A new year is upon us, and I’m excited to launch our new BA series “Meeting God in Scripture” for 2024. I hope you will join us (in print or online) as we travel through the Bible to experience God, know who He is, and learn what He’s done. We will meet Jesus along the way, the image and revelation of God — the Word with God and made flesh for us. Like the two men on the road to Emmaus, we want our hearts to be warmed as Scripture is opened to us.
As I began work on this first BA of 2024, I realized that it was my fiftieth issue since I became editor in July 2015. What a blessing it is to serve you! Thank you for all your support. I will need it as we launch this ambitious project of going through the whole Bible, section by section. So let’s get started… at the beginning…
Blessing is the word that’s on my mind as we begin with “Creation and Covenant” and the five Books of Moses or the Torah. Blessing is central to both creation and covenant. Bless is what the Creator did when finishing creating. Imbued with divine power for life, He blessed His creatures and Sabbath (Genesis 1:22—2:3).
Of course, that blessing was tarnished and diminished when sin entered the world. But with the coming of the covenants, we see God’s passionate plan to restore His blessing in creation. We find it in covenants with Noah (9:1), Israel (Deuteronomy 1:11; 30:1, 16, 19), and especially Abraham. God’s covenant promise to Abraham was not only to bless him but make him a blessing (Genesis 12:1-3), a promise fulfilled in Christ and recalled by Paul:
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham (Galatians 3:8, 9).
Here is the heart of God revealed for all to see. Blessing. Here, a central theme of Torah, of Creator and Covenant-maker, is fulfilled in the new covenant of Christ, thousands of years later. Blessing. And here is our calling and destiny as believers — not just to be blessed but to be a blessing, the power for life for others. What a gift and responsibility! With that, I encourage you with another blessing from Torah:
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
— Jason Overman