Sunday, September 1, 2013
REALLY? WHY SHOULD WE READ THE OLD TESTAMENT?
I recently read an apologetic “7 Reasons” summary of the answer to this question. Talk about dry and uninspiring. It was all about technicalities of there being things in the O.T. that would help us see the Son more clearly. That is important. It is important that we remember that the O.T. is about Jesus and the O.T was the teaching tool that Jesus and Paul and Peter and all the Apostles used in the beginnings of the church. Our roots are firmly planted in the Old Testament. And theologically there are many reasons why we should not only read it, but study it.
However, this particular discourse, and others I have read had no heart. It had no emotional tug to it at all. And I happen to be very, very emotional about the Old Testament. My heart bursts with Joy when I read it and study it. It is just as living as the New Testament and it provides us with the strongest picture we can currently hope for of the Holy Trinity, the Almighty God; and, especially, God the Father.
I LOVE GOD THE FATHER! I love to hear about Him, I love to know Him, I love to see Him in action; suffering the pains of watching His children constantly rejecting Him; and Him warning them about that with hard words of coming punishment; and those ALWAYS followed by LOVING promises that He will always love them and will always be there for them—and us—when we turn from our sins, confess, ask for forgiveness and ask for His help.
Yes, the O.T. is the story of redemption through Jesus Christ. Yes, the O.T. is a road map to the Savior. But the O.T. is also a history of God the Father and the Holy Trinity at work. And it is exciting. It is thrilling! It is glorifying to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is the heart of our genealogy as adopted children of God.
Jesus told His followers that if they had seen Him they had seen the Father, but he never suggested that we not get to know the Father. Seeing and knowing are two different things. He told His followers to pray to the Father, rather than to Him, because the Father gave us to Him as friends and siblings.
In this day of so much excitement about our human genealogies, we need to see the value of tracing our heritage in Christ back through the O.T and up to the end of Revelations. Our heritage is as old as the earth itself.
Refusing to read and study the O.T. is like refusing to care about who your own parents, grandparents and great grandparents are; shrugging and saying I don’t want to know anything about my family before the day I was born. I am sticking to only those things which happened on and after that day. That is not even an option in most cases. Those people are there in your life and they have a history.
And as a sibling of Christ, His Father is in our lives whether we want Him to be or not. We pray to Him, in Jesus name, because He has given us to Jesus and He sees us only through Jesus blood. We need to know all that we can know about who we are praying to. We need to see and know His patience, His great love and His great promises as they are confirmed over and over in His words and actions with His people. And we need to see that, we need to feel that and we need to know that deep in our hearts. He is our Father. He is the only real Father I ever had.
I love Him as passionately as I love Jesus. He knew me and loved me before I was born. He knew who my parents would be and never interfered because He had plans for me. He brought me into His family, through Jesus. He rejoices that He did that. And I shout Hallelujah right back to Him.
Jesus and the Father are One, but I do not see them as the SAME. They are different. All three of the Holy Trinity, God Almighty, are different and have different assignments in our lives, but they are all ONE. And if we fail to know and appreciate any one of them, we fail. We come short of full Joy and Peace. We come short of sharing the whole story. We come short of knowing the fullness of our God.
I encourage every one of you to read the books of the O.T. with the goal of learning to love the Father as much as you love the Son. He is our Father and our heritage. We deserve the pleasure of getting to know Him and to know more about who we are in Him.
May we go to read that huge part of the Bible that we like to touch only now and then, but avoid getting too involved in because it is hard. And may we let God Himself change our minds about that. May we let the Father into our lives. May we quit avoiding our History and fall in love with our full genealogy in Jesus. And may we depend on the Holy Spirit within us to guide us through what we think we cannot handle.
And may God bless each of us today with the power and ability to be a blessing to someone else in Christ’s name. Amen.