As I have been preparing to teach a Old Testament survey class for Sunday School (sometime in the future), I have discovered a rich resource you need to consider purchasing and reading.
There are many good Old Testament surveys and Old Testament introduction resources available: Gleason Archer’s A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, Walter Kaiser’s Toward an Exegetical Theology, R.K. Harrison’s An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic Books, Andrew Hill and John Walton’s A Survey of the Old Testament – to name a few.
Another textbook I would highly recommend is Mark Dever’s The Message of the Old Testament. This book is a collection of sermons he preached 15-20 years ago, when he took up a single Old Testament book in a single sermon. The book is subtitled “Promises Made,” and he has a New Testament equivalent also available subtitled “Promises Kept.”
While you won’t find much writing regarding technical issues or background material of the Old Testament books, Dever’s strength is the devotional style of each chapter. One of Dever’s goals certainly seems to be is to encourage and inspire worship of God as you read each chapter. Every chapter ends with a prayer and discussion questions.
Dever is consistent in re-telling each Old Testament book’s story, discussing the main theme(s) of that book, informing you o the book’s place in Old Testament chronology, and inspiring a deeper affection and appreciation for the Old Testament.
This book would be a great resource for any Christian starting to build his library and looking or Old Testament helps.