“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
Hmm, I find it interesting that Paul wrote this to Christians at a time, of course, when the New Testament did not yet exist. He was clearly talking about the Old Testament. So why do some of us cast off the Old Testament as being insignificant or even inferior to the New?
Jesus quoted from the OT, the NT writers used the OT as proof of Christ’s messiahship (the fulfillment of prophecy, et al) and at no point does any scripture in the NT suggest that we should merely focus on Paul’s letters or the gospels.
The OT was inspired by God’s Holy Spirit and therefore can be counted upon to not only be true but also essential in teaching, encouraging and giving hope to us (these are Saint Paul’s words, not mine). The OT scriptures validated all that Jesus said and did! They’re essential for a proper understanding of who Jesus is and why He came.
So why am I am making all of this “noise” today about Old Testament scripture? Just to remind all of us to ask the Holy Spirit to use those God inspired records to inspire us, teach us, encourage us and give us hope. By reading both the NT and OT each day I gain a greater understanding of what Jesus meant when He said and taught, why He did what He did and to remind me to see that during those 2000 years that the OT was written mankind’s habits, conditions, proclivities and nature has not changed a bit! Were it not for the blood of Jesus we would be living no different than the folks of Sodom, Gomorrah, Jericho or at the time of Samson and the subsequent King of Judah and Israel.
The OT does show, at times, what a woman or man dedicated to God can accomplish, but in each case, after the demise of that woman or man, the people were constantly lacking direction and never seemed to get the full picture of who God is and how much He loves us.
Read the Bible my friends—-every book in the Bible was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.