On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . . five gold rings.
The gift of the rings represents the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch. Those five books are: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which give the creation of the world, the history of humanity’s sinful failure, God’s response of grace and God keeping the line of the Savior intact. We will save a discussion of the creation of the world for tomorrow as that is what the 6th day of Christmas can point us to.
Very likely you have read parts of the book of Genesis as it not only tells us about the creation of the world, but how after God’s first creatures – Adam and Eve lived in the perfect creation for a short while, they fell into sin. But God immediately gives them the first promise of the Savior (Genesis 3:15).
There is so much more in the first 5 books of the Old Testament. They share the first chapters in the history of God keeping that promise of sending the Savior and keeping his people Israel to keep that line of the Savior going.
Here is a one-sentence overview of each of those first 5 books:
Genesis is the book of origins-of the beginning of life, and of ruin through sin. Its first word, “In the beginning God,” is in striking contrast with the end, “In a coffin in Egypt.”
Exodus is the book of redemption, the first need of a ruined race.
Leviticus is the book of worship and communion, the proper exercise of the redeemed.
Numbers speaks of the experiences of a pilgrim people, the redeemed passing through a hostile scene to a promised inheritance.
Deuteronomy is a book of instruction for the redeemed about to enter that inheritance.
Those 5 books could be summed up with the well-intentioned words of God’s people “Everything the LORD has said we will do.” (Exodus 24:3). Don’t those words also capture our intention as well. Like God’s people in the Old Testament, God’s people today still desire to do his will, yet realize they fail at every turn. These first 5 books capture well the theme which is repeated again and again through the Bible – when God’s people fail, God is there to pick them up, forgive them and strengthen them to go on their way to again seek to do God’s will.
Prayer: Gracious God – thank you that still today you show me the same love you have shown your people throughout history and continue to give the love of my Savior. Amen.