Old Testament Reading Challenge

Take the challenge with us! This 31-week reading schedule goes through the entire Old Testament. Click on the image below for the full schedule. Below the image is a list of Guiding Questions designed to help you look for key themes of the Old Testament as you do your daily readings.

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Guiding Questions


Week 1 Theme: Creation and Covenant

How does humanity tend to destroy what God has made good? How does God’s grace never fail to deliver humanity from the consequences of their sin?


Week 2 Theme: Trust and Obey

How do we see the blessing of simple obedience? How is faithfulness to God sometimes a struggle? What can we learn about trusting God through hardship and betrayal?


Week 3 Theme: Deliverance and Identity

How does God prove He is able and willing to carry out His promise to deliver His people? What do we learn about God’s glory, power, and mercy in His identity? How does the nature and work of God frame the identity of His people?


Week 4 Theme: Guides and Provides

What did God provide for the Israelites in the wilderness as a tangible sense of His presence in the midst of His people? How did this offer tremendous assurance and stability for the people in the midst of the uncertainty and insecurity of the wilderness wonderings? What does this show us about God’s character and the Israelites’ character?


Week 5 Theme: Holiness and Worship

After Israel was redeemed by God, how were they to live as a holy people worthy of their God? How was God instructing them to be distinct from other nations by giving them specific regulations to govern their lives? How do we learn that God loves to be approached in worship, but we must do so on His terms?


Week 6 Theme: Preparation and Punishment

How do we see in Numbers that when God’s people were faithful to the covenant conditions, their travels and lives went well? How do we see when they were disobedient, they paid the price in defeat, delay and death in the wilderness? How do we see that despite the Lord disciplining His people, He remained faithful to His covenant promises in spite of their fickleness?


Week 7 Theme: Recounting and Reviewing

How do we learn there are no shortcuts to God’s blessings? How does he use trials and tests for specific purposes? Why do you think God held Moses to such a high standard? How does the way Moses reminds the Israelites to treat God’s commands emphasize their importance and the necessity not to forget them?


Week 8 Theme: Renewing and Recommitment

How do we see God’s concern about the willingness of the Israelites to renew their commitment with Him? How do we see the emphasis Moses places on obeying God wholeheartedly? What are some positive reasons the Lord gives the people to serving Him?


Week 9 Theme: Divide and Conquer

How do we see from the Book of Joshua that for those who trust in the Lord, there is no reason to doubt or fear? How are we given the assurance that God is dependable, no matter the odds? How do we learn that the land—or whatever we are given, is a gift from God that we truly possess only by remaining loyal to God and His commandments?


Week 10 Theme: Apostasy/Oppression/Deliverance

How did the Israelites let the culture influence their ideas of right and wrong, rather than God’s commands through Moses? How does Judges show how the flawless God is at work in the most flawed situations and the most failing people? How do we see God’s power and covenant mercy in graciously delivering the Israelites from the consequences of their failures?


Week 11 Theme: Faithfulness Revealed and Rewarded

How does God show loving kindness directly and through the hands of his followers in the story of Ruth? What attributes did Hannah and Samuel have that helped them stand tall before the Lord? What attributes did Saul and Eli have that caused them to fall? How did David live so as to fulfill God’s purpose for his life?


Week 12 Theme: Sin and Suffering

How do we see David’s sin having a ripple effect that caused others sorrow and pain, including his own family? How do we see David’s heartfelt repentance each time he is confronted with his sin? How did David, by the grace of God, face every one of the consequences of his sin with the promises and strength of God?


Week 13 Theme: Kingship—Human and Divine

Why is it important to do what is right in God’s eyes? What can we learn about seeking advice from the right people? How did the loss of priests and godly people affect the northern kingdom of Israel? How will God equip us to accomplish the tasks He calls us if we rely on Him?


Week 14 Theme: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

How do we see that when the kings served God, the Lord helped them; but when the kings did evil things, God opposed them? What spiritual reforms did the “good kings” bring to the nation of Judah? How did the word of the true prophets of God always come to pass? Despite the disobedience of the people and the evil kings who ruled them, how did the Lord not bring David’s family to an end?


Week 15 Theme: Legacy and Leadership

How do we see that when the king obeyed and trusted the Lord, God blessed and protected, but when the king disobeyed and/or put his trust in something or someone other than the Lord, God withdrew His blessing and protection? How does God use circumstances, events and others to develop (or grow) His leaders into their God-given potential? How did David’s attitude toward God make him the great king that he was?


Week 16 Theme: Glory and Decline

How do we see that God takes delight in the prayers and praise of His people? How do we see that despite the decline of Judah in 2 Chronicles, emphasis is given to the spiritual reformers who zealously seek to turn the people back to God? How does the Chronicles teach us that God desires to forgive and heal those who will humbly pray and repent? How do we see from the kings that no one is doomed because of their parents and conversely, no one is saved by their parents?


Week 17 Theme: Repent and Reform

How do we see God’s ability to provide the means for what He wants done in bringing His people back home after years of captivity? What part did repentance and confessing sin play in the people rebuilding their city and lives? What discouragement, opposition, and intimidation did the people of God face in their rebuilding work? How did Nehemiah and the people respond and stay focused?


Week 18 Theme: Divine Providence

How did the people in the book of Nehemiah respond to the reading of God’s Word? What do we learn about Mordecai’s character in the book of Esther? How did Esther show courage? List some ways God worked invisibly in the book of Esther to accomplish His purpose.


Week 19 Theme: Obedient Suffering

How do we learn from the story of Job that suffering is not always the result of personal sin? In what ways do we see Job’s terrible discouragement and despair painted in the book, yet he still is trusting in God? What lessons do we see about suffering terrible loss, yet obeying God by learning patience from that suffering?


Week 20 Theme: Sovereignty and Restoration

What are some differences between Job’s three friends and Elihu? Why doesn’t Job ever abandon God completely? How does God humble Job by asking a series of questions that could never be answered by anyone other than the Almighty God? How does God bring Job to an understanding that human beings don’t always know what God is doing in their lives?


Week 21 Theme: Condemnation and Consolation

How do we see both the themes of salvation and judgment running through the book of Isaiah? What strikes you most about Isaiah’s reaction to seeing God in Isaiah 6? How do we see Isaiah’s overall theme in its clearest statement in Isaiah 12? Even though Jacob’s descendants would be exiled, what does Isaiah say would eventually happen in Isaiah 14?


Week 22 Theme: Condemnation and Consolation

In Isaiah 25, with what celebration does the description of the kingdom begin, and what great victory is applauded? In Isaiah 33, what do verses 17-24 picture? In Isaiah 40, what does God want for His people, and what is the basis for this? In Isaiah 42, what will God’s servant be like, and how will God feel about Him?


Week 23 Theme: Condemnation and Consolation

How does Isaiah 43-44 emphasize the Lord’s reason for redeeming Israel? How did Isaiah speak of a future suffering Servant, the Messiah who would redeem people from all nations from sin and who would make known the Holy One of Israel? In Isaiah 62, how does Isaiah show the Lord’s eagerness to come to Zion?


Week 24 Theme: Judgment and New Covenant

How do we see a majority of the prophet Jeremiah’s oracles against foreign nations being messages of judgment, yet always in the context of repentance being possible? When do we see the suffering of Jeremiah and his trials, yet at the same time God’s sufficiency in all trouble? How does Jeremiah describe God as all-powerful and ever-present?


Week 25 Theme: Judgment and New Covenant

How does Jeremiah seek to get his message across through the use of symbols? How does God’s promised blessing restore the captives to land after the period of judgment? How do the symbols, themes, and the proclamations of judgment show a commitment of love and peace by God on the other side of judgment and sin?


Week 26 Theme: Judgment and New Covenant

How do the last chapters in the book of Jeremiah tell how Jerusalem will be utterly destroyed by Babylon? Yet how are the people reminded in those chapters that God never forgets a covenant or promise? How did God describe the people to whom He was sending Ezekiel? What did God tell Ezekiel not to fear?


Week 27 Theme: Vindication and Revival

How do we see in the book of Ezekiel that the God of Israel is a glorious and majestic God? How does Ezekiel teach us about God’s justice and mercy? In Ezekiel 16, what relationship pictures does God use to describe His love for Jerusalem? How does Ezekiel 18 help differentiate between personal “responsibility” and “accountability?”


Week 28 Theme: Vindication and Revival

How do you see Ezekiel’s ministry of comfort point to the restored Kingdom in these final chapters? What attributes or characteristics of God as Israel’s Shepherd are given in Ezekiel 34:11-22? What picture do the dry bones represent in Ezekiel 37:1-14? In Ezekiel 45-46, what strikes you as interesting, informative, or instructive in this description of the worship sacrifices and festivals in the new temple?


Week 29 Theme: Purpose/Power/Passion

What can we learn about standing firm in our faith from Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? In Daniel’s prayer in chapter nine, what did he call upon God for on behalf of his people? How did the marriage of Hosea and Gomer provide an ample comparison between Israel and their loving God? How do we see in the second half of Hosea a glorious hope of Israel’s future restoration?


Week 30 Theme: Justice and Righteousness

How do we see in the Minor Prophets that God is more concerned about justice and compassion than just mere religious ceremony? How do we see that true justice and righteousness is a right relationship with God and neighbor? What prophecies do you find about the Messiah and His Kingdom, the church?


Week 31 Theme: Restoration and Renewal

How do we see the promise of God to His people that despite evil men prospering, God will exalt His people one day? In these last prophets, how do we see a message that proclaims God’s promise of deliverance will extend past the borders of Israel? How does the book of Malachi show that great reforms were needed to prepare the way for the coming Messiah?