both the Children of Israel and the Church.

Last updated 20/8/2003