There are 12 Old Testament and 1 New Testament books classified as History. Historical studies help learners remember events of the past and put those events into a logical, chronological sequence. Studied in context, history can shed light on mistakes of the past to illuminate and encourage different behavior in the future. History also celebrates successes and invites those who read it to emulate behavior that brings blessing. The biblical Books of History reveal the history of God’s people and point to periods of divergence from God’s plan for them.
The Books of History serve to show Israel’s behavior toward God and God’s commands. The commands passed down to the people from God were given to help people have community with God. While the people sometimes followed God’s laws, often they did not and consequences came. The history of Israel, as recorded in the Bible, shows a distinct cycle of behavior that went from the people experiencing God’s blessing to their being conquered and eventually restored.
God inspired men to write the Books of History so future readers could identify the behavior Israel had toward God and steer away from behavior that led to destruction. History provides us an opportunity to see potential stumbling points and try to avoid those stumbling blocks as we grow closer to God. Israel’s disobedience led ultimately to their exile from the land God had given them. God had provided great thinkers and writers to expound upon things that would help strengthen their relationship with Him, but that is a story for the Poetry & Wisdom genre later.