How should we read and apply the Old Testament? That can at times, be a challenging question.
“However, anything specially set apart for the Lord—whether a person, an animal, or family property—must never be sold or bought back. Anything devoted in this way has been set apart as holy, and it belongs to the Lord. (Leviticus 27:28 NLT)
How does the story of God’s relationship with ancient Israel relate to us today? How can we know what is still in effect and what is now fulfilled of the Old Testament law? Beginning this month we want to get our feet wet in interpreting and applying God’s Word to his people in the Old Testament. What do the passages in the Old Testament relating to stewardship and giving have to say to us as 21st Century Christians?
The first Christians had a saying: “Jesus is Lord.” This was a new way of formulating what the ancient Israelites had said about God: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one Lord” (Dt 6:4 KJV). This was not necessarily a statement about God’s nature (monotheism), it was a statement that there was only one God over all of life.
What parts of our lives need to come under the reign of Jesus? It’s clear that money is something our culture worships. Wealth and its creation are goals implanted into all of us by the culture around us. We all struggle to use money wisely and in ways that would please God. We want to bravely look at the freedom we are invited into by God’s understanding of wealth, possessions and generosity.
As we learn to discern God’s values in both the Old and New Testaments may we be challenged to become the free people God intends us to be.