Though we might not always see and understand all of the individual lessons which are given to the sons of GOD in the pages of the Old Testament, we are certain that all of these scriptures, from Genesis to Malachi are given for the profit of the LORD’s people. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Rom 15:4)
There is one cohesive message which is woven throughout the fabric of this fine tapestry. The threads thereof are scarlet and gold, signifying the blood of the everlasting covenant and the ROYALTY of HIM who came to shed that blood to secure the redemption of HIS people.
No one would deny that the LORD demonstrates a particular love and affection for a particular and peculiar people in the Old Testament scriptures. It is very clear that Israel, as the descendants of Abraham (and Jacob) do occupy the singular position as a people blessed in the Earth in this period of time, for the instruction of GOD’s people in all ages. Paul, declared that this was true. “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” (Rom 3:1-2)
Those who would reject the doctrine of unconditional election must of necessity reject the whole narrative of the Old Testament and the example given in HIS choosing of Israel. “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Deu 7:6-8)
Those who would opine that the LORD loves all men alike must turn a blind eye to HIS declaration; “I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” (Mal 1:2-3) Paul uses this very scripture to prove the LORD’s sovereign prerogative to create some vessels unto honor and some to dishonor (i.e.; destruction) as it hath pleased HIM. Who could question that right?
Those who would purport that the redemptive work of CHRIST is a general atonement for all of mankind must deny that Aaron was a priest, only, over the house of Israel, and that for them alone of all peoples in the earth did he make atonement according to the Law given to Israel. “And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually. And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.” (Exo 28:29-30)
The TRUTH of the Old Testament is the same as that of the New for the SUBJECT of the scriptures does not change from age to age. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Heb 13:8) Neither has HIS redemptive purpose or the objects of that redemption ever been altered. These things are given for “our learning” and the Old Testament was given in order that the New might be ushered in as the revelation of a better covenant. All that is done in the Old Testament is but types and shadows of that mystery which was hid from the beginning. “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.” (Eph 3:5-6).
Though it appeared to the natural eye that the descendants of Abraham after the flesh were the chosen people of GOD, we can now see who HIS elect people actually are. We now (by the gift of faith and the unfolding of the mystery) see that there is one people and ONE REDEEMER, one purpose for that redemptive work, and one Kingdom which HE has come into the world to establish. “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Rom 2:28-29) “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children.-------They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Rom 9:6-8)
HE has not changed who the objects of HIS love are, but has more clearly revealed that they are from every kindred, tribe, and tongue upon the earth, and that HE used Israel and HIS dealings with her, in times past, in order to demonstrate to HIS people in these last days, more plainly HIS everlasting love and perfect REDEMPTION for those whom HE chose in CHRIST from before the foundation of the world.
In all ages the LORD has led HIS people as a flock. “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psa 100:3) We can now see this “flock” more clearly and who the ONE is who leads them than any of the Old Testament saints ever could since, HE who is the SHEPHERD has declared, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (John 10:14) “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)
The Psalmist said that the LORD led the flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron, and indeed HE did but ONE who is greater than Moses and Aaron is here. The children of Israel were led out of Egypt by Moses, their deliverer from the rule of Pharaoh. Yet Moses was but a “foreshadow” of the MIGHTY DELIVERER; and his defiance of Pharaoh was but an illustration of HIM who has led captivity captive and triumphed openly over all of the enemies of the flock of GOD.
Moses was the servant of GOD, who received the law from the hand of GOD in that mountain that might be touched. We are now “come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb 12:22) “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things.” (Heb 12:24) CHRIST is a SON over HIS own house, who is HIMSELF the LAWGIVER and its FULFILLMENT. HE has not merely declared the law before the flock but HE has satisfied its every jot and tittle in their behalf.
Aaron was the High Priest, of the flock in the wilderness and year in and year out entered the holy place in the tabernacle with the blood of bulls and goats. Yet he was never able to take one sin away and his continual ministry was merely a testimony to an unfinished work which served to remind the flock of their sin. (see Heb 9:9) “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb 9:11-14)
Indeed HE is the DOOR of the sheep. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.----I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:7-9) HE does lead HIS flock, calling them by name and providing everything that they need both in this life and that one which is yet to come. “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.--- stir up thy strength, and come and save us. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.” (Psa 80:1-3)mam