Where the world comes to study the Bible

Pre-Lesson 2: Old Testament Insights

Many women today have very little knowledge of the Old Testament. What’s written in it happened so long ago. How can this apply to me today? What do those women have in common with someone like me who lives more than 2000 years later?

Maybe these women lived 2,000 – 4,000 years ago, but they were still women just like us. They cooked meals, did laundry, and raised children. They had responsibilities inside and outside of their homes. They experienced hormone fluctuations, PMS, and menopause. They laughed with their kids, differed with their husbands, and cried when a loved one died. At one time, they were all 20­somethings, then 40-somethings, then 60-somethings and more. Their hair needed to be combed and fixed, and it turned grey as they aged. No doubt, some of them, if not all, had something on their bodies that sagged.

They also experienced fear at various times in their lives just like we do. Real fears and imagined fears with invading enemies, sick husbands and children, and empty pantries. They faced creditors and surprise houseguests. They even had “bad” days when things didn’t go right, sometimes due to their own choices. These were EVERYDAY WOMEN, just like us.

As we study their lives, we’ll see an EVER FAITHFUL GOD in action. He’s our faithful God whose character never changes. He’s as faithful now in our everyday circumstances of life as He was years ago to them. We can feel confidence in His presence and active involvement, even when we can’t see it. And, knowing this, we can trust in Him whenever we are afraid. That’s our faith walk—going from fear to faith.

The God Of The Old Testament

Yhwh (thought to be pronounced “yahweh”) is the Hebrew personal and covenant name of God in the Old Testament. In our English translations, it is usually written as LORD (capital letters). In Exodus 3: 14-15 when Moses asked God for His name, God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM (Yhwh) has sent me to you.’” This was the name by which God wished to be known and worshipped in Israel. The name expressed His character as the dependable and faithful God who desires the full trust of His people as Israel’s redeemer and covenant Lord.

In John 8:58-59 (and other places), Jesus applied God’s name “I AM” to Himself, thus declaring Himself to be God and expressing the eternity of His being and His oneness with God the Father. So, the EVER FAITHFUL, promise-keeping God of the Old Testament is embodied in the Lord Jesus Christ of the New Testament and forever.

Old Testament Timeline

Historical Period

Years B.C.

Woman Studied

Divided Kingdom

900 – 722

Prophet’s Widow

Woman of Shunem

Zarephath Widow

United Kingdom 

1000 – 900

Abigail & Bathsheba

Time of the Judges

1400 – 1000

Hannah

Mrs. Manoah

Naomi & Ruth

Deborah & Jael

Exodus through Conquest of the Land

1450 - 1400

Rahab

Miriam

Israel in Egypt

1800 - 1450

Jochebed

The Patriarchs

2100 - 1800

Sarah

The Walk From Fear to Faith

Jill Briscoe once said, “Women are a fear-driven, performance-oriented species.” She’s right.

Fear is an ever-present emotion with us. Real fears and imagined fears. Is it realistic to think we can live without fear? Fear is a normal human emotion designed by God to alert us to danger so that we will take action against it. Yet, fear can take root in us and cause us to give way to panic and hysteria. God knows this about us. The psalmist says in Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” Notice he doesn’t say, “If I am afraid.” He says, “When I am afraid.” When we are afraid, God wants us to trust Him and not give way to fear. Learning to do so is our walk from fear to faith.

As we join these Old Testament “everyday” women on their walk from fear to faith, we will see consistent truths that we can apply to our lives today in our faith walk. In every case, we know that God loved her. He knew what was going on in her life. He was able to do something about it. During her faith walk, a loving God said “no” to some things. Yet, she chose to trust Him rather than submit to fear. And, God rewarded her faith with an outpouring of His blessing in other ways. Likewise, God may not choose to rescue you from everything that is threatening you. But, in any and all situations, you can count on these truths…

·         God loves me.

·         God knows what is going on in my life.

·         God can do something about it.

·         I can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do!

Your walk from fear to faith begins as you count on these truths and live each day believing they are true.

Related Topics: Faith, Curriculum, Women's Articles