Deuteronomy in the New Testament
“What I do, what I make, what I made—all of that—is that going to help me on the last day of my life? It’s about, Who have you lifted up? Who have we made better?” actor Denzel Washington confessed in an interview with The New York Times.
The Academy Award winner elaborated on his theological beliefs, explaining that today’s world encourages people to glorify themselves rather than to seek ways to uplift others and glorify the Creator. He hopes he does just the opposite.
And one of the ways he is doing that is by speaking at First Baptist Orlando’s “The Better Man Event” conference. It is there where he said, “At 66, getting ready to be 67, having just buried my mother, I made a promise to her and to God, not just to do good the right way, but to honor my mother and my father by the way I live my life, the rest of my days on this Earth. I’m here to serve, to help, to provide.”
Washington also suggested that Maureen Dowd, who interviewed him for The New York Times, read the Bible, starting with the New Testament as it’s easier to grasp than the Old.
But, are the two testaments really all that different? New Testament characters and writers often quote the Old Testament, especially the books of Psalms, Isaiah, and Deuteronomy. Nor do we see them calling into question the veracity of the Old Testament. In fact, it is with the Old Testament Scriptures that Christ references His purpose, states His authority, and defends Himself from the temptations offered by Satan.
Only with the Old Testament does it become apparent just how important it was that Christ came to fulfill the prophecies and offer salvation. And when the two testaments are combined can we see an overarching theme: God’s boundless love and efforts to save a selfish, fallen creation whose call is to love and have faith in the Lord, and to take care of each other.
Do we apply what Deuteronomy lays out and what Jesus exemplified—to serve, to help, to provide?
- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
- The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1)
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
- In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets … but now God speaks through the Son. … (Hebrews 1:1-4 paraphrased)
- The Revelation of Jesus Christ combined with the book of Daniel.
Applying: How can we accept unpleasant facets of the story without letting them blemish our view of God’s character? Attempt to explain to another person, or on paper, these difficult pieces of the Old Testament, such as God’s anger, justified killings, and concubines.