Saturday, July 11, 2009

Root Systems

In recent years I've taken great delight in personal excavations in search of the Judeo in my Judeo-Christian root system. I don't know why it's taken me so long to get here, but now that I've begun I dare say it's become one of my most joy-filled expeditions - - an adventure altogether different from the many I've had thus far!
What is particularly interesting (while at the same time disturbing) to me, is how much of our rich heritage is consigned to the rubble heap in favor of grace. The Old Testament has been neatly wrapped and stored in the attic, while the New Testament has become all things to all people.
One might think it a waste of time to have written the Old Testament altogether. Afterall, it means nothing now that Jesus has been here, died & rose again, and is about to make all things new. Right? No sirree! He has certainly done all things well, but let's not short change the value of ALL scripture and God's purposes in handing it over to us.
Don't misunderstand, I'm all over the grace thing. Anyone that's visited here much knows I was (and am) sorely in need of it throughout my life. Apart from Jesus' work in me, I too would be consigned to the rubble heap of life.
No, it's the vital foundation layed in the Old Testament that makes the New Testament such an amazing wonder to me. Yet it blows me away how long I never even considered: ..
  • Jesus was and is a Jew - a Torah observant one at that!
  • THE Remnant (which differs from remnants in general, like those spared in the global flood) is Israel. When I did a word search on this one word alone, I was absolutely blown away! It leaves little room for doubt as to WHO is being highlighted.
  • Daniel's 70th week coincides with the Times of the Gentiles; the church age. That age will end with the final countdown of 7 years (aka Tribulation), when God will restore Israel to it's rightful position (as promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David) and favor.
  • The church is not the new Israel. There is no substance to or room for Replacement Theology in the biblical text.
  • The root system for every one of Jesus' teachings, parables and miracles are
    well-established in the Jewish worldview (ala the O.T. teachings & prophecies), as well as their feasts and holy days.

I never thought I'd live to see the day that I would relish the reading and study of the Old Testament. I mean, who can pronounce D-e-u-t-e-r-o-n-m-y, much less idle away hours reading it? And yet ...
My human ancestry is of great interest to me. I love researching names, and where people came from originally. I delight in perusing old pictures, or reading something scratched by an ancestor some 200 years ago. I enjoy considering how they lived, and what they may have believed or experienced. I can reach clear back to the 800s on one branch (or is it a limb?), and to the 1200s on most others. Every time I discover something new I almost jump out of my chair.
And that's exactly how I feel about the even richer heritage I have in my Judeo-Christian root system. In fact, I have to stand to do most of my research as jumping out of chairs has become all too common, and dangerous.
.. .

P.S. It occurs to me someone may translate this post to meaning we, the body of Christ, ought to be Torah- observant, or Jewish. I do not mean to say that, or even to imply that. It's a sizeable topic all by itself, so I won't get too "wordy" here ... but our Savior is both King and Priest, and a Torah-observant Jew at that. Just know that being a Gentile (like Cornelius) is sufficient; and so is God's grace!


Andrea said...

Very interesting, Kathleen. As I've been reading through the chronological Bible, I have been tempted to feel bogged down at times.

But, you are so right! God has provided so many rich jewels in the OT if we will just take time to search them out.

One element that has really stuck with me is God's hatred of idol worship. This one can hit right between the eyes! He must be first! May God search my heart and make it pure!

Thank you for keen words of precious thought.

I pray your Sunday is blessed, full of God's grace and glory, in Jesus' name. Amen!


Beth E. said...

You have such a wonderful way of putting everything into perspective! You've given me a lot to ponder today, Sassy...

Be careful about jumping out of those chairs! ;-)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I can't stay out of the OT; in fact, I sometimes feel guilty for preferring the reading there. Two of the studies that really helped me grow in my understanding were "the patriarchs" and "a woman's heart: God's dwelling place" (both done by Beth Moore). The Patriarchs was so foundational for my understanding the rest of the Bible. I'm definitely not a NT snob! I love it ALL!


skoots1mom said...

i love knowing and reading the thread that runs from the old into the new testament...a true understanding of our hebraic is a miracle all in itself.
i always make sure i include many hebraic items, references and visuals for my Disciple classes that I facilitate.
It's a critical thing to understand so you can have a fullness of who Christ was and IS to ALL :)
great post!!!

a portland granny said...

This post could have been one of the hundreds of conversations I had with my classmates in college. The topic of so many of our conversations were the rapture, post-trib or pre-trib and
the Church's part with Isreal. Thanks for such an enlightening post which brought back so many memories of a zeal in the early 50's that was mine about the Lord's return.

Over the years it seems like we have heard less and less about His return, but I know my heart has been revived in looking for His return in the past months.

I love your zeal for study! It always blesses my heart when you share these nuggets from your study!

Bless you, dear friend.