As a young teenager I found reading parts of the Old Testament rather exciting at times, confusing some of the times, and many times the dots just did not seem to connect. Thankfully, as I continued to read, and engage in a local church, it was helpful to get some perspective on certain stories and how the connection between the Old and New Testament narrative really made a difference in my understanding of God’s relationship with me.
Peace has been a measuring stick for success in many of the Old Testament stories. When there was no peace, you could count on something being wrong in characters relationship with God. I hold the same yard stick in my life. If peace is missing in any decision that I make, I know I need to square things up with God or step away from the activity where I find peace missing. I cannot imagine what it will be like in the end times when the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth and people will be looking for God but cannot find Him. The book of Revelation says that they would rather have the mountains and rocks fall on them instead of living life without God’s love.
You will be terrified and will desperately look for peace—but there will be no peace. – Ezekiel 7:25 CEV
The story I am most impressed upon, in keeping a right relationship with God, is where the people of Israel are complaining, once again, and God allows poisonous snakes to come into camp to kill them. I think the story was one of awe and wonder that God had just about had enough of all this complaining. Could He ever run out of patience with me? Then I keep reading the story in Numbers 21.4-9 and it ends with an amazing gift from God once the people repented. A bronze snake is made, put on a pole, lifted up, and every person bitten were healed if they looked at the snake and every person looking at the bronze snake were not bitten. In other words, if you looked at the bronze snake, you did not die. What a story!
Then to see that this was not just a story, but a game plan God had in mind with Jesus, I am still blown away today. Here is God, trying to explain exactly what He means by sending Jesus to the cross, and He has created the perfect illustration from a real life experience in the Old Testament. I could not miss this plan of salvation even if I tried.
And the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert. – John 3:14 CEV
That is how much He wants to save me from my sin, my rebelliousness, my desire to walk away from Him.
Lord, what can I say of Your desire to create peace in my heart by having such a loving relationship with You. Thank You!