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WAY TO LIVE_DOT I (GOD) // CHAPTER 6
The reason why the Old Testament is important for Gentiles is because it shows us a picture of God with a plan, a purpose for people that he chooses. It shows us the nature and the character of the God who chose Abraham and his family. It shows us God’s perspectives, attitudes and actions toward people who he makes promises to. God didn’t expect Abraham to go discover this purpose. He invited Abraham on a journey with him and made him a promise. Generation after generation, God revealed more of this promise to Abraham’s family. Their role was to take the journey.
Abraham, his family and every human who has ever lived is deeply flawed. God knew that, and he made the covenant anyway. He used every ounce of potential and ability that Abraham’s family gave back to him to make that covenant happen.
The caveat for Abraham’s family was that to take advantage of the promise, they had to get to know the God that made the promise. Just like Abraham did. That’s what the Old Testament shows us: the heart, perspective and actions of God toward humanity.
Who is God to you?
When you think of God, what words come to your mind? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Father? Friend? Creator?
Why do you use the terms you use to refer to God?
For most of us, the answer to that question is based on experience. If we have a positive perspective of God, maybe that’s because we had a relative or friend who was a devoted Christian who showed us God’s love through their love. Maybe you heard stories about the goodness of God in people’s lives growing up.
If we have a bad perspective, that can also be shaped by people in our life. Many people can’t see God as a loving father because they were mistreated by their father early in life. Many people have seen terrible things like war, famine and death and can’t comprehend a God that would allow such pain. People can also take specific stories and verses from the Bible out of their context and illustrate God’s anger and judgment toward people.
The story doesn’t end there. There is good news, and the good news is a new covenant that God made with everyone. God decided to go beyond a family of origin and allow anyone who decides to follow him to be part of his covenant family. There’s a lot of ground to cover before we get there. Four hundred years’ worth.
You probably have a lot of questions. Some can be answered in the Bible. Some of these questions will never be answered. Some questions you will have to answer for yourself. If you start in Genesis and make a dedicated attempt to seek out who God is and how he works, you just might find some answers. You may realize that your life has potential to mean a lot more than you think. This is just the beginning.
There are steps to follow, and the first step is simply getting to know God. Take time and try to understand the design of our world and what that says about the creator. Look at the stories in Scripture and see his character through the way he acts.
Let me give you one question to start. Ask yourself, ask the Old Testament, ask the New Testament, ask people: “What is God like?” The only way to find a satisfactory answer to this question is to decide the answer for yourself in your limited knowledge and experience.