Any reading of the Old Testament will reveal old ways of doing things. The old ways were established for many reasons related to the time and place of God's chosen people's journey of faith. The laws and codes of behavior were clearly given to separate the people from the other people of the land. This separation was important to the ways and purposes of the Lord as He laid out His plan for redemption.
When the New Testament rolls into history, there are many things about the old that were no longer applicable. A new covenant had been established with new purposes and new expectations. We see this clearly in the discussions Jesus shares concerning the law. He steps it all up several notches and we now have a new level of expectation according to the New Covenant.
As I have read through the Old Testament and then applied the truths of the New Testament to the daily journey of faith I have found a unique relationship between the two. We have the joy of living under the New Covenant with a demand for faith and action that is in keeping with the relationship we now experience with the Lord personally. Yet, I see the need for holding on to the old ways of doing things!
The discipline of the daily sacrifice, the details of the offerings and the strict adherence to God's ways clearly is a foundation for consistent faithful living. God the father in His wisdom sets for us all a pattern for following Him from the beginning of His relationship with His people. Throughout the Old Testament we read of event after event and life scenario after life scenario that demands discipline and obedience to the ways of God. Each character in the Old Testament has something to teach us about following the Father and His ways.
When we journey into the New Testament era with the arrival of special revelation and plan of redemption reaching a pinnacle in Jesus, we see clearly a shift toward a New Covenant. Now in this age of Grace we all have the opportunity to follow faithfully the commands of the Lord in the context of New Covenant relations. Obedience now takes on a new dynamic in that the Lord chooses to use His children in the redemptive plan for all mankind. Each of us who call Him Lord have been brought into the New Covenant in a unique way. We have become an intimate part of the family with new responsibilities and new expectations.
Yet, in the midst of all of the new, the Father reminds us of the old ways! He reminds us of the detailed steps of discipline and obedience to the commands of sacrifice in order to help us hold on to the lessons of old ways. In this current church age of swinging to the latest fad or popular model of "doing church," we all must look back at the Old Covenant with respect and eagerness to learn the old ways.
Worship in the tabernacle and later in the temple was a very involved and detailed process. The process was not designed for the sake of process, though. The process was designed to teach discipline and order in obedience. The holiness of the items used in sacrifice and offerings is directly linked to the holiness of the God they were used to worship. Today our offerings and sacrifices must reflect a New Covenant with Old Covenant disciplines. As we walk in obedience to the Father's commands, we need to remember the patience of the priests and commitment to the purity of the sacrifice presented. Today He does not require an animal without blemish, He demands the offering of our purest faith and our deepest obedience. The old ways of following every detail the Lord commands must be rekindled in our hearts as we flesh out this New Covenant relationship with the Father through the Redeemer and His perfect work of the Cross!
In His Grip,