Purpose in the Old Testament

There is a passage in the New Testament that gives a perspective on all that has occurred in the pages of scripture.

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 – NIV 2011)

Everything that was written is there for three purposes.

The first is to teach us.  They are there to show us what God wants from us and how to live to please him.  Those old scriptures teach us the need for a savior and how God planned for one before he provided him. 

Second, the Bible encourages us to endure in our faith.  We can read of people’s lives like Job, Moses, Abraham, and Elijah and see how they held onto their faith through many difficult circumstances.  Hebrews chapter eleven focuses on these extraordinary lives of faith who endured because they believed God was guiding them.

Third, we can look at their lives and all they endured to find hope.  The pages of the Old Testament are filled with stories written to provide us with hope ultimately.  They are not dark stories of defeat and wrath, but rather the experiences of people who held onto their faith in the dark lights of the world. 

I find this last one incredibly important to us today.  Every day it seems like evil is winning, and the darkness is overcoming the light.  Many days it feels like I am living in the time of Elijah, and I cry out to God that I feel like the only one who follows him.

On those days when it feels like you are alone and don’t know if you can complete this journey with God, we have stories to encourage us.  Turn to the pages of the Old Testament and read about someone who lived a life for God and made it to the end.  There is hope, even when things seem hopeless.

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