Sunday, April 2, 2017

Read the Old Testament

On last Sunday's post, this comment: 
Once again, I puzzle with how to apply OT stories to present day circumstances. But if Brother desires to bestow wealth upon me, I won't worry about application.

I responded:

The application here is simply follow God's lead. Of course, if you wish to share your wealth with your elder brother, that is good, too

 In the wee hours  I became aware of the fact that my answer needs expansion. so this:

It seems to me that the Old Testament provides example after example of the necessity to pursue the will of God.  Those who follow God's leading seem to bask in His approbation.  Those who fail to do so apparently fall into disfavor such that the end results are not pretty.

Beginning in the Garden of Eden we see the forebears, given one simple prohibition, unable or unwilling to abide by the strictures, plunge the entire human race into chaos.

We see Noah accomplish a daunting, even seemingly impossible task.  He is rewarded with life.

Moses rose to worldly prominence, sank to level of murderer and exiled himself from the land, yet at the age of eighty when God called him, he responded.

Saul defies the rules of the Lord and loses everything, including his life.

David is highly favored of the Lord, yet the desire of his life is not granted because of the sin he allowed to creep in..

And so on.

The point that I hope to make is two-fold.  To read the Old Testament is to read the Bible as Jesus knew it, for the OT was the Bible from which he worked and which he often quoted in his ministry.  To read the Bible is not only instructive in the necessity of seeking God's purpose for our lives, it is also laden with fascinating accounts of man's struggles, his relationships with his fellow-man, and his interaction with God.
A dear old lady, now deceased, told me she did not like the Old Testament, it is "so bloody," she said.  I submit that whatever blood was shed in the Old Testament was as nothing to the shedding of the blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the blood that is necessary and sufficient for our salvation.
"What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus."  --Robert Lowry


Vee said...

Totally get the idea of examples. However, a while back a SS teacher I was listening to attempted to apply some OT laws to today. I had to wonder how he could think that would be possible - unless one picks and chooses, as he was doing.

As a child I loved the stories from the Old Testament. High on my list were Daniel in the Lion's Den and Esther's story of obedience. There is much to be learned from examples of faithfulness to God's will.

To say I understand the history of the Israelites would be stretching it big time.

vanilla said...

Vee, your example, I think, is a case similar to the one Paul addressed in writing to the Galatians. He went so far as to call a curse on one who would teach a "different gospel." (Gal. 1:6-9)