When we consider how God communicates with believers, we often think of the time that God spoke to Elijah using “a still small voice” (I Kings 19:12). In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is also typically portrayed as being soft spoken, a “perfect gentleman”. The question arises as to whether God ever speaks to His followers in a strong or loud voice? The answer to this is an emphatic yes, but not necessarily in terms of audible decibels. For God speaks primarily in a silent manner to the believer through His Word. There are however certain aspects of His Word when God can be said “to shout at the believer”. One of these aspects is through the employment of the use of “companion verses”. Companion verses are verses found within Scripture where a verse found within the New Testament will also have the same or a corresponding verse existing within the pages of the Old Testament, thus attesting to the significance of the concept found within the verses.
Companion verses are God’s way of shouting out to the careful student of His Word, “Hey, PAY ATTENTION TO THIS, FOR THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!”
For example, when God wants to inform the believer of the fact that in His dealings with mankind, He often allows sin to come to its full fruition before He judges it, He attests to this fact in both Testaments (Genesis 15:16, Revelation 14:18).
When God wants the believer to be fully aware of how important they are to Him, He informs them in both Testaments that everything that occurs in the Universe is ultimately done for their sake and benefit (Psalm 57:2, II Corinthians 4:15).
When God wants to inform the believer that it was the 2nd Person of the Trinity, the Pre-Incarnate Jesus Christ, who was the primary representative of the Godhead in the Old Testament, He employs companion verses attesting to this fact in both Testaments (“In the volume of the book it is written of me.” Psalm 40:7, Hebrews 10:7).
A verse in Scripture that at face value appears to carry some very significant potential ramifications is Matthew 23:23. Here we read of Jesus chastising the scribes and the Pharisees for ignoring the most important aspects of Scripture, “…the weightier matters of the Law: Judgment, Mercy, and Faith …”. To this we must ask the question, “Would it be fruitful to try and understand the significance of this theological trilogy of Judgment, Mercy, and Faith, and is there an Old Testament companion verse that will attest to the fact that Matthew 23:23 is a verse of Scripture that is of special significance? The answer to both parts of this question is a definite “YES”!
For through further study and analyses we find contained within Matthew 23:23, not only the outline for the mechanics of the believer’s walk through this world, but also in the Old Testament record, we find not just one companion verse to Matthew 23:23, but rather two such verses (Micah 6:8, Zechariah 7:9-11). In Micah 6:8 we read the “daily walk” angle of Faith emphasized (Romans 1:17), and in Zechariah 7:11 we find the “daily study” facet of Faith affirmed (Romans 10:17). This of course further attests to the importance of Matthew 23:23.