Written with Us in Mind

How awful and awesome to live in the last days—the days between Jesus’ first and second coming. The New Testament speaks surprisingly about the priority of our season of history and the Book written especially for these last days. It is astounding to take the claims of these texts at face value:

  • 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11: Now these things [Israel’s exodus and wilderness wanderings] took place as examples to us, that we might not desire evil as they did.... 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.
  • Romans 15:4: Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
  • 1 Peter 1:10-12: Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Not only was the Old Testament written with our days in mind, but the very events that were written about were sovereignly orchestrated by God in such a way that they would serve as example, instruction, and encouragement for us—and most importantly, they point us to Jesus and his life and death for us. The Old Testament was written so that we would get the gospel.

David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor at desiringGod.org and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis. He has edited several books, including Thinking. Loving. Doing., Finish the Mission, and Acting the Miracle, and is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.