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Ask A Pastor – Oct. 26, 2016

Ask A Pastor

By Rev. Syd Osenbaugh

The Healing Place (Nashville Assembly of God)

The rains came down and the floods came up, and the house on the sand went SPLAT! That song may spark nostalgia in the hearts of many who attended Sunday school or VBS. Most children I know really enjoyed clapping their hands together to emphasize that “splat” at the end.

The fun of a childhood song notwithstanding, a foundation is essential in building. A solid foundation does more than just hold a house above ground. It keeps out moisture, insulates against the cold, and resists movement of the earth around it. Oh, and one more thing: It should last forever.

The same could, and should, be said about establishing a solid foundation for those choosing to walk in the Christian faith. There are those in the church today who imply that there is no need to look seriously at the Old Testament. After all, we are living today under the new covenant, no longer bound by the laws and restrictions faced by those living before Jesus’ sacrifice purchased their freedom. If we are “New Testament” Christians, why be bogged down by living in the past?

Just as a foundation does more than hold the house up, the Old Testament is much more than just “the way things were.” Through the stories, the tragedies and triumphs outlined in the Old Testament, we can learn of the character of God. His love for the people He created is evident. His longing for mankind to be fully His, devoted to Him and serving Him, can be clearly seen. There are tales of great faith that inspire, as well as warnings of epic failings that give us pause to consider our choices.

The apostle Paul pointed out, in 1 Corinthians 10, the value of heeding the warnings from Israel’s history. He reminded the believers in Corinth of the way that Moses led the people to their promised deliverance from oppression, and yet most of them made choices that were displeasing to God. He said, “these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.”

Jesus Himself – whose life, death, and resurrection brought freedom from the strict regulations of the law – 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.” He went on to elaborate on a number of the Old Testament laws, pointing out how they needed to be observed to an even greater depth. The foundation was there, and it was time to build on that foundation for the richness of life that He desired for each of His children.

As with a good foundation for a solidly built home, the basis for our belief is founded in the words of the Old Testament. Learning from that example will help those who claim the name of Christianity to be securely anchored in the love of the Father, pleasing Him with their lives and their service to Him.