As I am blazing my way through the Bible as part of our E90 (Exponential Summer at Cross Community Church), I am gritting my teeth at some of the stories in the Old Testament. There is so much bloodshed and abuse and annihilation. And much of it is orchestrated by God. Great men of God had multiple wives or were dishonest. They lied and cheated. And innocent people suffered a lot. Even to the point of children and grandchildren paying for the sins of their father’s while their fathers got off with no penalty. And what about how people with handicaps cannot approach God? And entire populations, women and children included were wiped out by God’s armies. Pretty heavy stuff.
I hope not to dissuade you from reading the Old Testament. But I am not afraid to tell you that, sometimes, it is a little much.
Before you start typing out your rebuttal comment – understand – I comprehend what is going on. I know why these details are important. And I think I get why this stuff happened.
Here is the message I am reading into all of this: The Old Testament simply points out how badly we need Jesus. Every detail and story in the Old Testament is screaming out for Messiah. Without The Savior, humankind is depraved. We are quite evil. And God allowed us to live out that misery so that we could see the reality of that need. We are desperate without Him.
If you think about it, those who are living without Jesus today are living in the same kind of Christ-less funk.
I will keep reading the Old Testament. It is gory and disturbing and sometimes frightening. But it shows how badly we need Jesus. I will be sure to balance out with some hope-filled New Testament.