Before beginning this Bible study, I saw the Old Testament as only the story of the Israelites being God’s chosen people. I didn’t think there was much application for me as a New Testament “gentile” believer. Yet reading through the Old Testament opened my eyes. It felt like watching a new sunrise each day. From Genesis to Malachi, I read about new beginnings: the creation of the world, Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, and the personal stories of people like Abraham, Ruth and David. In each of these accounts, there were also times of sorrow: when sin entered the world in the Garden of Eden, the golden calf the Israelites built after just being miraculously delivered, and King David’s sin with Bathsheba. These felt like the “night”—dark moments where hope felt distant.
Yet every time, like the sunrise each day, God restored His people and renewed His promise to deliver them. He established an everlasting covenant with Abraham, led Israel to the promised land, and promised that an heir of David would always sit on the throne despite the sin so prevalent in these stories. I also came to see that God’s plan from the beginning was for more than just the Israelites! He wanted to bring all nations to His presence.
Zechariah 2:11 “And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. “
Then in the New Testament came the fulfillment of the ultimate promise— the One promised throughout the Old Testament —the arrival of Jesus Christ. Even the last words of Malachi pointed to the prophecy of John the Baptist who would lead the way to Jesus, our Savior.
Throughout the Bible, God proves His faithfulness and mercy to all people. From the first call of Abraham, himself a “gentile” before knowing God, to the ministry of Jesus Christ, and His death and resurrection which opened the door of salvation for all people.
As we celebrate this season of Christmas, it is more than the presents or holiday gatherings. It is about the joy and anticipation of God’s greatest gift to us: Jesus Christ. He was sent to save people from every nation, every tribe and every tongue. He is our rising Sun and brings the hope and promise of a new day. ~Ashley