Why Theophany?

“O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.” Genesis 18:3

Did you know that Jesus appeared in the Old Testament? He came in the flesh for an important purpose before His birth.

This year, my Mom is focusing on the acts of Jesus in the Gospels while I focus on His acts in the Old Testament. A theophany can be defined as the physical appearing of Jesus before His birth. Some teachers focus on the New Testament while ignoring the Old but this is a mistake. We cannot fully enjoy the beauty of the New Covenant when we haven’t explored what came first. At Daughters of Promise, we went into this New Year with the goal of teaching a cohesive ‘scriptural whole’. We desire to give a big picture of what our all-knowing God did for us.

So why study theophany? We study it because it is the source of hope! Even before we were given the written law, the Son of God approached Abraham to tell him and Sarah that in their old age they would have a baby boy. The Son who was to come prophesied in the flesh a firstborn son. This, in and of itself, was a prophecy of His very own birth down the road.

Think about it, even before the words were written on the page, the Word came and spoke hope to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He walked into the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Jesus’s rare presence before His advent ushered in such profound consequences. Children were born to the ancient. Millions of people were protected from armies. Kings bowed their knees to the ground knowing that this God could protect His children in a fiery furnace.

Now, this God, whose physical appearances were so infrequent, makes available now to us His very own spirit. This year, let’s see the mighty things our God has done since days of old so that we can believe Him today for what He wants to do from inside our very own hearts.

Heavenly Father, I praise You for the ways in which You have revealed Yourself. Seeing what You did in days gone by gives me hope for what You can do in a willing heart tomorrow. So, today, take over every part of me. Let this heart be Your dwelling place.

Journal

How do you think people pictured God as before He appeared to Abraham?

How do you think Abraham was able to know that He was seeing Jesus?

Does this give you hope?

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