Have you ever heard a Christian say that the Old Testament (OT) doesn’t apply now? I can see how one would say that when we read, we are free to eat pork (Acts 10:15) and we don’t need to circumcise our baby boys anymore (Gal 5:2).
However, Paul said something very interesting in today’s reading. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (15:4)
What was written in the “former days” includes the whole OT……Isn’t that interesting? Paul isn’t discounting the OT as not being relevant anymore. In fact, to me, it sounds like he is saying, keep reading it!! By reading the OT we receive endurance, encouragement and hope!
I love that! And, I have found that to be true!
I have read about Joseph being in jail for at least 2 years (and he was innocent of the charge) before he got a chance to interpret the king’s dream and get out (Gen. 41). Well, that teaches me to have endurance when I am going through something that I think is unfair!
I read about David praying for his baby boy not to die. The baby died anyway, yet he gets up and worships God (2 Sam. 2:16). That is encouraging to me to see David’s response and remember it, even when things don’t end the way I want.
And I am filled with hope when I read Job 19:25-26 when he says, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.”
So, yeah, I agree with Paul, I will keep reading both the Old and New Testament and know that God will give me endurance, encouragement and hope because of it.
Doesn’t everybody want that?!?! Well,….you know what you need to do to get it!!