I’m creeping towards the tail end of Deuteronomy in my reading plan and it’s so funny how relevant it is not only to the times we’re living in, but also to understanding much of The New Testament.
Like many of you, I too have been tempted to buy into the “panic prophecies” that I’ve seen online, in light of CV19. I still battle with old ways of thinking and reading The Bible wrong, that they’re only a, “read it like you used to Ayanna” away before I lose sight of all the progress I’ve made.
But let me tell you!
The greatest balm, the best offense, the most intentional defense against anything or anyone using The Old Testament wrong, is to know it yourself.
You become familiar with the audience. You begin to set up margins and boundaries for your mind not to cross when reading about someone else. You fight the urge to look for you first, and put your pursuit of God first. You begin to mentally take note of who is speaking and who they are speaking to. You become your own editor, revising any of your conclusions that draw you as the centerpiece of the passage, where you weren’t.
Raymond Brown says a few key things in regards to Deuteronomy:
• The early Church was equally persuaded about the centrality of its teaching
• Jesus made use of it both privately and publicly
• It’s among 4 main OT books (Gen., Deut., Ps., & Isa.) most frequently referred to by NT writers
• Its quotations are found in 17 of the NT’s books + over 80 references of it are found within NT literature.
I am reminded everyday that to get in on what God is doing (and has done), we must get in on what He has already said in all of His Word. There is grace for us here. And much understanding.