171 – Where in the Bible are you?
If I have counted correctly, including this one, I have written one hundred seventy-one weekly devotional posts. Nine of them were topical in nature and the remaining one hundred sixty-two were specific to a Biblical book. Thirty of those posts were specific to New Testament books, and one hundred and thirty-two of them were about Old Testament books.
Obviously I spend more time studying the Old Testament than the New Testament, but why? I’m not sure I could explain it clearly, but I’ll try. The Old Testament draws me like a powerful magnet. If I’m not following some Bible reading plan I will find myself gravitating to the Old Testament. However, the sense I get is most Christians are familiar with the popular Old Testament stories like creation, the flood, the Exodus, but spend little to no time digging into it.
I am not suggesting that one Testament preference is correct and the other incorrect. Let me be clear, any time in the Word of God, Old or New Testament is profitable. However, there are those who suggest one is right, the other wrong. Some say, the Old Testament, beyond being historical, holds little value to the modern-day believer. The Jews only hold to the Old Testament, believing the New Testament to be false or at best only for the Gentile.
Maybe you take a balanced approach believing there is value in both Old and New Testaments – that’s great! But do you understand that though they are neatly divided into old and new they are inextricably and eternally linked or connected? If we had only one Testament we would not have the whole counsel of God.
Maybe this discussion is elementary for you, but for some people, it is a new concept. Either way, it’s critically important that we see we cannot fully understand the New Testament without a proper understanding of the Old Testament.
For example, I promise you, you will misunderstand what you read in the book of Hebrews if you don’t understand that the Old Testament is a crucial key unlocking the book’s message. Can I offer proof?
1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,
2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.
3 For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house.
4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.
5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward,
6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
The above six verses in the New Testament, demonstrating a contrast between Christ and Moses hold little meaning to the one who has never encountered Moses in the Old Testament. It’s not my intention to exposit the above verses, only to show that we must understand why the author is contrasting Jesus and Moses – we need the details from the Old Testament.
Do you want to understand Paul’s reference to the “last trumpet” in his letter to the corinthians? Then you must understand Old Testament types of trumpets and their uses. The trumpets mentioned in Numbers ten influence our understanding of trumpet references in the New Testament. Did you know there are Angel Trumpets and God’s Trumpet in the book of Revelation, with different uses?
In the Old Testament, there are trumpets made with rams horns used for specific purposes. Then there are the man-made trumpets made of silver in Numbers ten.
Maybe this post doesn’t really study a given passage. I just felt we needed to pause and re-calibrate. Though the Bible is divided into multiple books, some under the Old Testament and some under the New, they are not silos unto themselves. You must not isolate and separate a given book of the Bible from the rest of the Bible. You must not isolate and separate the Old Testament from the New Testament.
Let me throw one more random challenge out there for you. Have you ever compared the plagues that befell Egypt in the Exodus story to the plagues mentioned in the book of Revelation?
There is so much to learn in the Bible I hope you, like me, will dedicate the rest of your life to studying it.
God is worthy of all praise and worship! He delivered His word to us in the form of the Holy Bible, should we not then take time to study and understand it?
Whichever Testament, whatever book, I hope you are in the Holy Bible on a regular basis.
All Scripture quotations from The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.
July 20, 2020 (5:24 pm)
Agreed! This is a good follow-up to last week’s topic. There is much to learn about God and people. Just these last few days as I’ve been reading Numbers 10 – 14 I’ve been reminded just how rebellious and untrusting the Israelites were. First, they sent spies into Canaan to supposedly prove that God was right about it. Then when they found out it was fruitful, they got scared of the inhabitants, totally ignoring what God had done to the Egyptians with all their might. Then after God says they can’t go and must wander in the wilderness, at least some of them decide to try their own invasion without God’s support. And that turns out in disaster as well.
And the number of times God proclaimed a plaque on them or their enemies seems so relevant to us today. Anyone who is willing to consider just how helpless we are in so many ways, should see that we all still need God.