The New Testament letter known as the book of Hebrews begins in dramatic fashion:
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke. That to me is interesting! God spoke to whom? How did he speak? What did he say!?!? The writer to the Hebrews tells us that he spoke to our fathers by the prophets. Did you know that we are able to see who these fathers were and what these prophets said to them? In the stories of women and men gone before us and their interaction with God we actually see a great story unfolding. The characters are fascinating, the circumstances profound, and the main actor revealed fully to us for our love and worship. The main actor of the Old Testament is God himself and by the Old Testament we know the Lord more fully in all the diverse wonders of his character. We see his mercy upon his enslaved people in the book of Exodus. In the same book we see his justice poured out upon the Egyptian oppressor. In the Psalms we see his beauty and holiness, in the Proverbs we find wisdom personified and displayed through the words of God. In the long story of Israel, the people of God, we see God’s faithfulness, his discipline of sin, and the redemption of his own. In the prophets we see God’s fierce wrath against spiritual idolatry and his weeping heart for those that turn from him to lesser things and ruin their lives. If you were to list the many biblical attributes of God (love, justice, holiness, unchangeableness, righteousness, truth, goodness, sovereignty, etc) we would be amazed at how much about God is revealed to us through the Old Testament. As we read, study, and contemplate the drama of the Old Testament we come to know God more in our own lives and learn how to walk in a way that is pleasing to him. The entirety of Scripture reveals to us both who God is and what he desires for the world. Neglect of the Old Testament will warp our vision of God and allows us to substitute the truth about God for our own ideas about who God “should be” in our own minds. In doing so we replace the living God with the idols of our imagination; the Old Testament revelation of God’s character keeps us from such sin. Finally, we see the importance of the Old Testament in revealing to us Jesus Christ. What?! Jesus revealed in the Old Testament? Oh yes, High Def Jesus at that. Let me explain.
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