Billy and I were supposed spend yesterday in Bowling Green, KY, meeting our new little friend Evangeline. But when Eisley woke up slightly ill, we decided to stay home, rather than exposing the newborn Evangeline to the germs of our toddler. Though we were beyond disappointed, we decided to make the best of the day anyway. I know it doesn't sound glamorous, but we spent the day organizing Eisley's closet and drawers. We sorted through clothes and toys, packed things away, made a "giveaway pile" and put together bags of clothes to take to the consignment store. We felt an amazing sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. It feels SO good to get organized. All seemed right with the world.
As I sat on the floor with Billy, organizing Eisley's closet, I was reminded of one of the best and most amazing experiences of my life so far: Dr. Sandra Richter's* Old Testament Introduction course. Yes. this was an amazing life experience. Not just an amazing academic one.
The class met once-weekly on Tuesday nights. And I clearly remember the first class session. Dr. Richter spoke truth that night (as she did every night). She said that for many, their Old Testament knowledge was like a disorganized closet. There were bits of information stored in their minds, that were just sort of sitting there, stacked on top of one another, dusty, and rarely accessed. These persons are not quite sure how everything fits together, they're not sure how it all connects. She said that we often hear very little preaching from the Old Testament because people's knowledge of it doesn't make sense. Or worse, they think that somehow, Jesus doesn't fit in to the Old Testament, so maybe they think it's not as important to preach from, like the New Testament. She said we tend to just sort of dig through the piles in our Old Testament closets, and pull something out, and use it as best we know how. Then we just throw it back in. She said, then, that she was there to help organize our closets. She was there to help us make sense of it all. She was there to help us see how everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus.
And then she gave her lecture on Covenant. Anyone who has had Dr. Richter before knows this one. She stood at the front of the class, speaking of this God of Covenant and his deep deep love for and pursuit of Israel, with tears streaming down her face, overwhelmed by his great Love. Tears were streaming down my face, too. This was a life-altering moment. As Dr. Richter unfolded the story of Redemptive History, something was ignited in my soul. There I sat, with a new hunger for God in my heart, and a new understanding of the significance of the sacrifice that was made by Jesus on the cross. And with a love I'd never before had for the Old Testament Scripture. I was blown away.
That class was a great adventure. And I have to say-- almost every class session was as life-altering as the first. I wish each one of you could have taken that class with me. It was amazing.
Since you could not take the class with me, I commend this book to you. It's Dr. Richter's Epic of Eden. It is in many ways, her Old Testament Introduction course in book form. Order it now. Though you won't have the benefit of hearing Dr. Richter in person, this book will help you get your Old Testament closet organized. And organizing your Old Testament closet is much more fun and worthwhile than organizing your earthly ones.
*Dr. Richter is now a part of the faculty at Wesley Biblical Seminary, and an adjunct professor here at ATS. This is why her profile comes from the WBS website, and not Asbury's. When I took her course 3.5 years ago, she was a part of the Asbury faculty.