12 de junio de 2021






Trusting in God involves putting what you have learned into practice.




                                             THIS  is the second devotional of “La Anxiety and the Old Testament by José Nuñez Diéguez, pastor, Argentine writer and you can contact him through audioscristianos1960@gmail.com or on Twitter @Joeoikos. You can also listen to him at: https://www.breaker.audio/audios-cristianossencillos/e/88579988.


“And she answered them: Do not call me Naomi, but call me Mara; because the Almighty has made me very bitter. I left full, but Jehovah has returned me empty-handed. Why will you call me Naomi, since Jehovah has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me? "



Ruth 1. 20




The relevance of the Old Testament to addressing anxiety begins with its composition. It is the product of dozens of authors over a whole millennium. So he catalogues an overwhelming number of traumatic events, from the murder of Abel and the oppression of Israel in Egypt to the rape of Tamar and the exile to Babylon, to name just a few. This is different from the New Testament, which is so focused and finished so quickly that similar events from the first century are not recorded, the destruction of the temple or the eruption that swept through Pompeii and may have killed dozens of early Christians. 

Imagine that you were standing near the site where the New York Towers fell on September 11, 2001. What thoughts and feelings would you experience? Almost all Americans who were alive during those attacks remember where they were that fateful day and how it felt to watch the news that repeatedly showed buildings collapsing. In my country that day was Teacher's Day, my daughters at home watching the two impacts on television as if it were a movie. The experiences that underpin the Old Testament texts are not very different. At least one disturbing event for society at large, from a natural disaster or a military invasion to national exile or political scandal, lurks behind almost all the Old Testament writing. I once said that the author of the comic strip Mafalda, he repeatedly said that he was inspired by Old Testament stories to draw and give voice to Mafalda. He said that everything was there.

It is no wonder, then, that the Old Testament is more saturated with the Bible's famous "fear not" statements than the New Testament. These documents distil the wisdom of the centuries, leading us to the council of the elders and the wisest sages to learn what it means to trust God.




One of the ways the Old Testament comforts the anxious is by its reliance on two pleasant literary genres. The first is the historical narrative, found in books like Genesis or Joshua. Unlike some social media profiles that are carefully designed to present only the friendly, most exciting, and successful side of a person, these stories reveal a more complete picture. Characters are presented with both achievements and weaknesses. There is Moses, the scared speaker (Exodus 4:10); Ahaz, the desperate monarch (2 Kings 16: 7); and Naomi, the bitter mother-in-law (Ruth 1: 20-21). These characters remove the stigma of anxiety and remind us that God works through broken people.




“Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, I plan an evil against this family, from which you shall not take out your necks, nor walk erect; because the weather will be bad. At that time they will lift up a proverb over you, and there will be a lament of lamentation, saying: We were completely destroyed; he has changed the portion of my people. How he took our fields from us! He gave them and distributed them to others. Therefore, there will be no one who divides inheritance by lot in the congregation of Jehovah."


Micah 2. 3-5


The Psalms complement the narratives by offering snapshots of individuals responding to anxiety. Instead of a neat summary packaged for hindsight, David's piercing question, "How long, Lord?" (Ps. 13: 1), invites us to contemplate his active suffering and gives us permission to plead with God to put an end to our suffering as well. Asaph expresses the inexpressible when he says that God has given him only "the bread of tears" (Ps. 80: 5). Most importantly, this group of human voices offers theological solutions: “The Lord is with me; I will not have fear. What can mere mortals do to me? " (Ps. 118: 6). The comfort of the Psalms is especially felt in remembering that they are songs meant to be sung and are the inspired Word of God. This means, as John Calvin pointed out, that when we sing the Psalms during trials, it is as if the Spirit of God is singing through us.


Of course, Old Testament texts don't always seem like a good resource for fighting anxiety. There are moments that feel like a literary punch, including Micah's promise of judgment on the people of Israel (Micah 2: 3-5), and stories of severe testing, like Abraham's near sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22 : 1–18). Far from comforting us, these texts only increase our anxiety. But if we read them carefully, we find that each story is redemptive because the anxiety is momentary and is intended to draw us closer to God in faith and hope. It is never the intention of a biblical author to constantly mock a believer's fears or divert his faith in a good God.


God bless you.




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God bless you and always bring revelation into your life of the Mind of Christ that is already in you.




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