06 December, 2009

Red Letter Old Testament

If they made a red-letter version of the Old Testament, the book would glow in the dark. God speaks constantly throughout the entire Old Testament, and in a variety of moods. That's been very special to me.

Each month some new aspect of Yahweh unwraps itself before my eyes. Really seeing that Yahweh is Jesus, that He kept every promise He ever made, that His attention was wholly and fixedly and powerfully on His people, that He bled with them long before He ever came to Earth. It's been an amazing journey.

This month's amazement is how very much Jesus revealed of Himself by His words before He ever revealed Himself in flesh.

Frankly, the gospel authors were stingy compared to their Old Testament examples. Mark actually went to the bother of reporting that Jesus was preaching the Word of God, without recording a tittle of what He might have said. Can you imagine having the chance to hear Jesus directly expounding His very own Words?! Mark gives Jesus' sermon a half sentence.

God pours out His heart in every book. He dies a little every time He tells Moses what (H)his people are going to do after they enter Canaan. He soars with love when He describes how He attends their every move. He describes just how each detail of their fellowship should be prepared. He sounds just like a bride's careful mother as she dispassionately enumerates every decoration of her daughter's wedding chapel and reception hall. His meticulous intensity over the dullest detail is fueled by fiery passion, not myopia. He wants everything to be perfect beause of His ardor.

Jesus frankly gave us a lot more words before His birth than after. And in that ocean of words, His character is revealed. The New Testament cannot replace the Old's unveiling of Yahweh's passions. The thought occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, if all His words were red, people could warm up to them just a little bit more.

I'm just a few more months away from Matthew, and I expect to be astounded again. Hebrews tells us Jesus is God's best and final Word to the world. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing Jesus in a wholly new light now that I've heard Him cry His heart out for 1,000 pages.


Milly said...

I love the Old Testament. It seems that many of us spend more time in the new. In the children’s classes the move rather quickly out of the old. I’m learning to slow down and enjoy our beginnings from my Jewish friend Michael.

Shalom Aleichem,


Kansas Bob said...

I love the stories of the old testament.. any more I generally skip over all the legalisms and focus more of what God is speaking through the big picture images in the OT.. of course some of the images are not as positive as I once thought them to be.

A friend recently pointed out to me how Joseph's counsel put the nation of Egypt in bondage to Pharoah.. hadn't thought of that.. I guess sometimes the way that His servants interpreted His word might have been a bit askew.

I do agree that there were smatterings of Christ's words in the OT but I think that the Israelites missed it big time when they focused on keeping a law that could not be kept and neglected their call to display the love of God to the world. Reminds me of our country.. maybe a bit more Judeo than Christian?

Hope your day is a great one Kevin!

Kevin Knox said...

Thanks, both of you.

I've tried, as I've enjoyed this period, to read just what's there, I got a little NT Wright under my belt, and felt a hunger to know what the Lord gave us so I just went back to see what it was.

It left me with a very different impression from what I expected. As I read the stuff between the stories and listened to all the boring details and put the prophets with their kings and began to see the little pictures, I was shocked. I kept the Old Testament in a really comfortable box, but the more I read of it the less it fit.

I'm a happier man with an uncomfortable Old Testament.

May you both have blessed evenings.

Darrell Birkey said...

They do make a Red Letter Old Testament!