The news of today never ceases. School shootings. Fires. Drought. Job troubles. Spreading illnesses. Trouble in the housing market.
And along with all the “news” of doom and gloom (spoken both by modern TV reporters and by ancient prophets), there comes a glimmer in the darkened lining of our day . . . the Lord has known it all. He has created a way for our escape.
Where and how is the good news to be found? In the scriptures. It is one of the reasons I love the Old Testament. I love it for its authentic voice. I love it for the reasonings of the ancient prophets. I love it for the peace I feel when I read in its pages.
The Old Testament is more than just funky stories of ginormous floods and talking donkeys. It is a sober account of the Lord’s dealings with His children whom He loves greatly.
Just the other day a good friend of mine said, “If I were the Lord, I would have destroyed the Israelites after just one century!” She was referring to the amount of hateful wickedness acted out by so many of God’s children early on in the world’s history.
Her comment stopped me short. And I pondered on how merciful the Lord has been throughout mankind’s sojourn on this earth. The Lord loves us, even if we refuse to see His hand or His kindnesses toward us.
It is precisely BECAUSE the Lord didn’t destroy the seemingly imbecilic Israelites that I can take hope for me. Since He was willing to wait and wait and wait for them to turn to Him, I take hope that on my less than stellar days He too will be patient with me. If the Lord saw reason to be patient even with his reluctant prophet Balaam, then surely He has the means to be patient with me when I too am short-sighted or hasty in apprising a situation.
Yes, indeed, I’m most grateful for the Old Testament. Its richness and depth amaze me; its priceless accounts instruct me as to the Lord’s goodness and patience with us, His recalcitrant children. If He could be patient with the children of Israel, He certainly can be patient with me. And that is a very good thing indeed.
So yes, even as the TV reporters blare on about yet another tragedy in the history of the world, I am comforted knowing that the Lord knows all of what is occurring. So much so that He instructed His ancient prophets to teach us today exactly what to do to be saved in the midst of it all.
Truly the Old Testament is a valued testament for me.