Old Testament? Or No?

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Dan. 2:1-16; 1 John 2:1-11; John 17:12-19

Are you a fan of the Old Testament?  I am!

That may surprise you about me.

Over the centuries, in fact still in today’s churches, there are folks who feel we could throw out the Old Testament and not lose much.  One fella even went so far as to eliminate the entire Old Testament, and just about all of the New with the exception of Luke, and even that was abridged – Marcion was his name – salty guy from the 2nd Century eventually declared as a heretic.

This may surprise you as well, but deep in my core I am an Old Testament preacher, that loves the deep, rich stories and the unfolding of God’s love from the basement of time.

1 John picks up on that today.  “Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning, the old commandment is the word that you have heard.”  And that is the joy of the New Testament.  It is the same ol’ story, just told in a different way.  It is like looking through a different lens, but looking at the same love of God.

John goes on to say that the true light is already shining, and that the darkness is passing away.  This “darkness” is perhaps the same problem that the Pharisees had in many of the gospels.  They practiced the law, but they were missing the heart of the law.  What was the greatest commandment?  Love.  The Pharisees had forgotten that, and the gospel writers, as well as the writer of 1 John, is assuring us of the ancient creed by which we are bound – it is the same as the 10 commandments pushed us to do – love God and love others.

One reason I love the Old Testament so much is because it enriches my story of love.  I see the trajectory of God’s love more clearly and fully.  It rounds out the story for me.

So it is with that in mind I encourage you to turn to Daniel and read of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.  As the story unfolds, and in the week to come we will read of God revealing the dream and Daniel interpreting that dream.  As we see the story flow forth, we see the secret knowledge become divine revelation, and the divine providence become a staging for God carrying us through to the end of the age.

The Bible is such an extraordinary volume of God’s grace.  I hope you are enjoying discovering its riches with me.

-Matt

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