Why do we read the Old Testament?
At one point in my life, I asked the question above. And I’ve heard the question from my own kiddos a couple times. How is circumcision, sacrifices, and wars relevant in today’s world?
I used to fear these questions. But with most fears you have to face up to them at some point before they paralyze you. So, I stepped up and dug in. Ten years ago, I made it a goal to know as much about the Old Testament as the New.
It has been a long journey, but God has taught me so much.
He’s taught me to wait like Noah.
To grieve, praise, and repent like David.
To vigilant like Habbakuk
To be faithful like Rahab
To know what I believe and hold to it like Daniel
To listen like Samuel
To serve like Moses
To lead like Joshua
To seek truth like Josiah
To be reliant on God like Ezekiel
How selfish I can be, like Jonah
How fearful I can be when facing the unknown, like the Twelve Spies
How easily my attention can be turned away from God, like Nebuchadnezzar
How greedy I can be, like Laban
How self-centered I can be, like Jacob
How hot-headed I can be, like Esau
How woeful I can be, like Naomi.
And the list goes on.
Each character in the Old Testament give us examples of how to follow God well or how much we need a savior. That nothing of ourselves can redeem us.
While the laws and the rotating door of kings the nation of Israel had may seem out dated and unimportant. There relevance is not so much in the have tos and don’t dos, but in God’s provision, protections, and guidance toward a small family becoming a nation that has influenced the entire world.
God gave his best to the nation of Israel despite how they treated him or listened to him. He sought them out and continued time and time again to provide a means of repentance and restoration.
Which is what leads us to the good news of the New Testament. The fulfillment of the law and restoration of the hearts of men. That sounds pretty relevant to me. And can’t wait for my kiddos to complain about the Old Testament again. I’m ready. Are you?