I think of scripture as a road map. If I don’t look at it for direction, more than likely I’m going to get lost. But if I do, I’ll get closer to where I need to be, which is connected with God.
I’ve been observing the interactions humans have with God through each chapter I’ve been reading in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is filled with many stories of them. It’s a real treasure chest for someone like me seeking for more answers. So far I’ve only gotten up to 2 Samuel 12, but this is what I’ve learned up to this point about connecting with God.
Man obeys God, God blesses man
Time after time, man obeyed God, God blessed man. David was very committed to obeying God through generally going to Him for direction and guidance in life. God gave him direction, he obeyed, and good things happened. David got victories in battle, avoided harm, and got to be king eventually. Contrast that with Saul, who did not obey at a critical moment in his life. He lost his kingship and God turned against Him. I think about the battles that Joshua fought, and the one battle I can recall being lost under his leadership, it was because the Israelites didn’t obey something God instructed of them. Lots of other examples, but basically God shows throughout the Old Testament He wants to do good for His people. But if they don’t obey, He won’t do it. To be clear, I’m not suggesting one has to be perfect. David sinned in 2 Samuel 11 and he would be punished for it in 2 Samuel 12. But he continued to strive to live in obedience to God after he expressed sorrow for his sin, and that’s perhaps something we can all do
God can respond to man’s cries
This seems most evident when you read through Judges, but there are other examples you can find throughout the Old Testament. But in Judges, the Israelites screwed up a lot. God would give them some good land and some peace in their life, then they would turn around and worship other gods. God punished them with being ruled over and they would suffer for years. But then they would cry out to God for help, and He would respond to them. You jump to the Gospels, Jesus often responded to the cries of people seeking healing from Him. How often do you cry out to God? I’ve made it a habit now to have personal talks with God daily. I express how much I might be feeling certain things and that I seek for His help. I can tell you if nothing else, it’s given me some peace in life.
God is unorthodox
The sequence of events in the Old Testament really seems to be a reflection of that famous verse many Christians cite in Proverbs 3. “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Gideon had to trust he could win a battle with only 300 men. Joshua had to trust they could conquer Jericho simply by walking around the city and blowing trumpets. God rarely seems to do things typically if at all. So maybe we should be open to doing different things to find whatever ways God will make straight paths for us in life. Being open to whatever God wills. As James 4:15 states, “Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
I think I’ll probably keep up with you all about what I’m seeing through my Old Testament readings. I look forward to getting a fuller picture by the time I’ve read all of it. I hope this encourages you to read all of it as well.
Peace to all those who are in Christ.