The Old Testament is rich with brilliant jewels tucked into the fabric of scenes and stories that can be hard to understand. With a little un-earthing, we can uncover stunning gems, tuck them into our modern-day pockets, and pull them out to watch the sun catch every facet even as we walk through the intensity of dark suffering.
As an aside, when you read Old Testament Scriptures, look for the gospel. How did that passage point forward to Jesus and His redemption? Today, some friends and I read Numbers 5 with eyes and ears watching for the good news of Jesus. Guess what?! We found it! Once we started prayerfully looking, Jesus shone everywhere in a chapter that most Christians have never even read. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Keep reading your Bible!
Back to Psalm 46, remember the earthquakes and tsunamis from verses 2-3?
Violent. Unexpected. Destructive.
The author calls us to Selah, and to put on glasses that fix our gaze on the truth about God and place ourselves intentionally within the safety of His Stronghold, regardless of the surrounding madness.
Then, everything changes from hurricane winds and oceanic tornadoes to an incredible scene of peace, beauty, and delight. Switching modes from terror to delight is a bit hard for us to comprehend, but the True Author of Scripture, the Lord God, knew what He was describing through the Sons of Korah as they wrote this psalm. These words were only a hint of the lush beauty to come for God’s people.
While the change of scenery invokes a sense of peacefulness, hope, and worship, it was meant as so much more.
Go open your Bible to Ezekiel 47:1-12. I’m 100% serious, here. Read #HisWordsBeforeOurs. The entire reason I’m even writing these words is so I can point to His! If you don’t read His, don’t read mine!
Did you let your mind paint that stunning picture as you read God’s Words by His Spirit to Ezekiel?! That description of the deepening waters, where it becomes so deep it’s impassable, is what it’s like to be lost in the wonder and richness of knowing God. How do we know Him? We walk in the River of Life which brings sheer delight.
The “City of God” would have been understood to be Jerusalem to the first audience, but now, we know salvation is for all people, Jew and Gentile. (Romans 1:16) Look, we found colors of the gospel! The River isn’t God’s people, but it flows underneath them, filling them, bringing them delight even in the face of chaos and turmoil.
What’s more about this “City of God” is that it isn’t just the place for His people to live, it’s the place where God Himself dwells with them. In the Old Testament, God’s Spirit was confined to a small curtained off room in the middle of a wide camp of thousands of Israelites. The people were too sinful to approach Him. But Jesus came and paid the death penalty we owe for our sin, God tore that temple curtain in two, and welcomed His people to know Him personally. Then He sent His Spirit to dwell inside believers so we could know Him and the power of His resurrection alive in us! One day, He will call His children HOME where, finally, He will dwell with His people face to face.
Before you close your Bible today, open the last book and read it for yourself. Take note of the River, of the life of its waters, and the dwelling place of God and His people.
Nothing on your to-do list can beat out the beauty you’ll find!
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