Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Don't Feel So Bad about the OT

The Old Testament is a wonderful thing. I think Genesis may be one of the most profound books every written - it explains why everything is the way it is. Psalms has some of the most wondrous poetry ever written. There's history, there's the prophets, there's example after example of God's loving working for His unworthy people.

Yet, I will admit, sometimes I will be a little downcast when it comes to the Old Testament. I don't hang out in it like the floppy bible preachers do. I'll bring it up in passing - I don't do a giant sermon series on it. I'll teach on it with joy - but the OT isn't my focus.

And then I think - am I doing a disservice spending so much time in the New? What riches, what treasures am I overlooking! And then, I wrote a 1 hour overview study of Ecclesiastes, and I noted something. Over and over I thought, "Boy, this is just like that parable Jesus taught. Boy, this is just like what Paul says. Boy, this is just what Christ does." And I had a realization.

If you want to know the Old Testament, read the New and know the New Testament first. There isn't anything in the Old that isn't in the New - in fact, the purpose of the Old is to point, to prepare for Christ and His coming - so if you want to understand the Old, look at the New. All the wisdom of the Old - encapsulated in the New. Christ really is a good teacher - listen to Him first and foremost -- everything else is just icing on the cake.

Don't feel so bad if you don't know the OT as well as you could. If you know the New Testament, in reality, you already know the Old. In fact, you know it better than the folks in the Old Testament themselves did - for even Abraham longed to see Christ's day, and David only saw dimly through prophecy what you behold in the Gospels.

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