Why I Love the Old Testament

David bearing the ark of testament into Jerusalem

David bearing the ark of testament into Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Devotional Thought of the Day 

4  And all these things which were written so long ago were written so that we, learning perseverance and the encouragement which the scriptures give, should have hope.  Romans 15:4 (NJB)

“By reading,” you wrote me, “I build   up a store of fuel. It seems a lifeless pile, but I often find that my mind spontaneously draws from it material which fills my prayer with life and inflames my thanksgiving after communion.”  (1)

Tomorrow morning I find myself preaching on the Old Testament again. As is my habit, early in the week I asked a question that helps me see where people where at.  One of the responses was basically, :we are in the New Coveant, why worry about all that old history?”  The person was basically questioning whether the Old Testament was relevant to us.

There are a number of reasons I can think of….including those written above:

St. Paul’s comment to the church in Rome goes directly to the heart of the matter.  Hope. The expectation that God will see us through the matter, that God not only will be looking after us from heaven, but that He is with us through it all.  Look at the Old Testament as a love story, between God and the one (HIs people) He is working to make the Bride of Christ,  God’s passion for the people He would call His own is infinitely more than any chick-flick ever endured by man…

And that devotion of God, that love, that desire – we see illustrated over and over in the Old Testament.   The more time I spend in Isaiah, or Exodus, or Jeremiah… well in any book – the more that desire is revealed.

Even to the extent that God is willing to look past our sin, to clean us up (remember Hosea and Gomer) that none of us in unreachable, unredeemable.  That we don’t have to hide from God – as so many did, that we don’t need to make up excuses.  That we, to paraphrase Luther – sin boldly – that we might boldly go before the throne of God.  We can’t do that if we hide, or if we justify our sins, or if we simply ignore God.

That is where St. Josemaria’s interaction with one of his students comes into such clarity for me.  As I have ministered to the dieing, to those incarcerated, to those in crisis – whether they realize it or not, to those in bondage to sin; the Old Testament becomes a wonderful resource for revealing to people God’s faithfulness, God’s merciful love (see the word cHesed).The resources just spring to mind, the love of God is so carefully documented and chronicled.  His pain over His people’s sin and immorality – yet His steadfast work to call them back, to clean them up again, so marvellous.  His presence through the valley of the shadow of death, ours, our friends, our children (see King David) so incredible.

How could I not want to share this with the people I care about?  How could I not desire that they know His faithfulness?

Yes, I love to preach on the Old Testament – for it testifies of Christ, and it gives me hope – even as I see His people live in the hope that was even harder to see fulfilled – but was, completely in Christ Jesus.

The Old Testament?  The record of people crying out, “Lord have Mercy!”  And the answer, over and over… “yes my people, I will be merciful – for I, the Lord God, love you!”

 

Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 417-419). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on June 1, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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