Old Testament Israel

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In reading Severe Compassion: The Gospel According to Nahum I absolutely agree with what Gregory Cook said. “Christians often make a grave error in their interpretation of Old Testament history. When we read about Israel’s sins, we tend to judge Israel harshly. We are right to see these sins as grievous, because the Bible makes this plain. What we in the church have not rightly considered is that we have sinned even more grievously” (p. 24).

I often hear people say, “Israel got what they deserved.” This is true. Israel repeatedly broke covenant with Yahweh and suffered the consequences. While Christ has paid believers’s sin debt on the Cross, our sin no less grieves God. Moses and the Prophets were Israel’s intercessor, while believers today have Jesus, their Great High Priest making intercession on their behalf.

“Israel had only the promise of a Messiah, we have a glorious gospel. We need to repent of how we have viewed the Israelites. They sinned greatly against God, but our sin is much greater” (Cook, p. 25). When we love the world more than Christ, we are much worse than Israel. Israel did not have the completed, inspired, infallible Word, nor did they have Jesus as their Mediator.

“Is there anything in your life that excites your passion more than Jesus? If so, you need to consider that the sins listed in the Old Testament are specks, while yours is a log” (p. 25). I am SO thankful that Jesus satisfied God’s wrath on the Cross! God cannot and will not excuse sin. “Every sin must be paid for” (p. 25); however, through Christ’s work and belief in Him “grace is freely extended to the worst of sinners” (p. 26). When we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9).

A warning for all of us today is that “[t]he Bible does not allow us to use grace as a license for sin. We have no right to judge the sins of Old Testament Israel and then to presume upon God’s grace to cover our own love for the gods of our culture” (p. 26).

I do not ever want to take advantage of the grace of God extend in Christ Jesus our Lord. I do not want the Lord to discipline/rebuke me for harshly judging the sins of others while refusing to look at the sins in my own life.

When we are quick to judge Old Testament Israel’s sins, we need to be as equally quick to judge our own sins. Now more than ever we need to cling to our Savior and not to this world. We need to remember: “When we enter into covenant with God, receive the blessings of that covenant and then worship what the world worships, we sin deeply. Israel committed this sin in Exodus 32. Israel again committed this sin in Numbers 13. Judah committed this sin when it chose Assyrian protection instead of faithfulness to God. We commit this same sin when we find God boring and the world fascinating” (p. 18 see 1 John 2:15-16).

May we strip off every sin that trips us up, so that we may run with endurance the race that we have been given with our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:1-2).

Father God, may we NEVER become bored with You. May we NEVER forget that You hate sin. May we NEVER get tired of looking to You. Lord God, may we not gloss over our sin. Lord God, may we be reminded that as You left a remnant in Israel, so You leave a remnant of believers in each generation. Lord God, may we judge/hold others accountable with pure hearts and motives. Lord, may we seek to grow in holiness and Christlikeness. May we take comfort in Your provision and care for Israel. Lord God, I know there are MANY debates and theological differences to national, political Israel today. In all things Lord may we be reminded that You are seeking and saving men, women and children from every tribe, nation and tongue. Lord God, may Your Spirit stir mouths and hearts to confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior while there is still time. Thank You Lord for this reader. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

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Blue Collar Theologian

My name is Mandy Sweigart-Quinn, I live in Lancaster, PA and I am a “Blue Collar Theologian.” I love Jesus! I am passionate about His Word (The Holy Bible)! I come alive when I can encourage others in their walk with Jesus (whether by writing or speaking). As a “Blue Collar Theologian” it is my aim to live/practice/work out my Christian hope with sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. As a “Blue Collar Theologian,” I strive to meet people right where they are (“Incarnational Theology”). I graduated in May 2019 from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a Master's in Biblical Studies. I am a passionate, excited and enthusiastic person! I love flowers, sports and sunsets. Since January 2, 2018 I have had the privilege of being married to Nathan.

66 thoughts on “Old Testament Israel”

  1. Mandy, thanks for this post! Yup, while reading through the OT I have often judged Israel harshly and thought, How could a people have been so dumb? And as you mention, I have been guilty of similar defiances/compromises although with greater graces.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Amen! So much truth here! We do a grave disservice to the gift of grace when we wrongly assume our sins are somehow lesser than Israel’s. Great and important post, dear friend! Much love! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amen! Here is the truth.

    “May we strip off every sin that trips us up, so that we may run with endurance the race that we have been given with our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A very sound argument well presented Mandy. In the 21st Century West we are spoiled in many ways, much of which often becomes idols in our lives. Our worship of self in my view is the biggest obstacle/sin which obscures our view of Almighty God and His work of Love. I pray that each day our Father would realise the depth and sincerity of His Love, to which the only response is to draw closer to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow another post! Wow, you are on a roll these days! I’ll have to read this when I’m on my walk at the Gardens. Answering your questions: Nancy loves gardening, my kids like being in the backyard which we are blessed with since many in LA area don’t have much space with backyard. I haven’t picked up gardening but want to do it sometime in the future…that’s neat to hear your use of the outdoors! I think sometimes its God’s common grace to be outdoor to help us with mental health, faith, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also, glad to hear about Nancy and your kiddos that’s fantastic! Being outside is truly good for my soul as well as Nathan’s and our marriage! We both commune with the Lord outside and thanking Him for His Creation. I am a sunrise and sunset gal, so I love to see how colorful our God is. I also love flowers and am amazed by how fragrant our God is as well. May we be a pleasing aroma to Him! As Fadi my Jordanian guide said, “may people smell Jesus on us” (that’s how he lives and witnesses, so cool!) enjoy your walk!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your prayer is so beautiful and powerful.
    An important reminder to be humble and reflective of our own state and where we are at when it comes to our relationship with God. Are we still quick to judge or do we see a loving, forgiving and a God who does not excuse sinful behaviour. That there are consequences to our actions so may we choose to reflect Him instead of feeling better than someone else.
    A good post that makes one reflect.
    Thank you Mandy 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When we read how harshly Israel was punished for their rebellion, we can better understand how God rates the sins we commit. It truly puts our behavior in perspective. Thx, Mandy for another insightful post. You always spell things out so well. Hugs & God’s grip – Alan

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  8. It is awesome that you are making progress through that commentary on Nahum! I’m encouraged by that. I’m reminded with your post that Christians can sin heinously and Israel’s sin is far closer to how the church sin, in comparison to how close we are to being holy like Christ. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Amen! Good words!
    Praying we would self evaluate and that any corrections needed within would happen through God, and that the results would show His light shining..I pray as we spend time in the Old Testament and also in this current world that we wouldn’t be quick to judge but rather look at another opportunity to learn and grow closer to Jesus.

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  10. For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,
    1Co 10:2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
    1Co 10:3 and all ate the same spiritual food,
    1Co 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
    1Co 10:5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
    1Co 10:6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.
    1Co 10:7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”
    1Co 10:8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.
    1Co 10:9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,
    1Co 10:10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.
    1Co 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
    1Co 10:12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

    Their history is our history apart from His keeping grace at work within us.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen and Amen! Thank you, Brian! I don’t know if you’ve read this (sorry, don’t know how to italicize in the comments, some bloggers have tried to help me to no avail 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️) “Biblical Theology According to the Apostles: How the earliest Christians told the story of Israel” by Chris Bruno, Jared Compton and Kevin McFadden, it’s part of the New Studies in Biblical Theology (NSBT) series and it is excellent! Thank you for your time and comment, brother!


  11. Good nuggets of gold from the Word. It’s so easy to pick on the Jews, honestly, when I first got saved I had so much to learn and the most important was, I was just like them, a sinner in need of a Savior. How blessed we are to be looking back on all the promises of God through Jesus Christ for this time. I will be back to gleam some more.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for allowing me too! At first I was like ummmm maybe they don’t want me to be here!!! This was a great lesson and if you don’t mind one I am going to blog about because adults need this reminded too if that’s ok?!

        Liked by 1 person

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