Enduring Principles from the Old Testament

Last week, we looked at a few events out of the first five books of the Bible as case studies we can learn by. As Paul writes in I Corinthians 10:1-12, this history of God’s people is recorded to provide a lesson to Christians, and, in this lesson, we are going to take a few more examples from the Old Testament to make application from.

Some Things Never Change

The problem of sin is still present.

In the first couple chapters of Genesis, we have the first temptation, the first misrepresentation of God’s word, and the first sin. By Genesis 4, we have insincere worship leading to murder. Then, in chapter 6, wickedness has grown so prevalent among mankind that God decides to wipe the slate clean. Today, as then, the problem of sin is still the same. Isaiah 59:1 warns us that sin separates man from God.

The need to respect God is still the same.

In Genesis 8:13, Noah sees the land drying, but Noah waits for God’s permission to leave the ark. He waited for a “Thus says the Lord.” In Numbers 9, Moses sought God’s advice in regards to unclean individuals keeping the Passover while David, in II Samuel 7, took the prerogative to build a house for God without His direction. God denies Him this wish.

I Samuel 13:8 records Saul offering without authority, and I Samuel 15 continues telling about Saul acting outside the authority he was given, even while he cited the good things he planned to do with those spoils he kept against God’s word. God’s authority is as binding today as it was then.

God’s expectations have remained the same.

In Genesis 2:16-17, God makes His wishes clearly known to His creation. According to Hebrews 11, Abel offered his sacrifice by faith, and Genesis 22 records Abraham taking Isaac to be sacrificed. Again, Hebrews 11 appeals to faith in this action. God’s expectation was and is faithful obedience. Acts 10:34-35 records Peter stating that all who hear and obey will be received by God.

God’s love is still the same.

In Genesis 12, 26, and 28 a promise repeated that God would bring salvation to mankind, and, in Isaiah 55:6-9, God invites His people to call upon Him and He will forgive. That love was personified in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. II Peter 3:9 clearly states that God’s desire for His creation is for all of us to turn back to Him, and He patiently endures – waiting for us to respond to His love.


God is the same today as He was yesterday, and His word still applies to us every bit as much as it applied to Moses, to David, to Paul, and to the other early Christians. We need to look at the mistakes and the triumphs of those individuals recorded in the Bible and learn from them. We should be cautious about dismissing this recorded history, and, as God’s people, we should be taking these lessons to heart. Our God is just, merciful, and loving, and He will remains so from the beginning until the end. He has given us His living word that provides to all things we need for godly living, and He is waiting for us to come to Him in faithful obedience.

lesson by Tim Smelser