The Christophanies were temporary appearances of Christ in the form of a man, but He wasn't yet actually in the nature of a man. These Old Testament Christophanies were important because through them God revealed information about Himself to man. They made the invisible God visible to man, and they set the stage for His full bodily appearance as a human being in His incarnation. Examples of Christophanies include those instances in which the Old Testament speaks of the Angel of the Lord or Messenger of the Lord, such as when He appeared to Abraham and told him not to go through with the sacrifice of his son Isaac.
CP: You point out many times about believers struggling with reading the Old Testament. What is the most important advice you have for those who currently feel overwhelmed in finding fulfillment in or just making sense of the Old Testament?
Limbaugh: This is one of the many goals with this book – to provide an overview of the Old Testament for Christians who struggle to get through it. I summarize each book and emphasize how each one specifically points to Christ. I also provide an outline and summary of Old Testament history to help readers get a better understanding of the grand sweep of Old Testament history so that they will see how it all fits together. I would encourage people to reorient themselves in the direction of Christ when reading the Old Testament so that they can begin to see how He dominates each and every page. I trust my book will give them a jump-start in that process. In all modesty, this is the book I wish I'd had available to me when I first became a Christian and was on fire for the Bible and yearning to learn and understand more about the Old Testament and the entire Bible.
Your world will change when you get a better grasp of what Old Testament scholar Walter Kaiser calls God's promise-plan for our salvation – His promise to redeem mankind for an eternal relationship with Himself – and see how it courses through the entirety of the Old Testament and finds its fulfillment in Christ in the New Testament. But I must stress that no human book, mine or anyone else's, can serve as a substitute for or in any way improve upon God's Holy Bible. So my ultimate advice is that people must go to God in prayer and seek the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit as they read all of Scripture. But by all means take Him at His word.
He tells us that all of His Word is God breathed and that means the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. Whether or not we find certain portions of the Old Testament tedious, we must understand that God doesn't waste words. Every letter in the Bible is included for a purpose. Use whatever study aids you find that you can trust and diligently read and meditate upon Scripture.
Read the Bible at least one time from beginning to end and you will begin to see its marvelous unity. The character of God, His messages, His faithfulness, His love, His infinite wisdom, His loving kindness – are consistent throughout. The more you study the Word, the more this will become apparent to you.
So please read the Old Testament with the desire to better understand the grand sweep of Old Testament history and the Christocentric threads that dominate it, and then read and study the Old Testament with the aid of the Holy Spirit and see if it doesn't open up for you. I'm betting it will.