If someone were to ask me which class so far has had the greatest affect on me, in terms of how I view God, I think my answer would be Old Testament Survey. As the fall semester began, I saw that we would be reading through the entire Old Testament and writing papers on it, and it gave appearance as quite the feat. Someone in the class with me even questioned whether it would have been better to slow down some and let the course stretch over the entire year. I, however, thought the quick pace was pretty appropriate and unique. I doubt many students elsewhere have read through the Old Testament in four months.
What impressed me most about this class was the amount of information one could gain from a simple overview of each book, and how quickly going through all thirty-nine gave such a simple but astounding picture of the overall story. I don’t think I had ever thought about how much can be learned in such a short time. The picture I left the class with in the middle of December is that God’s love and care for His people takes many forms, sometimes forms that are very puzzling or frustrating to human minds. And yet, He encourages His image-bearers to trust Him for the understanding they need, and to worship Him only because He knows He is the only one who will ever fill them the way they search to be filled. “Lord, we stand amazed in Your presence, astounded by Your mercy and love.”* His presence never fully left the earth. There were times when He removed Himself from one person or another, but He still moved in the lives of His people. He held to His promise of blessing for obedience and repentance, and His promise to set His people free from their oppressors. “You are always with us, gracious to forgive us, by Your power we’v e been set free.”* I am in awe of just how strong God’s love is for the humans He created, that He would forgive them and bless us after every unrighteous thing we’ve done and how much we don’t deserve any of this.
*from Steve Fee’s “No One Higher”