Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)
Learning About Our Father In The Old Testament
The Bible is the most wonderful book man has been given. No testimony is as clear and demonstrative to the nature of man and his needs than the revealed word of God. Contained within its pages is the mind of God. The message of Genesis to Revelation is singular: Jesus Christ. Through the Son of God, man learns how frail he is and his continual need for his Creator. Every page unfolds the character of the heavenly Father saving man from himself. Since the fall in the Garden of Eden, man has needed a revelation to guide him and instruct him. God has left His thumbprint upon the world by His creative power and the Almighty declared His image on the pages of holy writ showing man who He is. The Old Testament is a clear demonstration of the nature of the heavenly Father that every Christian should take care to examine.
When the children of Israel approached the land of Canaan, Moses reiterated the Law and the promises made by God when the people left Egypt. Joshua would lead the nation across the Jordan into a land flowing with milk and honey. Salvation for the Jews would not come only by the grace and mercy of the Father; it would require a decision on their part to love God and obey His commands. Everything would hinge upon their decision to obey the Lord or not. The blessing of God would be an abundance of rain, bountiful crops, prosperous pastures and satisfied needs if they would obey the voice of the Father. If they rebelled against God, He would withhold the rain, raze the crops and bring death to the nation. It was a simple but complex choice. Being a child of God did not secure their blessings. They needed to understand the grace of God was abundant but their salvation would come from their obedience.
It is proper to look at the heavenly Father in the same way the Jews were instructed in the Old Testament. While the blessings of God have changed in a literal sense of the nation of Israel, the same grace, mercy and love is extended to the child of God. There are promises of goodness and penalties for disobedience. Obeying the commandments of the Lord, loving Him and serving with all the heart and soul is just as important today as it was in the long ago. Receiving the blessings and being warned of the curses remain the same. The promised land has been provided. Only by God’s grace are we allowed to enter the eternal land of promise. Obedience is necessary for salvation taking heed lest our hearts are deceived. The Lord will bless us with every spiritual blessing in His Son if we love Him with all our heart. His blessings are innumerable. There is joy in serving the God of promise.
The Old Testament is vital to understand the character of God. He remains unchanged in His desire for man to give Him glory. To know how much the Father loves us in the New Testament, we must spend time in the Old Testament getting to know Him. From Genesis to Malachi, the love of God is manifested in clarion tones of heavenly majesty. He can show His goodness with an unending flow of blessing. The Lord God can also be a God of wrath bringing destruction on all those who disobey Him. Spend time in the Old Testament learning about the Father. He is such a great and powerful Father. You will find comfort in the Old Testament stories of the Father’s will finding its way into the lives of His people. It is then you will realize His working in your life. Thank you Father.
God is our Rewarder but, better than that, He is our Reward. (Vance Havner; 1901-1986)