The big picture
Finally, we’re about to enter the Promised Land! I’m so excited to emerge from that disorienting trip around the wilderness. All the laws and lessons have prepared the people for battle, and they’ve got God on their side. They’ve also got Joshua, the courageous and capable warrior to whom Moses passed his staff. As Joshua ushers the Israelites through another miraculous parting of the waters, I imagine they must have been in awe.
They had only heard stories before about the parting of the Red Sea, but seeing something like that up close and personal had to be quite remarkable. The people probably felt invincible as they marched across the Jordan River into the land of Canaan to claim all that God had promised them.
Living in the modern world, we have an opportunity to view these scenes from overhead. I close my eyes and envision the priests with the Ark of the Covenant, standing in the gap for the tribes as they cross over. I look behind them at all the sacrifices that cleansed them of their sinful practices. Then, I look ahead to the ultimate Sacrifice that now stands in the gap for us all. The big picture has become increasingly clear.
Now that I have delved deep into the burnt offerings, animal sacrifices, and all of God’s very specific commandments, I have a much better understanding of Jesus' sacrifice and His fulfillment of the Law. God was adamant about offerings not having any speck. They had to be flawless whether grain or animal.
So, it makes perfect sense to me that Jesus HAD to be without sin in order to fulfill His role. Any theories to the contrary must be false, and only serve to fulfill those Scriptures that predict the anti-Christian sentiment that now prevails.
I also have a better understanding of who God is. For some reason, most sermons major on the New Testament, almost to the exclusion of the Old. I believe this paints an incomplete picture of our God. And, without a complete picture of Him, we become severely disadvantaged as believers.
We lose the fear of God that comes by reading the books of Moses. We lose the history that comes with studying the books that follow. We lose the wisdom that comes from digesting the Psalms and Proverbs. And, we lose the vision that inhabits the books of the prophets.
The Old Testament teaches us that it’s not just okay to fear God, but it’s required. It teaches us just how much God despises sin...which is a LOT! It teaches us that God is not to be taken lightly, even under the covering of a loving and forgiving Christ. It teaches us that God is an intelligent, all-knowing, all-powerful Creator whose love is enormous, if we just give ourselves a chance to get to know Him better.
*Join my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
(In case you were wondering, this blog is a labor of love for me.❤️ The links contained in my posts are NOT affiliate links. I include them in order to share with you the actual pages and apps I use during the course of my own personal journey. Money muddies the waters, and I like my water clear. Amen? 😉)