Nation of Israel
The Nation of Israel is proof of God’s existence. As the Children of Israel made their way into the Promised Land given to them by God at the culmination of their Exodus from Egypt, they were admonished not to follow after the gods of those who inhabited the land. It wasn’t long before the Children of Israel began to wander off into idolatry and began to sin against the commands of God given to them during their sojourn in the wilderness. After being taken into captivity by foreign kingdoms, allowed to return to their land and rebuild the Temple, only to come under Roman occupation and crucify the Son of God, the Jewish people were scattered to the four corners of the earth for almost 2,000 years. The re-gathering of the people back into their land in recent years is fulfillment of God’s prophesy in Scripture that such an event would take place in the last days as all nations of the earth will come against Israel, her people, and the City of Jerusalem. No other nation of people in the history of mankind has been preserved and re-established.
In six days God created all the things man would need to live on this earth, including rest on the seventh day. Every tree, plant and herb was created to give man what he would need to nourish life on this earth and build shelter for himself and his family. Every animal God created serves a purpose in continuing life on this planet. God created just the right mixture of gases in the atmosphere and molecules in the water to sustain life. The changing of the seasons remains fixed year in and year out, along with the rising and setting of the sun at just the right distance from the earth each and every day. The creation and ongoing life on this planet is testimony to the proof of God.
If not for God, man would not exist. The idea of man did not come from man. It was God who formed the first man from the dust of the ground. It was the breath of God blown into man’s nostrils that allowed man to begin to breathe and continue to breathe. It is the intricate pumping of the heart and the flow of man’s blood as designed by God that keeps a body from death. The very existence of man and the continued propagation of mankind up to this time is proof of God.
The Book of Matthew in the New Testament opens with the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Out of the long list of names recorded several are familiar from the Old Testament: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Boaz and Ruth; Jesse, David and Solomon. As the birth of Jesus unfolds in the second chapter of the Book, several verses refer back to what was written previously in the Old Testament. To fully understand the New Testament one must also read the Old, for the Old Covenant introduces the New Covenant founded upon Christ alone as the Sacrifice for sin.
- When King Herod questioned the chief priests and scribes where the Promised Messiah would be born, “They said unto him, in Bethlehem of Judea,” relying upon the Prophet Micah’s prophesy in the Old Testament, “…out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting,” (Matthew 2:4-6; Micah 5:2).
- When the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to flee with his young family to Egypt “until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him,” it was the Prophet Hosea the Lord had spoken to and had written 750 years earlier found in the Old Testament, “I… called My Son out of Egypt” (Matthew 2:13-15; Hosea 11:1).
- As King Herod saw that he was mocked by the return of the magi to their own country another way and called for the slaughter of all children two years and under, Matthew recalls Jeremiah the prophet saying, “Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not,” (Matthew 2:16-18; Jeremiah 31:15).
- Settling in Nazareth upon their return from Egypt, more prophesies written in the Old Testament are noted concerning Jesus, in that, “He shall be called a Nazarene,” a community where residents were often despised and rejected, as Nathanael said to Philip upon his invitation for Nathanael to come see Jesus, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” In Psalm 22 David wrote of the Promised Messiah of the New Testament, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that He would deliver Him: let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him.” The Prophet Isaiah wrote, “His Holy One, to Him whom man despiseth, to Him whom the nation abhorreth,” and also, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief… He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” (Matthew2:23; John 1:46; Psalm 22:6-8; Isaiah 49:7; 53:3).
As one continues reading throughout the Book of Matthew and beyond, reference upon reference is made back to the Old Testament. The Prophet Isaiah wrote in the Old Testament of John the Baptist’s ministry recorded in Matthew chapter three (Isaiah 40:3). Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness in chapter four records Jesus quoting Old Testament Scripture in answer to Satan’s twisting of Scripture. Just as the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:16 writes of the Body of Christ, the Church, being “the whole body fitly joined together,” both the Old Testament and the New Testament fit wholly together, hand in glove. To understand the New, one must be familiar with the Old.