How do you read the Bible? Is the Bible just a book that teaches us how we are to live, or is it more than that? The Bible is God’s story of salvation. It makes all the difference in the world how we read the Scriptures.
For instance, when we read in the Scriptures that God used Peter and John to heal the lame man (Acts 3), what should be our response? The answer all depends on whether a person views the Bible as a book of morals, or God’s story of salvation. If we view it as a moral book, then the result will be a desire for us to find a lame man and ask God to work through us like He worked through Peter and John; besides, “God is no respecter of persons.” Yet, if we view the Bible as God’s story, then the result will be a deeper appreciation and devotion in us toward the God who heals those who cannot heal themselves. This lame man was healed by the lamb who takes away the sins of the world.
If we are reading the Bible as God’s salvation story, then when we read about a leper or a lame man, it should automatically remind us of our own condition. As sons of Adam, we are spiritual lepers. We cannot heal ourselves. We were born sinners. When we see the lame, we should remember that we have no ability to come to God unless He draws us.
In 2 Samuel 9, we are introduced to a lame man by the name of Mephibosheth. He lived far from the king. He was a descendant of Saul, so he was a natural enemy of the king. He had no intention of ever seeking out the king. He was a rejected refugee. Mephibosheth was as good as dead. He hid from the king and was not part of the king’s family. But the king called Mephibosheth and gave him life. He gave him an inheritance and adopted him. He made him a son with all rights and privileges.
A moral book? Then, we should praise God for David and try to imitate king David.
A book about God’s salvation history? Then we stand in awe of how our King humbled Himself and came to earth to show us mercy. He gave us new life, an inheritance, and the adoption of sons. This story should evoke gratitude for the wisdom and kindness of our God – The Lamb of God came to earth to heal lame.
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen
Beginning At Moses
Michael P.V. Barrett
“Too many Christians approach the Old Testament as if they were fishing in the bathtub, expecting nothing, but at least fulfilling ‘devotion’ time” – Michael Barrett.
When I first received Christ as my personal Savior in the early 90’s, the one thing I remembered was how much I loved reading the Word of God. I liked reading it and my desire to hear it proclaimed grew more and more each Sunday; but I was plagued by one question. As I progressed in my relationship with Christ, the question seemed to grow in intensity. I asked many people, but I never received a satisfactory answer. At the time, I thought no one else wondered why the Old Testament seemed so disconnected from the New Testament. Why were so many sermons delivered from the New Testament, when more than half of God’s Word was located in the Old Testament? When someone did preach from the OT, the connection between Christ and the Old Testament seemed so unnatural. Why did those messages often lack a clear presentation of Christ?
I might have discovered the answer, or better yet, I believe that Michael Barrett has provided part of the answer in his book, Beginning At Moses.
Barrett broke this book into two sections, “Whom to look for,” and “Where to look.” There are three chapters in part I, but seven chapters in the second section. Barrett provides the layperson with comprehensible tools that will help “naturally” connect the Old Testament to the person and work of Christ. It is clear by his credentials and frequent references to theological terms, that Barrett is an accomplished theologian. He has taught Hebrew and other Old Testament classes in at least two seminaries, but he has written this book for those who are not familiar with theological terms, or the original biblical languages.
There are many gems in this book, but I think what was most beneficial was Barrett’s simple explanation of how Christ can be referred to as the everlasting Father, and still be distinct from The Father. If you ever had that nagging question about how Christ is connected to the Old Testament, then I would strongly urge you to get a copy for yourself. I am sure that your study will increase your awe and devotion of our Savior – Jesus The Christ.