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.
We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus’s work not our works. Salvation through His shed Blood makes us partakers of the New Covenant with all of its blessings, benefits, and provisions. We are also under the rule or reign of God’s grace that gives us a new identity and standing before God called “In Christ.” We are not under the Law Covenant that operated by works but we are under the Grace Covenant that operates by faith. An inaccurate picture of the Christian life can presented, though, when we neglect the picture God gave us in the Old Testament. Both Testaments come from the heart of God for us. The equipping of a man of God comes from all Scripture, both Testaments, not just one (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). 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.
The New Testament is not unrelated to the Old Testament. Some Old Testament commands are restated in the New Testament that are still valid and binding upon us as Christians. Compare the commandment “honor your father and mother” from Exodus 20:12 with Ephesians 6:1-3. “Honor your father and mother” is in both Testaments, so it is still applicable to Christians.
There is a unity between the Testaments in the person and work of Christ. Jesus Christ is the central focus and unifying principle of the entire Bible (not just the New Testament). See what Jesus says about the Old Testament and Himself in Luke 24:27 and John 5:39. All the types and shadows pointed to One Man Who is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the end goal, purpose, completion, and conclusion at which the Law aimed at (Romans 10:4). The unifying principle of the whole Bible is Jesus Christ in all of the covenants. This begins with Genesis 3:15 and continues through to Revelation 22:20.
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. The New Testament tells us to walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham but the details of that faith started in the Old Testament. Romans chapter four repeatedly refers back to Old Testament Scriptures.
God has also given us other people’s experiences and testimonies to learn from to help us and encourage us to walk in victory and blessing Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11. The Old Testament was given for learning and warning. 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 “shell shocked” and “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.