Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Long Awaited One

My husband and I have been reading scripture together for the past few years. His vision is not good, so basically I read to him. We are on our fourth trip through the Bible, and we have gotten into the habit of reading Haley's Bible Commentary right along with the scripture. I cannot say that we are faithful at reading every day, but every day that we read we read five chapters of the Bible, and the accompaning notes from Haley's commentary.

Today we read Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament. (Okay, we only read  four chapters today.) There are about 24 or so pages in the commentary that sum up the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah, and some notes regarding the 400 or so years between the Old and New Testaments, but, once we have worked our way through those pages we get to begin the New Testament.

Everytime we get to this point it gives us a small sense of what the people of Jesus' day must have felt. Since it takes us a long, long time to work our way through all the books of the Old Testament, we have a little glimmer of how thrilling it is, when we finally get to Matthew, to find that, Jesus, the promised Messiah, has come at last. The hymn writer caught this excitement very well in the verses below:

Let the earth now praise the Lord.
Who hath truly kept His word
And the sinners' Help and Friend
Now at last to us doth send.
What the fathers most desired, What the prophets' heart inspired,
What they longed for many a year,
Stands fulfilled in glory here.

Abrams promised great Reward,
Zion's Helper, Jacob's Lord, --
Him of twofold race behold, --
Truly came, as long foretold.

Christmas in March this time around.


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