“Always stay overwhelmed by grace” (Jonathan Douglas)
I tried to read the whole Bible several times, but somehow I always got stuck somewhere in the first five books of the Old Testament. I never really understood why this was relevant information for me right now. Was it just in there to tell the story of the Israelites? Or maybe it was just for the Jews and not for me? But if it wasn’t for me why was it in the Bible that God gave for us now? You probably never had these questions, but I did and so I was actually thrilled that we have Old Testament Introduction as a subject, because I couldn’t believe that the Old Testament was just there. God put it in the Bible for a reason and I couldn’t wait to find that reason and what He was trying to tell me through it.
And last week God gave me a little insight and it just ignited a hunger for more understanding and finding the treasures of everything God put in the Old Testament! In our lectures we started at the beginning, but we won’t be looking at the book separately, but more in certain themes. The theme for last week was ‘covenant’, specifically the Abrahamic-covenant. The promise God gave Abraham to be the father of the chosen people. It was great, I loved the story, but I never knew the dept of the story until last week.
So I’m about to give you a little insight in my lectures. Are you ready?
So to understand what it meant that God made a covenant with Abraham, we need to understand the Hebrew culture. Abraham lived in a culture where covenants are normal, it was the way of making a promise to each other. In making a covenant they basically said to each other: I have your back. If you need anything please come to me and I will help you. You are safe with my family and anything I ask from you I am willing to do myself. And than they would exchange names. So they will carry their own and each others names (like the women carry their husbands name after getting married). So our teacher explained this and than she explained why it’s a big deal that God put Abraham to sleep when the covenant was made. God said: ‘I take all the responsibilities of this covenant, so everything I ask of you I will do Myself. But you will have all the benefits of the covenant, but it’s okay if you don’t uphold your side of the covenant.’ Than she said something that completely blowed my mind: ‘Now remember the story where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son.’ It was than that God said ‘I ask this of you, not so you will actually sacrifice your son, but because I will sacrifice Mine!’
And suddenly I realised that the god of the Old Testament not a God of laws is as I thought, but that He is the same God as the God of the New Testament; a God of Grace! OVERWHELMING GRACE! God is the same, He doesn’t change and that is an amazing assurance for everyday. God is the same, we can trust our lives to Him, because He is full of grace and love!