For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did… Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Cor. 10:1-6, 11-13.
Think about those verses. Paul is describing the history of Israel, and says that everything that happened, is for our benefit as Christians today. I think it is no stretch to extend that to the entire Old Testament. Thousands of years of human history were orchestrated by God so that we, today, as believers can grow closer to God. How much must God care for us? He gave us a great history Lesson to learn from, replete with mistakes to avoid. It is a warning, yes, but a warning with directions on how to avoid the mistakes that Israel made. So why read the Bible? Because the Bible is our handbook, our guide on life’s journey. Last week I put forward the idea that all of teach through our lives. If that is the case, then the ancients lived for us. We see the trails that they took, and the points where they became lost. Let us learn from them.