Dec 31 2017: Year End Review

2017 Bible Reading Plan (click to download)

Throughout this year we read through the historical narratives of the Old Testament, starting with Genesis, then Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, Ezra and Nehemiah. This week we read the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi. 

What were some of the key lessons and running themes from this year’s reading of the Old Testament historical narratives for you?One thing we cannot have missed from the Old Testament reading is how the LORD our God is holy and awesome, God above all gods, and sovereign over everything. Another thing we cannot have missed is how sinful people (we) are and how the sin runs so deep in our nature. Even David, a man after God’s own heart, fails to obey God. And in his holiness and righteousness God cannot but punish sin. As promised, God punishes his people who disobey him (e.g., exile), and yet as promised, he also redeems and restores his people (e.g., return from the exile). God is faithful to his promises to his imperfect and sinful covenant partners. Yes, he punishes, but even in his punishment he continues to show mercy and grace. In his covenantal faithfulness and love he restores and redeems his people over and over again. Ultimately the restoration and redemption climax in the coming of Jesus Christ.

The Old Testament closes, then, with a word of promise ringing in the minds of its readers concerning the two greatest prophets of old: Moses (Mal. 4:4) and Elijah (4:5). When God determined to show the significance of Jesus’ earthly ministry, he had these two men appear on a mountain with our Savior in the transfiguration (Mark 9:4). Moses represented the Law and Elijah represented the Prophets. Their appearance in Christ’s time indicated that he was the apex of their messages, fulfilling and transcending them both, as demonstrated by his resplendent radiance (Mark 9:3). He is the One whom the Law and the Prophets ultimately anticipated—as he said to his disciples, “everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). In Jesus the entire Bible clicks into place. The whole Bible is, at its heart, the word of God’s grace that culminates in his Son (Rom. 1:1–2; 2 Tim. 3:15).

Echoing this prophecy from Malachi, the Lord sent John the Baptist as his prophet Elijah to call people to repentance in preparation for Christ’s public ministry (Matt. 11:14). John was merely the forerunner: in Christ, the door is opened for all who repent to receive spiritual healing through his sufferings (Matt. 17:12). Jesus was burned in the oven of God’s wrath for our iniquity. He was crushed underfoot for our restoration. He is the Son on whom the Father did not show compassion, even though he served him faithfully so that we might receive adoption as God’s sons through his blood.

As we reflect upon Bible readings of this year, may it be impressed upon our hearts how holy and gracious our God is towards us who repent and believe in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

* Adapted from The Gospel Transformation Bible.

This Week’s Bible Reading Schedule:

Monday: 1 Timothy 1 Thursday: 1 Timothy 4
Tuesday: 1 Timothy 2 Friday: 1 Timothy 5
Wednesday: 1 Timothy 3 Saturday: 1 Timothy 6

NOTE: We will start the new year with reading three books of the New Testament (1 Timothy, Luke and Acts) and then we will read through the Old Testament Wisdom Literature (Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Songs of Songs) in 2018. May we continue to be shaped by the Word of God in the new year! 

 

Column & Reading Plan by Pastor Rev. Charles Changsoo Lee
(Mississauga Campus Lead Pastor)