Do We Need the Old Testament?
Today’s reading: Psalm 105-106; Romans 15:1-20
1 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 2 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! 3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Psalm 105:1-3
4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 16:3
The Old Testament plays a key role in the life of believers in Jesus Christ giving them instruction leading to endurance, encouragement, and hope.
Paul makes his case to the Christians in Rome that the Scriptures that they had from the former days had a crucial place in their lives. It is hard to find a stronger passage in the New Testament urging the careful and continual study of the Old. After all, the Old Testament was the Bible that Jesus knew and frequently quoted. He relied on it when confronted by Satan and while dying on the cross (Matthew 4:1-11; 27:46; Psalm 22:1; Luke 23:46; Psalm 31:5). It was the Bible from which He taught the disciples about Himself (Luke 24:27).
Psalm 105 gives us a good example of why we need the Scriptures written in former days, if we are to fulfill our calling to glorify God (Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 10:31; Revelation 4:11). It includes both a call to praise (vs. 1-6) and content for praise (vs. 7-45). Like several other psalms, this one focuses on praising God for who He is and what He has done in history for the people of Israel. It is easy to see God’s wisdom, faithfulness, power, and glory. Well, at least, it’s easy to see when you read this psalm. My experience personally and by observation of others is that it’s not easy to think of words with which to praise God. It is easier to look at the problems of our lives and our world than to spend more than a few minutes giving praise to God. We need the Old Testament, in general, and the Psalms, in particular, to instruct us and encourage us to praise the Lord.
Make it priority to know the Old Testament as well as the New. It will instruct you, sustain you, encourage you, and give you hope to finish the race.