Living His Word

Deuteronomy 7:22 ERV: The LORD your God will force those nations to leave your country little by little. You will not destroy them all at once. If you did, the wild animals would grow to be too many for you.

The Old Testament contains many symbols or shadows of New Testament realities. The nation of Israel, for example, is a symbol or shadow of the New Testament Church. The reason why the Old Testament contains mere symbols while the New Testament contains the realities is that life in Old Testament times could at best merely foreshadow what life would be like in the future through Christ Jesus, but life in New Testament times is actual experience of the reality of Christ.

Given the relationship between symbol and reality, one can see how study of Old Testament symbols and shadows can illuminate New Testament realities. The exodus of Israel from Egypt and its conquest and possession of the Promised Land, the context of our verse for today, is a case in point. The exodus symbolically prefigures salvation; the conquest and possession symbolically prefigures the expansion of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Further, we can see from our verse that the expansion of the Kingdom will take place “little by little” less “the wild animals would grow to be too many for you.”

What does this mean for us today? After a person becomes a Christian (i.e., leaves Egypt), the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit begins to transform that person into someone ready to expand the Kingdom (i.e., conquer and take possession of the land). The expansion, however, takes place little by little. If it happened sooner, the person might not be mature enough to handle the problems, cares, and concerns (i.e., the wild animals) that come with a greater level of responsibility.

So don’t be downhearted if your advancement to greater levels of responsibility only happens little by little. God wants to keep you from being eaten alive by its problems, cares, and concerns. When it finally comes, you will be ready. And you will be happy that you didn’t try to make it happen in your own strength and in your own timing.

Bible Gateway

Bible Gateway

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