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  • Writer's pictureElias Paulino

Four Lessons from the Old Testament: Part Four

Updated: Jul 25, 2023



"For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” - Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)

The Bible is a compilation of sixty-six ancient books that covers around 4,000 years of recorded history, and is divided into two categories; Old and New Testament. Very recently, but after many years of failing to read the Old Testament fully, I can finally say that I have, and what a fascinating experience it has been. I personally love the Old Testament. This entire section of the Bible, which has 39 books, its filled with so many stories of ordinary men and women that through their faith and obedience to God, shaped history, challenged kingdoms, performed miracles and wonders, and even set standards and practices that still influence our lives and world today. Through this blog, I'll like to share the four lessons that I learned from reading the entire Old Testament (OT) that really touched my heart and helped me develop a broader understanding of who God is. These lessons are as true and as practical today, as when they took place hundreds and thousands of years ago. If you take these lessons, meditate on them, ponder on how they can affect and influence your life today, you too will find the hidden treasures that they hold.



Lesson #4: God never abandons His people


It happened many, many years ago, but I can still remember clearly that morning laying down on the church carpet asking, but I mean really inquiring of God, "what makes You a father? Or the Father?" That's when I heard and felt the impression of the Holy Spirit saying, "I am a Father because I never abandon my children!" Part of God's paternity is his ability to always be present and take care of his children. Just as King David wrote, "Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation. [Although] my father and my mother forsake me, [you] Lord will take care of me."(1)


The feeling of abandonment is one of the heaviest and most difficult emotions to face. At one point or another, we all have experienced feeling lonely and abandon by the people that we love and trust the most, specially in the moments when we are facing the greatest of challenges. It seems as if challenges or hardship makes the people around us become indifferent and heartless, and although this might be true of people, it's certainly not for God! God "will never leave you nor forsake you,"(2) specially in your worst or darkest moments. God is the definition of Faithful and Loyal. What's most striking to me—which is this fourth lesson—is that even in the midst of our own faults, mistakes, disobedience and unfaithfulness, He still remains faithful to his Word and to us.(3)


By 607 B.C., the nation of Israel became experts in disobeying God by mastering the art of false worship. This level of disobedience towards God turned them into a rebellious nation, to which by this time around, God was ready to teach them a lesson. As prophesied by Mosessome 800 years prior—that one day God would allow a strong enemy to destroy everything that Israel built in the promised land and take them captive because of their idolatry, God used Babylon as His agent of judgment against Israel for their sins. God allowed Babylon to attack and destroy the country of Israel and forced the Israelites into exile to the country of Babylon to serve as their slaves. Although God allowed them to be enslaved, attacked and destroyed by their enemies, He never abandoned them. God was always present working miracles, signs and wonders through his people while being slaves in Babylon. The Israelites spent 70 years in captivity and it was during this time that the books of Ezekiel and Daniel were written.


Reading through the books of Daniel and Esther, and seeing how God showed His favor and His power through his people showed me God's mercy at its fullest. Even when the entire nation betrayed Him, rebelled against Him, dishonored Him and neglected Him, God never abandoned them or forgot about them. Some of the most powerful acts that God did in the entire Old Testament, He did when Israel was a slave to Babylon because of their idolatry and false worship. It was there, that I really realized that God is "a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness."(4)


 

References:

(1) Psalm 27:9-10 (NKJV)

(2) Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)

(3) 2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV)

(4) Psalm 86:15 (NIV)

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