1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
An inaccurate picture of the Christian life can presented when we neglect the picture God gave us in the Old Testament. Both Testaments come from the heart of God for us. There are some misinformed preachers who leave the impression that there’s nothing to learn from the Old Testament but that is error. Some have even suggested to their congregation that we should disconnect our faith from the Old Testament. I always wonder what part of God’s moral law are they trying to get around or are violating when they say that. God has given us other people’s experiences and testimonies to learn from to help us and encourage us to walk in blessing Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11. The Old Testament was given for learning and warning.
Think of this, the Old Testament was the Bible of Jesus and the Apostles and it is the foundation upon which the New Testament is built. There’s things in the New Testament that we claim, like the blessing of Abraham (Gal. 3:13, 14, 29), that have their origin in the Old Testament. Reading the Old Testament gives a context to understanding what’s going on in our lives especially when it comes to walking in our destiny, possessing the promises of God, and the conflicts that go with the territory of being a Christian. For instance:
Do you realize the PROMISED LAND (Canaan’s Land), the land God promised to bless Abraham and his descendants in (Genesis 12; Genesis 17), called the land that flowed with milk and honey was also the LAND OF CONFLICT? God promised to bring them out of Egypt to bring them into this land (Deuteronomy 6:23). When this covenant promise was passed on to Moses God declared in Exodus 3:7-8, “7 And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.” All of those people named with “ites” at the end of their names were enemies the people of God would have to face and conquer. That meant there were enemies and a conflict they’d have to engage in, not run from, fret about, or get beat up by, in order to possess their land (blessing/destiny).
When you get to the Book of Numbers, the theme of the book could be called preparation for service in route to the Promised Land. As Moses had proclaimed in Exodus 15:3, “The Lord is a man of war (or the Lord is a Warrior) after crossing the Red Sea, in Numbers the Lord can be seen preparing them for battle. He numbers them, teaches them how to camp and march, feeds them with warrior rations (manna), disciplines them to obey His delegated authorities, and leads them in battle. Though He redeemed them from Egypt they were brought OUT to then be brought IN to the Promised Land, their destiny. He did not save them to a life of ease, permissiveness, and independence; rather, He saved them for training, service, warfare, and conquest. A key phrase (used 14 times) “All that were ready to go forth to war.” If you think the goal of the Christian life is comfort, you probably won’t like to hear this, and are probably getting beat up on by the enemy. In this preparation (Numbers 1-20) which constituted their boot camp experience, the Lord showed them that no enemy could stand against them if they trusted His power and obeyed His Word.
Some Christians are mesmerized by the conflict they face in their daily lives and often wonder if they are out of God’s will in some way. The conflict you are experiencing could be that you’ve crossed over into your Promised Land, the land of your destiny, and the place of fruitfulness God has planned. We need the Old Testament testimony to give us hope in our present battles. Let’s read the whole Bible and fight the good fight of faith.