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What I Learned in OT-103 (The Kingdom Period) – By: Sis. Mathel Bacaltos

What I Learned in OT-103 (The Kingdom Period) – By: Sis. Mathel Bacaltos

Aug 12, 2015

Seven or eight years ago I was invited to enroll in IBI but I declined, had many excuses and thought of doing self-study.  Last year, the Lord gave me a deep desire to know Him more and impressed in my heart to finally enroll in IBI and so I did.  After just three courses, there is much that I have realized about the character of God.  I am very grateful to our God that our church is offering IBI.  I could say I really missed a lot for delaying.  In OT 103, my eyes were opened to the seriousness of God’s holiness, the importance of following His instructions and the depth of man’s depravity.

Many times, I have not esteemed the presence of God in reverence and fear.    When Israel asked God for an earthly king, it must have been heart-breaking to God.  That rejection was enough proof of how they disrespected and undervalued God as king.  Although God really intended for Israel to have an earthly king (Deut 17:14-20) that was not yet the time but Israel was stubborn, they wanted so much to be like the other nations and could wait no more.  How could they be so impatient and demanding? How could they replace God with an earthly creature?  I was too quick to judge them but removing the blinders from my spiritual eyes, God showed me I too, for many times, have been in similar situations.  I have demanded God for earthly things, like a specific job or forcing Him to bless me with a particular object, I thought I knew better but receiving what I asked only messed up my life in the end.

The Ark of the Covenant represents the presence of God in the OT.  When Uzzah was struck dead for touching the ark to keep it from falling, which is a good intention, I really didn’t understand and I used to think that God was being too hard or inconsiderate.  But God made me see and realize that His very presence, His Holiness is indeed too much for us, unholy beings to see or touch.  There was wisdom in God’s instructions to Moses that the Ark should be carried with a pole for we could die if we behold and touched His holiness. If only the people of Israel kept in their heart this instruction then they wouldn’t have made a mistake in putting the Ark on a cart.  This realization encouraged me to be very careful in obeying every detail of God’s instructions to us. reminded me of the line “obedience is better than sacrifice”. And I am just so amazed at what Christ has done for us.  Jesus’ blood has covered all our past, present and future sins, for God sees only Jesus’ righteousness in me, and has made it possible for us to enter His holy presence.  It amazes me that Jesus has not only cleansed and washed me but now His very presence resides in my heart and that makes me more conscious and constant in examining my heart if it is indeed revering our Holy God.

The lives of the kings of Israel is teaching us that the secret of blessings is obedience and abiding in the Lord.  And that sufferings and curses are results of disobedience.  Many of the kings started well, following God’s ways but along the way when all was well, they fell into sin.  And there were kings who from the beginning where already going against God.  There was no perfect king, all failed, just like us, we too have sinful and depraved hearts and are very much in need of a Savior and Lord to rule our wandering hearts.  Looking at David, we see how blessed he was when he walked in the ways of the Lord, but when he disobeyed, the consequences of his sin were great and even involved bloodshed.  How could he be called a man after God’s own heart? For a man after God’s own heart means being all out for God, wholly devoted to God, having strong faith in God and being fully dependent on God.  David may not have been perfect but his life shows us examples that described him to be such.  When He fought Goliath, his confidence was not on himself but on God.  With regards to his enemies, he always allowed God to vindicate him and did not take vengeance.  When the Prophet Nathan confronted him of his sin of adultery and murder, he made no excuses nor pointed his fingers on anyone, he just confessed declaring that he sinned against God.   In the Psalms, we read how he longed and found rest in the presence of the Lord, how God is his exceeding joy and his portion.  He poured out his heart to God, this way of communicating with God shows us their intimate relationship.  I enrolled in IBI to know God more and together with that, my prayer is to have a heart like David, to have that kind of intimacy with God for the remaining days of my life.

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