Website owner: James Miller
When we think about what Jesus taught we think about things he said about "turning the other cheek", avoiding argument and strife, humility, meekness, forgiveness, love of neighbor, compassion for the poor and needy, etc. These are ideas that we associate with Jesus. A lot of people don't take these teachings seriously. They think they are impractical and dismiss them. They know he taught them, but they don't really take them seriously. In fact, they don't take much of what he said seriously. "Surely, he didn't really mean that!", they think. "Not really, literally!" "It sounds like a great ideal but it isn't practical. I couldn't do it." And this is true not only of a great many irreligious people, but also true of a lot of people who consider themselves to be Christians, people who go to church every Sunday and believe they "love the Lord". These people don't really practice much of what he taught but yet regard themselves as Christians because at some time in their lives they became a Christian (by going forward in a church service and "giving their heart to the Lord") and so now they are, in their minds, a Christian. In their minds, because of the doctrinal ideas in which they have been indoctrinated, practicing his teachings doesn't have anything to do with being a Christian. They are a Christian just because of that action that they took at some point in their lives. Other people may regard themselves to be Christians, not because they really practice what Jesus taught, but because they belong to the "true church" and follow the rites and teachings of that "true church". The human mind is capable of strange tricks, blindnesses and self-deceptions. One often doesn't see himself as objectively as others do. At any rate I wish to point out that these novel, "impractical" ideas that Jesus taught, ideas actually practiced by so few people, are also found in the Old Testament. The ideas didn't originate with Jesus. They, in some form at least, predate Jesus. A number are found in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy and many are found in the books of Psalms and Proverbs. Following are compiled lists of Old Testament scripture that teach such things as humility, meekness, avoidance of strife, forgiveness, love of God, love of neighbor, compassion for the poor and needy, etc.: HUMILITY / PRIDE Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. Psa 138:6 He forgetteth not the cry of the humble. Psa 9:1 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. Psa 25:9 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Psa 37:11 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. Prov 3:34 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Prov 8:13 When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom. Prov 11:2 By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom. Prov 13:10 In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise will preserve them. Prov 14:3 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility. Prov 15:33 The LORD will destroy the house of the proud, but He will establish the boundary of the widow. Prov 15:25 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; though they join forces, none will go unpunished. Prov 16:5 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. Prov 16:19 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov 16:18 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty and before honor is humility. Prov 18:12 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life. Prov 22:4 A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor. Prov 29:23 A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin. Prov 21:4 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. Prov 26:12 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. Prov 27:2 He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the LORD will be prospered. Prov 28:25 A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor. Prov 29:23 The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Eccl 7:8 PEACEABLENESS / STRIFE Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psa. 133:1 Seek peace and pursue it. Psa. 34:14 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. Prov. 3:30 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. Prov. 10:12 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife. Prov. 15:18 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. Prov. 16:28 By pride cometh contention. Prov. 13:10 Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife. Prov. 17:1 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling. Prov. 20:3 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman. Prov. 21:19 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out: yea, strife and reproach shall cease. Prov. 22:10 Go not hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbor hath put thee to shame. Prov. 25:8 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. Prov. 26:17 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coal is to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. Prov 26:20,21 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. Prov. 27:15 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife. Prov. 28:25 An angry man stirreth up strife. Prov. 29:22 FORGIVENESS You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Lev 19:18 If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it. Exo 23:4-5 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger and his glory is to overlook a transgression. Prov 19:11 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Prov 24:17 Do not say, "I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work." Prov 24:29 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; Prov 25:21 LOVE OF GOD And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. Deut. 10:12-20 Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deut. 6:1-2,6-9 LOVE OF NEIGHBOR You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Lev 19:17-18 COMPASSION FOR POOR AND NEEDY If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, "You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land." Deut 15:6-7,11 Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. Psa 41:1 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. Psa 82:3-4 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he. Prov 14:21 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor. Prov 14:31 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. Prov 19:17 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. Prov 21:13 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. Prov 28:27 HONESTY, TRUTHFULNESS You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. You shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God. You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning. Lev 19:11-13 You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume. You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin. Lev 19:11-36 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: But a just weight is his delight. Prov 11:1 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: But they that deal truly are his delight. Prov 12:22 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape. Prov 19:5 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death. Prov 21:6 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. Lev 19:11 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Psa 34:13 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: He that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. Psa 101:7 JUSTNESS You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. Lev 19:15 Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked. And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous. Ex 23:7-8 You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning. You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD. You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. 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