Come, let us return to the Lord…render that which you have vowed unto the Lord…discern the urgency of the times…listen for the instruction of the Lord…respond in total obedience…Jesus is coming soon…#thinkonthesethings
Many within the realm of Christianity have chosen to divorce the Old Testament from the New Testament based upon their belief that since Christ came in the New Testament as the fulfillment of the law that was written in the Old Testament, there is no longer any need to refer to it for daily life application. This could not be further from the truth. To fully understand the impact of the work of Jesus upon the cross, we must look to both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The graphic references to Christ as the Suffering Servant in the Old Testament in the Book of Isaiah are fulfilled in the New Testament within the four gospel accounts (Is. 52:13-53:12; Mt. 26:47-27:66; Mk. 14:43-15:47; Lk. 22:47-23:56; Jn. 18:1-19:42). The references to Jesus’ work on the cross as the Great High Priest in the Epistle to the Hebrews can only be understood in light of understanding Aaron’s function as the high priest on the Day of Atonement in the Book of Leviticus (Lev. 16; Heb. 9, 10). Jesus’ victory over the works of the enemy (1 Cor. 15:24-28) was foretold in Genesis 3:15.
These are but a few examples wherein it is understood that we cannot “cherry pick” when it comes to what is acceptable to us from the Word of God. We simply cannot choose the New Testament over the Old Testament. The Apostle Paul declares in 1 Corinthians that these things were written in the Old Testament were for our “…examples: and they are written for our admonition…” (10:11). They demonstrate how every effort of humanity to secure eternal salvation was and is an effort in futility, while the one act of Christ in laying down His life was an act of finality.
We simply cannot choose one testament to neglect of the other. They work in conjunction with one another. Paul sums it up in this manner,
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto good works.” (2 Tim. 3:16,17).
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways…” (Is. 55:8)
We have a propensity to focus on the general information to gain a general understanding initially because we are super-hyped about hearing the voice of God. We want to run and tell everyone that we have received ” a word from the Lord.” Why? It makes us feel special. It makes us feel important. In the process, it can easily become about us while overshadowing the purpose and importance of the assignment.
God is more concerned about us gaining an understanding of the specifics of His instruction. When God provides us with a platform from which we are to engage in our assignment, He will also provides details as to how we are to conduct ourselves throughout the process. Many times as we attempt to rush through the process, God will have to gently remind us about paying attention to details because the intended outcome is in jeopardy when we overlook or bypass certain details which are essential to the process.
Although it is true that many times God will provide us with a glimpse of the assignment prior to providing the actual specific details about the manner in which the assignment is to be carried out, He does not intend for us to take the vision and run with it. This is observed in the Book of Habakkuk when God says to him,
“…Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it: because it will surely come, it will not tarry…” (2:2,3)
God will not forget us during the waiting season. He will tell us when the “fullness of time” has come. In the interim, we must make sure that we are preparing ourselves through prayer and consecration in order to be able to hear God with clarity and precision when He instructs us to make the first step. God is into details…where is your focus?…#thinkonthesethings
The popular saying, “Rules were made to be broken…” speaks to the state of mind wherein the rebellious nature of sin springs forth. We witness this behavior literally within almost every sector of society, from the least to the greatest. It breeds selfish acts without taking the subsequent consequences into consideration. It is an attitude which gives no regard to how others within our inner social circles or the macro-community at large will be affected by those decisions to ‘bend the rules.’ This blatant disregard for order will often lead to a path of destruction if not corrected immediately upon being exposed.
Although we are no longer bound under the Law of the Old Testament, its purposes are eternal. Jesus said the first and greatest of all commandments was/is to “…love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…” (Matt. 22:37,38). Then He follows this with, “And the second is like unto it, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets…” (vv. 39,40). If we were to follow these two ‘rules’ of thumb for approaching and relating to others, then order can be maintained. However, if we continue to live selfishly, we will continue to see chaos increase within the world around us…#thinkonthesethings
In the beginning, God created a world that was filled with Divine order (Gen. 1 & 2). Then came sin (Gen. 3). With the entrance of sin into God’s creation (which had been pronounced ‘very good’ previously), God’s Divinely ordered creation had become filled with chaos. As we continue reading and studying throughout the Bible, we begin to notice that there is a continuous recurrence of a common theme…order is interrupted by chaos.
One of God’s attributes is justice. He is often called “the Righteous Judge” throughout the Bible, and one of His roles in being a Just God is exacting justice and maintaining the order within a world gone awry. Therefore, God has provided us with various scenarios within the Bible which details the experiences of His people as they grow from being a nomadic people into a nation of millions (Ex. 1). With this transformation from being an oppressed people to newly liberated people comes the need for moral and ethical boundaries being established wherein order can be implemented and maintained within a community…thus, the implementation of the Law.
There was a two-fold purpose of the Law: 1) to teach us how to relate to both God and our community, and 2) to show us our need for a Savior.
Because of the sin element, we have the propensity to be selfishly motivated and predisposed to doing that which benefits our own interests without regard for the needs of those within our community. Without proper instruction in relating to others, we would exercise our freedom in ways which have the possibility of leading us back into a state of chaos…#thinkonthesethings