Guarding and proclaiming the unchanging truth in a changing world

Advent Devotion 06

7th December 2020

Today we begin with the question; 
“How are the Old Testament and New Testament readings related in Advent?” 

The first obvious relationship is that both The Old and The New Testaments is the inspired word of God. The second and central relationship is that Advent focuses on special “God’s Comings” in human history. In Advent there is a looking back in celebration of God’s special coming into action in the human past history and the looking forward in great anticipation to  God’s coming yet again for another special action in the life of His creation. Both Old and New Testament have such “Comings”. In the Old Testament the children of Israel looked back with celebration, God’s special historical coming to deliver them from slavery in Egypt. And while scattered away from their land and in exile, the Israelites looked forward to God’s special coming in a Messiah to deliver them from exile and foreign rule and establish them once again in their land and worship in holy Zion.  Similarly, during Advent, the Church looks forward in anticipation to the promised second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to judge the living and the dead while at the same time prepare to celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in Bethlehem at Christmas.

In this regard, we can draw lessons for our learning from both Old and New Testament Bible passages allocated for each day in Advent. 


“It is normal for parents in their love, to warn their growing children against unbecoming behaviors expecting them to change to avoid negative consequences in their lives. So is God to us, the people He has created”.

Today’s Old Testament passage Isaiah 30:1-18 reads in part:

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.
You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’
Therefore you will flee!
You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’
Therefore your pursuers will be swift!
A thousand will flee
at the threat of one;
at the threat of five
you will all flee away,
till you are left
like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
like a banner on a hill.”
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him! 

And the New Testament passage Matthew 14:1-14 reads in part;

“Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.   

The readings underline God’s grace in sending His messengers to confront the people in their wayward ways, calling them to repentance and assurance of forgiveness for their sins and refreshing renewal. God’s messenger Isaiah confronted the Israel community and John confronted Herodias. In both cases the messengers and their message were met with resistance, rejection and persecution. Nonetheless our Just and loving God continues to long to be gracious to people and bless all who “wait for Him” in their choice to follow Him in repentance and obedient trust.


“Holy and Just God, be gracious to us. We repent our waywardness in thought word and deed. In our wait for you in repentance and trust, Lord strengthen and renew us daily by your Holy Spirit in us.” Amen.

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