A daily devotional by Dr. K. Neill Foster
for October 11, 2018
|Big Help from the Old Testament|
Text: "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.
This nugget from Paul is a precious discovery. What it does is frame the believer's treatment of and attention to the Old Testament. Sometimes new believers are assured that we are not under law but under grace. That wonderful and true statement often becomes the framework in which the writings of the Old Testament are understood. This text, however, expands our understanding of the usefulness of the Old Testament.
"Endurance" is Paul's word. It suggests that thorough knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures will encourage New Testament Christians along the way. For example, Job's long journey through pain to final victory helps those in the present era (of which there are many) who endure hardship in the Christian life.
"Encouragement" is Paul's second word regarding the Old Testament. Once one knows that the warrior king David encouraged himself in the Lord, it becomes easier for the present-day Christian soldier to prevail in his or her battles.
These are powerful reasons for thorough knowledge of the Old Testament text. We are weak when we are uninformed, and we become progressively stronger in our Christian life as our knowledge and insight of the Old Testament increases.