PODCAST
Reflections on Life & Liberty
In the Beginning
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As a young news reporter, I always felt the urgency of “telling the story.” Inevitably, that meant getting to the end. In my interviews, I pushed people to just get to the good parts. While this seemed efficient, it prevented me from giving my readers critical context.

At the prodding of one of my first editors, I got in the habit of telling interview subjects to “just start at the beginning” of their story. On the downside, it meant hearing about why the witness to a robbery preferred one grocery store over another, which led her to be at that traffic light. On the upside, I found details to stories that brought them alive.

Context matters.

This is why it always gnaws at me when Christians tell me that they don’t read the Old Testament.

While our salvation is secured through belief in the risen Jesus, an even deeper joy of His work is made known through every jot and tittle of Scripture. We see Jesus Himself with Joshua on the plains of Jericho and again with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace.

The explicit description of our moral state—and the real need for a savior that it demands—comes to us much earlier. Genesis puts us at the beginning. It provides the critical context for what we were created to be, how we have fallen, and where, through Christ, we can return.

“But I don’t care about wading through all that law stuff,” I have been told more than once.

Yet Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

Whatever applicability one believes the specific dictates of Leviticus might hold, appreciating what Jesus said He was doing should at least inspire our curiosity and contemplation. While our justification before God is no longer based on our adherence to those laws (Jesus did it for us), they do provide a model of living from our Creator.

Rather than being “just for the Jews,” we find in the Old Testament that God often achieved His purposes through Gentiles. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and David is the God of Jethro, Rahab, and Ruth.

In the great story of salvation authored by the Creator of the universe, we understandably want to rush to the “hallelujah” chorus. But let’s not deny ourselves the joy of the context in which He orchestrated history to bring us to Him.

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