When my dad was alive we spoke frequently about the Old Testament; it was our favorite ongoing discussion. Those are some of my favorite memories with him! Given, there are lengthy stretches of Scripture in the Old Testament that make me want to pull my hair out (“so and so begat so and so who begat…and on and on), but it is full of such riches that are absolutely integral for our correct understanding of the New Testament and it’s application to our lives.
This morning I was reading God’s instructions for the Israelites in the book of Deuteronomy as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, and I was thinking about how all the rules might have overloaded my mind if I had been one of them: “Don’t do this, yeah don’t do that, either. Remember this. Ummm, hey you guys over there, we’re not doing that. Do this. Because God said to.” And on and on it went, kind of like the “begat” verses. Some of the laws are so detailed I wonder if they ever just wanted to scream “Enough already!!!” I think I would have.
And then I came upon a simple verse that I’ve read numerous times, but it stood out to me today:
“The right! The right! Pursue only what’s right! It’s the only way you can really live and possess the land that God, your God, is giving to you.” Exodus 16:20 (MSG)
I love verses that are easily understood. This Scripture can’t really be misconstrued nor twisted to seem to mean something else. It is what it is. In the original text, the word “pursue” means to run after, chase, hunt, etc.
Run after what is right. Chase justice. Hunt it down. Then you can truly live.
God’s laws in the Old Testament were not just a bunch of meaningless rules for the Hebrews. They were first for His glory and secondly for their own good. Thank God we don’t live under the law anymore, but much of the Old Testament still applies to us today and as I mentioned earlier, our understanding of the Old Testament has much to do with our correct interpretation of the New Testament.
Jesus is our perfect example. He is our righteousness. He is Faithful and True. He is just.
Day in and day out, let us pursue righteousness. Above all else, for God’s glory. How sweet it is to understand the truth and the extent of this Biblical principle.
For only when we bring Him glory do we actually live.