Day Four: Back to the Future

Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)
Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

“This inner redemption triangle of the Old Testament — of God, Israel, and the land — becomes a model, or paradigm, of God’s wider intention for the rest of the nations in all the earth (the outer creation triangle). Israel was meant to be ‘a light to the nations’…

“What took place within that inner triangle of God, Israel, and the land — including the gift of the law of Moses — can be drawn out, as it were, and considered in relation to our own context. That’s where we will find it ‘useful,’ as Paul said…

“We are not trying to enforce it literalistically — that is to say, thinking that we can ask people to do exactly what it says in the text, just as it stands. None of us now lives in ancient Israel… We live on the ‘bottom line’ of the outer triangle — living in one of the nations on God’s earth. What we need to do is to look for what God taught and required within that inner triangle (Old Testament Israel), and then ask how that still addresses and challenges the context in which we live in the outer triangle — wherever that may be. Old Testament law, by telling us what God required of that society at that time, can still challenge the church…” [Wright, Christopher J. H.. How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth]

Spend time thinking how “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor” and other commands in Exodus apply to your context today. Let’s worship to “Gracefully Broken” by Matt Redman.

– ES

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