'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
There are so many reasons to read the Old Testament of the Bible, that it seems almost futile to ask the question. But we can cast a broad image that can be useful in understanding the "why" of it. There is one general overarching principle to be mindful of regarding the Old Testament:
It is by the OT that we see the need for what is revealed in the new.
The OT poses enigmas, and seeming contradictions of the spirit of the Gospel, such as, why would God do some of the things He did.They seem so completely out of character for God to do and allow many things. Some have stumbled over the thought of God destroying whole societies, and especially the extermination of children. It seems to many a contradiction of the very concept they have of a "loving God". If God is Love (and He is), how could love do such things?
God allows such things to occur so that the New Testament can show the need for a Savior. A good way to understand the OT in relation to the New Testament is to always ask why...why did Israel fail to enter the Promise Land? Afterwards, why did they divide into two kingdoms? Why did they both go into captivity? There is always a reason for events. God is in charge of all things - the reasons for the events, as well as the events themselves. When we ask the all important word "Why?", we must took to the God who was behind it all. Everything - every event, success, failure, and human condition pictured in the Old Testament cries out for what is found in the New. God is all wise, all knowing, and all loving - even in horrific events that seem to be so incongruous.
By looking thoughtfully into the Old Testament, we can see ourselves - if we are completely honest. And if we are by so doing completely honest, we will realize how desperately we need what is contained in the New Testament. In addition, there are many, many prophecies yet unfulfilled. Many are shown how they are fulfilled in the New Testament. Especially in the Book of Revelation.
Modern thought would cloud even more how and why the world is as it is, if it were not for the Biblical record in the OT. It would be much easier than it already is to embrace the doctrine that "all things continue as they were" (2 Peter 3:4) from ages past without the OT record. If that were so, then a corollary leads many to presume that all things will continue from today - as they are. In other words, the world isn't really getting worse, it is said. What we see that is shocking and upsetting is simply the result of better, more thorough, and easier reporting of events in the world.
Thus, the belief that things have always been this way. In one sense this is true. Mankind has always been burdened with sin, leading to wars, disasters, trouble, conflict., which is the result of the nature in people in the world. As James inferred when he asked the question, "Where do wars and fighting among you come from?". If the book of Revelation is read and believed, neither generality can be true.
Things have not always been the same, and good reporting cannot explain it all. Events are occurring with more rapidity, and occurring closer together, and are more universal. Not looking at, and believing the record of the Old Testament of the Bible leads to blindness to the events in the world. The OT pictures to us how humanity - and human nature - really is. And how it works.
Also, the New Testament cannot be properly understood without the information and record of the Old. Much of the New Testament is quotes, references, an allusions to the Old. They are like a coin that is one coin, but having two sides. You cannot have one with the other.True the coin could have a blank side, and still be a coin. But the biblical coin obviously has two sides, and yet it is one - just as the coin. As the song goes, "love and marriage is like a horse and carriage; you can't have one without the other". Well - you can, but only in marriage unfortunately.
So when you think of the "Bible", do not visualize the New Testament alone. If you do, you will in many ways come to half truths, and distorted understandings. The Old Testament and the New Testament is like an indivisible marriage.
It is a marriage for life. And they will never part..
"[Christ, the Messiah] is therefore the Negotiator and Mediator of an [entirely] new agreement (testament, covenant), so that those who are called and offered it may receive the fulfillment of the promised everlasting inheritance--since a death has taken place which rescues and delivers and redeems them from the transgressions committed under the [old] first agreement." - Hebrews 9:15 (AMP)
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