The Great Story begins. September 6
Story of the Old Testament
(1) The Bible was written by more than 40 people over about 1600 years. Yet within it’s diversity is unity of theme and purpose. The book of Genesis forms the starting point for what follows throughout the Old and New Testaments. Many of the great doctrines of the Bible are introduced in Genesis.
The theme of Genesis reflects the theme of scripture: the redemption of humanity from sin and the effects of the fall. It establishes God as the sole creator of all things, then proceeds with the story of Gods interaction with his creation.
(2) Genesis does not give Us all the details of creation. But it does describe our powerful God, who created all things. The first words of scripture are critical: “In the beginning God created....” (Genesis 1:1). God has always existed; the creator proceeded the creation.
(3) Genesis clearly indicates that Gods creation was orderly. He did not make the universe in a random or haphazard way. When we consider the way plants, animals, and humans are interdependent, we gain a bit of insight into the creative mind of God.
(4) Genesis 12 is a transitional chapter, connecting humanity to the lineage of Abraham. God chose Abraham to begin a chosen nation that would prepare the way for the greater seed of Abraham-Christ- who would bring blessing to the world. For the remainder of scripture, this concept of Gods people as Abrahams seed, or lineage will be present.
(5) In Abraham we are introduced to the great concept of faith in God and personal trust in his promises. God called Abraham to leave his homeland in Mesopotamia to Go to an unnamed place of Gods choosing. That place was Canaan, several hundred miles to the southwest, which is largely the land we now know of as Israel. But God also gave Abraham a promise. He would become the father of a great nation through which God would demonstrate his love to the world. The specifics of Abrahams story are well known. but we must keep the big picture in view. God used Abraham to prepare the way for Christ. Indeed, the New Testament refers to all who follow Christ as children of Abraham.
(6) God had promised to make Abraham the father of a great nation. Yet Genesis 21 finds him and his wife, Sarah, childless and elderly. He was 100 years old and she was ninety. But God miraculously gave them a son, Isaac. Isaacs name meant “laughter”, a reminder of the joy that Isaac brought his parents. God kept his promises even when that required a great miracle.
(7) Gods promise also endured despite the
failures of his people. Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, is a familiar example. When we hear of Jacob, we often think of his deception of Esau. But God later shaped Jacob into a man of persevering faith.
(8) Abraham, Isaac and Jacob remind us that God made a plan to redeem humanity, preserving that plan through seemingly impossible circumstances and flawed individuals.