One sentence on who God is from each book of His Old Testament.
(Note: 1 and 2 Samuel as well as Kings-Chronicles have one sentence on God each. I was intentionally short here.)
Genesis: God creates.
God created a spiritual realm, a physical universe, and a people. Not simply “people,” but a people. A family of believers for Himself, a set apart people whom He’d bless the world through, after Adam’s sin broke so much goodness.
The God of Jesus Christ created angels, the universe, people, marriage, and the redeemed. And those stories are kicked off in Genesis.
Exodus: God saves.
God pulled His people from slavery. When you consider that we’re all slaves to either sin or God, it’s a good thing He’s still the sort of God who frees those who will repent and believe from wicked masters. And that He’ll bring them home to a lovely One.
Leviticus: God is holy, and He makes His people holy.
This is tough to understand in a world with pain, but God is only good and only does good things, and from the perspective of eternity it will be clear that everything He has done and allowed, most of all the wicked crucifixion of His Son, was the best possible thing for His glory and His people’s good.
In Leviticus God tells the people of the Old Covenant some of the ways He wants them to separate themselves from the sinful world. He also tells them about His character, His holiness, and His desires.
Numbers: God does.
God commanded His servant Moses to do things, like take a census and build a tabernacle and divvy up the Promised Land. God said and says, did and does real things in the real universe He made.
Deuteronomy: God covenants.
God’s covenants are promises, agreements, that He makes with (usually) His people. In Deuteronomy we see that the one true God makes promises, and we also see that our postures and responses to those promises means either good things or bad for us, accordingly.
Joshua: God judges.
God doesn’t take sin lightly. He gave the Canaanites, just like He gives many people now, time after time after time to repent. His perfection and goodness demanded that this culture that worshiped other gods and burned its children alive be wiped out. He used Joshua to do it.
Judges: He is the authoritative King.
What? The book named “Judges” isn’t about God judging? Well, the English name of the book refers to the “judges” God allowed to lead His people. But the point of the book is that the people of Israel did what they wanted and not what God wanted. They refused to acknowledge the Kingship of God, and ended up wanting a human king instead.
Ruth: He redeems.
A Godly man redeems a non-Jew in this story. A Moabite woman, widowed and poor, but who is humble faithful. Ruth is redeemed and betrothed and claimed by a God fearing man named Boaz. And she ended up in the lineage of David and in the Earthly lineage of Jesus.
1 and 2 Samuel: God anoints.
God anointed a shepherd, a non-royal and non-famous young man whose heart was after Him, King of Israel. And He made that boy a picture and a relative of His ultimate Anointed One: Jesus, the Messiah.
1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles: God honors the heart that loves and worships Him.
There were quite a few kings of the split, divided kingdom (“Israel” in the north, “Judah” in the south). The ones who God calls good aren’t the politically successful ones but the ones who stopped people from worshiping idols.
Ezra: He’ll accomplish His will for His people.
After the 70 years He told Jeremiah the Jews would be uprooted and sent away for, God used the pagan king of a pagan empire to send His people back.
Nehemiah: God uses people.
Nehemiah was a God-lover living in hostile territory. God used his humble heart, praying mind, and gutsy courage to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem after the return from exile.
Esther: God is in control of every sphere of life and every kingdom on the Earth.
A wicked and jealous and petty man tried to commit genocide against God’s people. It wasn’t God’s will, so he made an impoverished girl queen of history’s largest empire up to that point in order to stop it.
Job: He is better than everything else, and He may take it all away to prove it.
God allowed faithful Job to go through horrific pain, and then told him to trust His wisdom and ways. A lesson we also learn from our Savior.
Psalms: God is worthpraise.
We sing about and smile about what we love. Well, nothing is more beautiful, strong, pure, or creative than God. We should sing songs anout Him.
Proverbs: He is wise.
God is what is best, God knows what is best, and God knows how to do what is best. Real wisdom starts with fearing Him.
Ecclesiastes: He’ll righteously judge and sort out all things.
Life in a sinful and death-ridden world is tough. God knows hearts, motives, thoughts, an actions. He’ll judge impartially, righteously, and He’ll heal and remake the world.
Lamentations: He disciplines.
Like every good parent, God often trains through pain. When His people chase other gods, He’ll punish, rebuke, reprove, teach, and forgive.
Song of Songs: God created romance.
He made marriage, and you can read about it in Genesis 1-2 (and what it’s a picture of in Ephesians 5). Read this book and see that sexual love can be Christlike and beautiful. It’s just that our culture makes it a god, which in turn makes it less beautiful and less satisfying.
Isaiah: God wins.
He made it all, He’ll remake it all, and He’ll save those who trust in His Son.
Jeremiah: He’s often not popular.
That’s okay. When we’re dead in our sinful trespasses and love $ and cars and education more than God, we don’t want to hear about sin or holiness or the Creator. Don’t fret about God not being a #1 hit with people who don’t love God.
Pray, instead. Because only God can make people love God.
Ezekiel: God sends.
Even when no one wants to hear it, God offers the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith.
Daniel: He reveals.
What’s necessary to know, God will tell to those who love Him.
Hosea: He is jealous.
He doesn’t sinfully covet, but God does want His people’s hearts. And He is righteously angry when they love and worship and seek meaning or security in anything other than Him.
Joel: He’s coming.
God will wrap up time and history, and then rule a perfect Heaven and Earth unendingly.
Amos: He demands justice.
Real, God-fearing justice. We honor God when we remember humans are made in His image.
Obadiah: He’ll avenge.
God knows and will repay all unrepentant, unforgiven sins.
Jonah: He’s impartial.
God extends the message of the Gospel to people we don’t like. And if they repent and believe He’ll forgive them. And we can just deal with it.
Micah: He makes long lasting promises.
He promised and promises the Gospel. He promised and promises our King Jesus.
Nahum: He’ll powerfully judge the wicked.
We should both run to and tremble before God. He’s a strong, impossibly loving, purely holy Father to those adopted in Christ. He is a righteous judge of those who refuse.
Habakkuk: He honors and desires faith in His people.
Trusting obedience. That’s the bedrock of a relationship with the Creator. He wants that in us.
Zephaniah: He’s faithful.
God never forgets His covenants or His people of faith. He doesn’t allow Jesus’ sheep to be snatched from His hand.
Haggai: He provides for what He asks.
God wanted the returned Jews to rebuild. He gave them the leaders, the prophets, the courage, and the Bible they needed. We get those Scriptures, too.
Zechariah: He has a perfectly good finish for Creation.
Worshiping God for eternity as His resurrected and glorified people. God is going to give His children the greatest gift and future imaginable.
Malachi: He wants all of us.
Marriage, finances… Nothing is off the table with a God who is better than everything.
So, that’s it.
There are a billion things I can’t fit into a blog post. But God tells all about Himself in His Book, and we get the privilege of knowing Him and loving Him. We don’t need Hollywood to tell us about God. Or pop philosophers. Or novelists. Or Oprah Winfrey.
No, graciously and mercifully, He tells us Himself.