In the last two posts, “Are You Eating His Word? parts 1 & 2”, I wrote about the merits of reading the Bible on a daily basis, which I believe is essential to knowing God.
When it comes to the Old Testament (OT), What impression comes to mind when you first think about it? Is it the miraculous stories of Moses parting the Red Sea, David and Goliath, and Jonah and the whale? Or do the words God’s wrath, jealous God, and God’s anger come to mind? Do you believe it’s relevant?
Until I read through the Bible for the first time, my view of the OT was very narrow. What I mean by that is I knew about the highlights, you know, the stories like I mentioned. I knew the popular Psalms and enjoyed Proverbs. Most importantly is that I thought the God of the OT worked and acted differently than the God of the New Testament (NT). I thought that in the OT God was in a particularly bad mood, cranky, irritated and did not have the patience that we read about in the NT with Jesus. I also wasn’t convinced that the OT was relevant.
Same God, different perspectives
You know how you meet someone at the office or in a professional setting, but never meet them outside of that? Then one day you see them at a party or informal gathering and you see a completely different side of them. Same person, just two different perspectives.
That’s how I now see the OT and NT. In the OT I see a formal God. A God that is majestic, mysterious, unapproachable, awesome, and sovereign. He is all that! In the NT I see God as very personable, human-like and compassionate. He is all that as well! Most importantly is that I see the same God throughout the entire Bible. There is no longer a disconnect, just different perspectives of the same wonderful, magnificent and beautiful God. I am convinced that a believer cannot understand, appreciate, and love God unless they have a complete perspective of Him. Not that we could fully understand God, but I hope you get my meaning.
Now let’s meet Amos…
Allow me to introduce to you to a lesser-known person in the Old Testament. His name is Amos and he has his own book!
Amos 7: 12 Then Amaziah sent orders to Amos: “Get out of here, you prophet! Go on back to the land of Judah, and earn your living by prophesying there! 13 Don’t bother us with your prophecies here in Bethel. This is the king’s sanctuary and the national place of worship!”
14 But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’ 16 Now then, listen to this message from the Lord:
Don’t you love it? The man is a farmer/shepherd and God gives him the task of prophesying to the king! The Old Testament is filled with fun stories like this. What’s exciting about this story is learning that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. We see this all throughout Scripture and the more we read it, the more our faith increases.
The more Scripture you digest, the more His essence will pour out. The Old Testament gives you the complete Message of God that will help you be the ambassador He needs you to be.
Next time we’ll discuss King Cyrus and the prophecy long before his birth!