From the Editor Nov/Dec 2023
Each December, I begin formulating a plan to read my Bible for the following year. In past years, I jumped into Genesis feeling energized, ready to soak up the thrilling accounts that kick off the canon of God’s Word.
But once I reached the second half of Exodus, I began to lose steam. Stumbling through chapters of Tabernacle dimensions, animal sacrifices, and ceremonial requirements quenched the fire of my enthusiasm.
For years, as I read the Five Books of Moses—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—I wondered why so much of Scripture documents ancient Israel’s laws, which many Christians dismiss as inapplicable today. But when I realized how the God of the universe chose to reveal Himself to us in breathtaking detail in the Mosaic Law, I found my love for these books revitalized.
The Bible records the creation of the entire world in fewer than two full chapters (Gen. 1:1—2:4). Yet the Jewish Torah, or the books of the Law, comprising 20 percent of God’s Word, is largely dedicated to the commands God gave His Chosen People, Israel. When we study these foundational books with open, invested hearts, eager to learn about the Lord, the Mosaic Law takes on new meaning in our lives.
We discover God’s glory through His relationship with Israel, which teaches us how to strengthen our own relationships with Him. We understand how the Tabernacle’s design and function teach us who God is, how to approach Him in His holiness, and how to live holy lives. We realize how deeply sinful and lost we are apart from God when we examine Israel’s system of sacrifices and cleansing requirements. And we recognize that these books point toward our desperate need for a Savior—a need fulfilled in Jesus’ death and resurrection at His First Coming to Earth.
In this issue of Israel My Glory, our authors unlock the priceless value of the Pentateuch, the Five Books of Moses. They analyze the fine details of the Law, uncovering the gems many Bible scholars neglect. By better understanding what God revealed concerning the Tabernacle, our sinfulness, and His holiness, we trade our lethargic reading of Scripture for the excitement of a child on Christmas morning.
This Christmas, give yourself the gift of a stronger relationship with Jesus, the Son of our holy God, the fulfillment of the Law (Mt. 5:17), through a meaningful study of the Torah. You’ll never regret laying up for yourself such “treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (6:20). Merry Christmas!
In His service,