Let’s take a look at reading God’s Word and attaining wisdom. We read the words and gain knowledge, we pray and God helps us understand, we look at situations in the Word and realize what God’s take on things is … and that is wisdom – applying God’s words and ways to our lives.
Lots of believers prefer to spend their time in the Word cruising through the New Testament. It seems easier to understand. It appears to be a plainer type of message. And let’s face it … the God in the New Testament sounds a little nicer. I get it. When new Christians ask where to start, I also send them to the gospels first. It is critical to understand what our Savior Jesus Christ has done for us … the gospels deliver that message that Paul declared as most important. Jesus Christ – born as the Son of God – suffered and crucified for our sins – risen as the firstborn of the dead – breaking the enemy’s power forever.
But that doesn’t complete our understanding. Let’s talk about that word a moment. If we have understanding, it means we comprehend the situation … we have insight or good judgment … an individual’s perception or judgment of a situation.
Today’s message is to declare that we cannot have comprehension of what Christ has done unless we take the totality of God’s Word into account. While the gospel starts us and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom … let’s keep going. The proverbs make a great case for seeking wisdom and it is a journey, not a one-stop dispensation.
Knowledge … understanding … God’s take on things = wisdom.
Some things we are missing if we skip reading the Old Testament:
1. God’s Holiness – Nothing unclean or sinful could touch the mountain of God. We can’t understand the sacrifice of Christ and how badly we need a Savior without knowing the Holiness of God.
2. God’s wrath – Yes that’s right and another reason we skip to the New Testament. But the fact remains a Holy God has righteous wrath at a world that blasphemes Him, ignores Him, reduces Him to human standards, and blatantly indulges in sin without repentance. If you slap someone in the face they will become angry. And although they perhaps turn the other cheek, continued disrespect will earn you a lesser relationship and eventually perhaps no relationship at all.
3. God’s love – Right … it all starts in the beginning and continues with real life relationships between God and those who worshipped and obeyed Him. It’s a big love, with remarkable things that happen and prayer life that is a two-way conversation. Imagine talking to God Almighty.
4. God’s character – There is rich depth to the passages that reveal the heart and ways of God. And when life hands us trials and sorrows that we can’t understand … we can lean back on God’s character and trust.
5. Themes – Reading through we can’t help but notice themes and they root in the Old Testament and take wings in the New. For example … OT shows all the times that God’s people get impatient waiting on His promises and what happens when they do. Jesus admonition in the Golden Rule is rooted in the OT laws. Faithfulness, mercy – God’s record is perfect … mankind’s is no where close.
6. Passages relate to the “end times” in several places … not just Revelation
7. Profound images of sin are found showing what sin looks like to God.
8. Beautiful passages of what Jesus will be bringing when He comes and descriptions of the hope that we have because of Him.
I could go on forever.
God made sure the written word contained everything we need to become people glorifying Him and living with purpose and passion. So take a moment and read … and consider diving deep…
Old and New Testament … One glorious God.