The Greatest Story Never Told
– The Old Testament –
The Old Testament is not ancient history stagnant on a page. It is not spiritual advice. It’s not a series of morals or fables. It is not about what goes on inside us. It is about what went on outside of us. It is the record of redemption. It is the unfolding of everything we know. It is what God has promised, has done, is doing and will bring to pass. It is the chronicle of God’s love on a rampage through human history overcoming everything in its path taking down sinners with grace and bringing about a serpent-crushing event in the cross of Christ. We are in that. That is the story of the OT.
For most of us, the Old Testament stories are approached as isolated events with no connection to each other. Without the redemptive plotline the events of the OT are reduced to parables for better living, or moral platitudes, or character studies, or whatever else we can come up with. In the absence of a greater plot, this is all we have. Over the years popular Christianity has practically rewritten the OT. Our version of various events reads more like good advice than truth. The lessons we typically draw out of the biblical stories are secondary observations at best. This is because it’s all we know to do with them.
There is something so much greater underway in these sacred pages. They are intended to be marveled at by God’s people. We stand and point at what God has done. They are each a link in a chain of redemptive history that moves from Genesis to Revelation. They’re not isolated at all. They’re amazing demonstrations of the divine continuity of God’s power. They are each the commitment of a Holy God to keep His promises and honor His holy name among men. Our response to the individual incidents should be “Look how God used this to get us to Jesus.”