Our Fathers Faith, Review
We are developing the thread of Redemption in this survey. There are other approaches that could be done but I think that the wonderful theme of redemption will give us a fresh look at the Old Testament.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4, NIV
Study of the Old Testament scriptures are greatly beneficial to the disciple of Christ. There are three words that pertain to our relationship to the Old Testament particularly. Teaching, Endurance, and Encouragement.
Teaching. It is God's design for the disciple that he learn - not from his own experience from life but to learn from the instruction of the scriptures. Our problem is that, if left to our own "devices" we will draw the wrong lessons from life - witness the myriad of philosophies that have been developed from great men down through the centuries.
Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.  "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:7-9, NIV
The whole purpose of listening to the LORD through His Word is that the believer deal with his bent for sin in his life. Beyond that but certainly not exclusively from that is that the disciple learn how to think like the LORD. Paul reflected that concept in 2 Cor. 10:4-6.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. NIV.
Endurance, ... Encouragement. If God's Word does not impact our daily living It truly is not a reality in our lives. Throughout the Pauline Epistles, and of course the other writers of scriptures, the whole emphasis is application of God's Word to our daily life. "Endurance" here implies the call of the LORD to stay under both our circumstances and the authority of God's Word over our lives. "Encouragement" has a wonderful picture of His Word calling to us so that we might sit down beside It - Actually Christ's thoughts and learn, much as the original disciples did during Christ's ministry on earth. What a wonderful thought!
Finally, if we can derive an important thought from our passage in 2 Corinthians - it is this: if we do not allow the call of the scriptures to woo us - we will replace God's thoughts with ours - there will not be a vacuum - only the emptiness of our "vain" thoughts which, of course are powerless to help us in our spiritual growth and in our intimacy with Christ. Let's take a look at where we have been so far. I would like to just cover the general theme to each book as it relates to God's plan of Redemption and point out some key verses from each book.
Key verses are as follows:
Genesis 1:1, KJV
Genesis 3:15, KJV
Genesis 15:6, NIV
Genesis 50:20, NIV
The theme of Genesis is, of course, the beginning of things - particularly I wish to focus on the beginning of God revealing His redemptive plan.
Exodus 3:8-10k KJV
Leviticus 19:2, NIV (particularly the whole chapter is devoted to God's
people being holy and set apart).
For further explanation of the Levites who are a type of today's disciple we must refer to other books:
The theme of Leviticus may be found by reading Romans 12:1, 2.
Theme: The first and second numbering of the men and their families of Israel point to first, the responsibility of God's people and, in the case of the first numbering the consequences of failure to obey God. Secondly, the second numbering of God's people points to the faithfulness of God to His people and the rewards of obeying Him.
Compare Numbers 1:2-16 with Ephes 6:10 - 13. The idea of personal responsibility is balanced with the fact that the Lord is the God of the second chance but eventually will punish disobedience.
The theme of Deuteronomy is more than the second giving of the law. It is an account of God's faithfulness in fulfilling His promises to His people and has a dual theme - first, the fact that He has set His people apart as a holy people and second, that He expects his people to love and obey Him in return.
So then, we see that the LORD is not going to give up on His people. He lovingly provided in eternity past for every contingency in face of the failure of His people but not willing to force redemption on every man, waits patiently for everyone to respond to His Love. Upon response, He will save man and bless him - indeed, shower him with every blessing unimaginable. Redemption is more than escaping the fires of hell. It is the restoration of man in fellowship with the Lord and the infusion of God's grace in man's life.
Please press your Back button to return to you previous text.
1. Endurance = hupomone, cognate of hupomeno = to remain under - the concept of patience, of staying behind as a soldier in a military exercise on patrol would stay behind to cover for the safety of others in his patrol. The temptation during difficult times would be to flee and certainly desert God's Word in favor of our own answers to the difficulty. Encouragement = paraklesis, cognate of the verb, parakleo. The noun points to the call of the scriptures to aid the disciple in his difficulty - in his quest to learn of God's thoughts - and particularly to lean of His redemption so that he can present to others the call to repentance.
2. Read Numbers 14:21 - 23.