I'm on to Matthew this week in my reading plan. I've read Genesis, Exodus, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. Anybody can easily read Genesis and Exodus, but I've struggled with the prophets. They make a lot more sense now that I'm more familiar with the Old Testament and the history of Israel and Judah.
Short version: After Solomon, Israel broke into two kingdoms - Israel and Judah. Assyria took Israel and the ten tribes there into captivity. Babylonia took Judah and the two tribes there into captivity. Those from Judah were allowed to return at a later time. These are the folks and this is the area where we find Jesus later. David's line was through this country.
Prior to being overrun by enemies, prophets arose that told the people what was up. They were brutally honest about how their sinning was going to lead to their downfall. They kept worshiping other gods, killing innocent people, and ignoring the prophets in general. I think the whole thing sounds awfully familiar to today.
Amazingly it all goes back to the idea that if we do God's will and not our own the end result is better, because He is God and we are not.
I'm using the Ignatius Study Bible when possible. I really like the notes and the forward information. It is one of the few bible studies I can find that does not assume all the new research (relying on how awesomely smart we are now 2000 years later) is all accurate.
Next week, it is back to the Old Testament for Leviticus and Judith. If you're not Catholic, you probably don't have Judith in your bible. If you're Catholic, you may have never heard from this book at Mass. I can't find any evidence we get any readings from there, except a psalm on weekday. In any event, you should check it out. Action! Adventure! Sex! Well, not as much of the last as one character would like, but I'll leave you to read it.