All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness… (2 Timothy 3:6)
Elisa and I have been very much blessed by being able to travel and spend 3 days in Gettysburg this past weekend. Gettysburg is emotionally overwhelming and intellectually stimulating. The historians tell us that this three days in July 1863 changed the course of America; and it did. Yet, the best part of Gettysburg is the stories. The real stories of real people doing amazing things. Here in lies the hidden joy of the study of history, a good biography or historical narrative can simply ruin a person’s taste for fiction. Just as the substance of the Bible and for this moment the Old Testament ruins our taste for falsehood.
First things first. The Old Testament provides a consistent and constant revelation of God’s character. He resided in His tabernacle, as His foremost desire is close proximity with His people. He laid out rules to govern relationships and interaction, as He seeks fair play and good order. He provided a sacrificial system so that His people might set aside their guilt, as redemption is paramount. He brought judgement on those whom deserved it, as His Sovereignty is pervasive. All of this is related in colorful and interesting ways.
Yet it is the stories of the people whom He loves that bring the real color to the Truth and suggests something that fiction cannot do. We know about David, but do we know the story of Josiah and his faithful band of knights? Speaking of Kings, the high drama and intrigue would make the author of Game of Thrones blush. And I am going to simply stay away from the love stories. Real people doing real things good and bad, yet Jehovah is always with them. Even in judgement, He has always been with us.
Part of me dislikes that I am essentially writing a “read your Bible more” devotional, as I prefer to focus on the removal of barriers; but that is what I am doing. If we are going to dedicate ourselves to this Faith, certainly we should want to know Him as He reveals Himself; and His written word is how He has chosen to do so. The Old Testament certainly is no small part of it all. The best part? He is a clever and colorful Author specializing in human interest.