Jesus made it clear throughout his ministry that what God had done in the past, the old covenant, has no compatibility with what God was launching, the new covenant.
So what do we, New Testament followers of Jesus, do with what came before? What do we do with the Old Testament, the stories, prophecies, and more specifically the law that God gave to Moses?
1. Mark Twain said, “It isn’t the parts of the Bible that I don’t understand that bother me. It’s the parts that I do understand that bother me.” What things in the Bible most bother you?
2. Shortly after being delivered from slavery in Egypt, God’s people began fixating on small problems, and rather than responding to God and Moses with gratitude and thankfulness, they became ungrateful and cynical. Have you ever been guilty of fixating on minor things that are wrong and neglecting to be thankful for your blessings? How did that impact you?
3. When God gave the laws, rules, and covenant to ancient Israel He is talking to Israel. He is not talking to you. How does that compare to how most people understand and have applied the Old Testament?
4. The Old Testament law God gave to Israel is still far from God’s own ideal. Paul Copan said that God acted this way because ancient Israel lived in an incredibly broken world, with faulty assumptions and institutions. So God worked within that framework and adapted His ideals to move them forward. Do you find that explanation satisfying for some of your qualms with the Old Testament law? Why or why not?
5. The Old Testament wasn’t something bad that needed to be abolished, but a system that had accomplished its purpose. What was that purpose?
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