The Acts of God, Repeated

I think it was called Encounter, a 4 inch tall devotional magazine for teens. It has a short passage of Scripture to read everyday and a small devotional thought written by someone in the SBC.

This is how I read the Bible growing up. Today I don’t recommend that people read the Bible this way.

  • It chops up the Bible too much
  • Which makes it hard to see the overall story
  • Which makes it hard to stay away from moralism
  • Which is not good, precious.

Today I would encourage people to read consecutively. Read through books of the Bible. Read through sections of books, read through a Testament. Read Both Testaments together. Just don’t chop it up.

One good reason?

Let me quote from Francis Foulkes:

…we find in the Old Testament the hope and the conviction, not only that the past acts of God will be repeated, but that in the future they will be repeated on a scale greater and more wonderful than that of the past.

Foulkes was lecturing on the nature of God’s Acts in the Old Testament, setting up an argument for the use of typology for interpretation. (those of you that I just lost, just keep reading. It will be fine. I promise it won’t hurt too much.)

Just read his quote again:

Not only that the past acts of God will be repeated.

God has acted similarly in every generation. For example:

  • He rescued Adam and Eve from certain death because God himself provided a sacrifice to cover their sin.
  • He rescued Noah and his family, from certain death by providing both a safe haven and a sacrifice of the wicked people of the earth.
  • He rescued Isaac from certain death because God himself provided a sacrifice fit to take Isaac’s place.
  • He rescued Israel from bondage to Egypt as he himself provided the blood sacrifice through the lives of the Egyptians.
  • He rescued Israel from sure destruction, as God by his anointed king, takes the head of Goliath, the enemy of God’s people.
  • He rescued Hezekiah and Israel as God himself offers a blood sacrifice of the Assyrians and sets his people free.
  • And in Christ Jesus, God rescued his people by himself, providing the perfect sacrifice for the sin of his people, so that they might be set free. While Jesus destroyed both the work of the devil and the wisdom of men.

God’s acts will be repeated. But it is that last half of that quote that is most significant.

in the future they will be repeated on a scale greater and more wonderful than that of the past.

Christ is the fulfillment of the acts of God, so to understand any act in the Old Testament I need to look through the lens of Christ, the gospel and the massive rescue God has secured for us in Christ.

So that means we should not read the Bible chopped up. But read it consecutively. I am sure that is more to that, but at least this we should do.

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