The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 20

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1 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 20 Old Testament Books 144

2 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 20 Chapter 20 Numbers The Story so Far At Mount Sinai God instructed the people to build Him a tent. God s plan was to rescue back a people for Himself so that He could live with them. God was restoring His Kingdom God s people, living in God s place, under God s rule and blessing. However, it was not long before Israel disobeyed God and broke the rules of the covenant. But God was able to keep the contract going by graciously providing a sacrifice and a priest to help deal with the problems of sin and separation. Objectives To show the faithfulness of God and the faithlessness of Israel To highlight Joshua and Caleb as examples of how to enter God s place Connections Entering the land God had promised was like returning to Eden. It was in the land that God s Kingdom would be established. Summary God s contract continues by grace. Israel is a faithless nation, but God remains faithful to His promises. 145

3 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 20 A Faithful God and a Faithless Israel In the desert (Numbers 2:32-33) After the Tabernacle is completed God leads His people through the desert to the Promised Land, Canaan. The events of the journey are recorded for us in the book called Numbers. The book is called Numbers because in it there are two censuses taken of the people. In other words, God asks Moses to count all the people that have been brought out of Egypt. There are approximately 600,000 men. Near the end of the book God asks Moses to count the people again. Approaching Canaan When the people are near the land of Canaan God tells Moses to choose 12 spies to go into the land and check it out. Remember that there are other people living in the land. Moses chooses one person from each of the tribes of Israel 12 spies altogether. The 12 men go into the land and explore it for 40 days. Then they return and report everything they have seen to Moses. The report (Numbers 13:26-29, 31-33) When the 12 spies return 10 of them give a bad report. The people report two main problems: 1. The people are too big to defeat. 2. The cities have big walls and are well protected. A faithless Israel (Numbers 14:1-4) The main response is that the people do not want to go into the land God has promised. The people of Israel are showing a complete lack of faith in God s promises. Did God promise Abraham the land of Canaan? Yes. Did God fight as a warrior for His people to rescue them out of Egypt? Yes. Can God do the same when they enter the land of Canaan? Yes. God is the mighty warrior who defeated the great nation of the Egyptians; the people in Canaan are nothing compared to Egypt. And yet Israel has no faith in God or His promises. Israel is a faithless nation. 146

4 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 20 Joshua and Caleb s response (Numbers 13:30; 14:6-9) However, two spies called Joshua and Caleb give a good report, encouraging the people to go and take the land because God has promised it to them. Joshua and Caleb stand out as men who believe and trust God s promises in contrast to the faithless Israelites. God s response (Numbers 14:26-35) God s responds with punishment for not having faith in His promises. He is going to make the Israelites walk in the desert for 40 years - one year for every day that the spies were in the land. Those people who did not have faith in God and His promises will die in the desert and will not enter the land of promise. But in His grace God promises to bring the children of Israel into the land of Canaan. He also promises to bring Joshua and Caleb into the land because they had faith in His promises. God remains faithful to His promise to Abraham - his descendants will live in the land of Canaan and it will be their home. Entry into God s place is through faith in God s promises. A faithful God (Numbers 2:32; 26:51) In the desert, even the children of Israel start to disobey God. Yet God remains faithful to His promise and in His grace still promises to bring them into the Promised Land. God provides food and water for His people during the 40 years. We also read that during the 40 years their shoes do not even wear out. At the first census there are 603,550 men, but they all die (except three) because of disobedience. Nearly 40 years later a second census is taken and the number is 601,730 men. God keeps the number of Israelites strong despite their disobedience. God is keeping His promises to Abraham. God s contract continues by grace. Israel is a faithless nation, but God remains faithful to His promises. 147

5 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 20 Think it through & discuss 1. In what way is Israel a faithless nation? 2. In what way is God faithful? 3. What do the examples of Joshua and Caleb teach us? 148

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7 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 21 Old Testament Books 150

8 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 21 Chapter 21 Deuteronomy 28, 30 The Story so Far At Mount Sinai God instructed the people to build Him a tent. God s plan was to rescue back a people for Himself so that He could live with them. God was restoring His Kingdom God s people, living in God s place, under God s rule and blessing. However, it was not long before Israel disobeyed God and broke the rules of the covenant. But God was able to keep the contract going by graciously providing a sacrifice and a priest to help pay for the people s disobedience. When Israel reached the Promised Land they refused to enter it because they were scared of the people. God punished Israel for 40 years in the desert, yet He remained faithful and eventually brought their children to enter the land, along with Joshua and Caleb. Objectives To explain the blessings and curses of the covenant To see Moses as a great prophet-priest To understand that there is another prophet-priest on His way Connections The pattern of God s covenant continues grace law grace The Rescuer-Ruler will be both a prophet, priest, and King Summary If Israel obeys, they will be blessed. If they disobey, God will punish by removing them from the land. 151

9 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 21 Now Choose Life A second chance Forty years pass and the generation of rebellious people all die and are buried in the desert. This happens about 1150 BC (over 3000 years ago). Only Joshua, Caleb and Moses survive from the adults that left the land of Egypt. After 40 years God brings them back to the border of the land of Canaan. The children of Israel have now grown up into adults. All the people are now standing east of the Jordan River, looking into the land. Moses great speech Moses is not allowed into the land so before he dies he gives a great speech. This speech is written down and is called the book of Deuteronomy. The word Deuteronomy means the second reading of the Law. In other words, Moses reminds the people that God brought their fathers out of Egypt to give them the land of Canaan. He also reminds the Israelites about the 10 rules and the way of life for those who are in God s contract. He encourages them to live obedient lives as God s people in God s land. He warns them that if they do not obey God He will punish them and remove them from the land. The promise to bless (Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 8) God s promises to Abraham involved blessing his children. Israel is now God s people because of what He has done for them in Egypt. He acted in grace to them, but now, as His people, Israel must obey their King. If they do obey, God promises to bless them in the Promised Land. It is like returning to the Garden of Eden - God s people, living in God s place, under God s rule and blessing. The way to ensure God s blessing in Canaan is by obeying His rules, just like in the Garden of Eden. The promise to punish (Deuteronomy 28:15, 58-64) God s land has been a gift from Himself, but should His people rebel it will be taken from them. With God s grace comes responsibility, and God warns Israel that He will punish them if they do not act properly as His people in His place. Do you see the connections again here with the Garden of Eden? God s people will live in God s place, under His rule and blessing, so long as 152

10 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 21 they obey. If they disobey, they will be removed from God s place, just like Adam and Eve were. If you repent (Deuteronomy 30:1-5) But God is always a God of grace who keeps His covenant. And so He promises that should the people rebel, once they repent then God will restore them to the land again. Part of God s covenant is a promise to forgive their rebellion on the condition of their repentance. Should the people rebel and be taken out of the land they do not deserve to enter it again. But God is promising that He will act in grace if they repent and He will bring them back into the land. In short Moses reminds them of the pattern of God s covenant: Blessings and curses (Deuteronomy 30:15-20) It is God s contract that will secure Israel in the land of Canaan. But it is also God s contract that will ensure Israel will be removed if they disobey. Therefore, the emphasis at this stage is on the middle part of God s contract obedience to the law. The question is, when God s people enter God s place again, will they be able to live there forever? The responsibility is now on Israel. The choice is theirs blessing or curse, life or death? Moses encourages them to choose life! No prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 34:10-12) The last words of Deuteronomy speak about Moses. The writer wants us to know that there really is no one quite like Moses. Never in Israel s history has there been a man that God knew in such an intimate way. That s what the words face to face mean. Moses is no ordinary man either he is a prophet from God who has mighty power to perform miracles. And so when Moses dies it really is a sad day for the people of Israel the greatest prophet in their history has died. 153

11 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 21 Another prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-16) The question that we are left asking at this point in the Bible is, will there ever be another prophet like Moses? Will there ever be a person in Israel to perform miracles again like Moses? Moses in fact gives us the answer: God is going to raise up another prophet from among the Israelites. Horeb is another name for Mount Sinai. When God spoke at Mount Sinai there was fire and smoke and the people were so afraid they said to Moses, Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die (Exodus 20:19). A prophet The Israelites asked Moses to be a prophet to them. A prophet is a person appointed by God to speak His words to the people. He speaks to the people on behalf of God, representing God to the people. A prophet speaks to the people on behalf of God, representing God to the people. A mediator / priest But we must not miss another very important role that Moses played. The people asked Moses to speak to them instead of God or we will die. God s words were still spoken to them through Moses but they did not die. The people still heard God s very words, but they did not die because they came through a mediator Moses the prophet. So a prophet not only speaks God s words to the people, but he also holds back God s anger and acts as a mediator. Another word for a mediator in the Bible is the word priest. A priest is someone who goes between God and the people to hold back God s anger. A priest speaks to God on behalf of the people, representing them to God. Without a priest God s people will die in His holy presence. A priest speaks to God on behalf of the people, representing them to God. 154

12 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 21 There is a song in the Bible that tells us that Moses acted as a priest on Mount Sinai: At Horeb they made a calf and worshipped an idol cast from metal They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt, miracles in the land of Ham and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. So He said He would destroy them had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before Him to keep His wrath from destroying them (Psalm 106:19, 21-23). On Mount Sinai Moses held back God s anger against His people for their disobedience. Even before they made the golden calf Moses acted as a priest for the people allowing them to live whilst they listened to the words of a holy God. Moses a prophet-priest So Moses is both a prophet and a priest to the people. He is in fact the greatest prophet-priest the nation of Israel has known. But in Deuteronomy 18:15 Moses tells the people that another prophetpriest is coming to Israel. God in fact repeats what Moses says, The LORD said to me: What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in His mouth, and He will tell them everything I command Him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account (Deuteronomy 18:17-19). God wants the people to know that there is a prophet-priest coming who will be like Moses. A prophet-priest par excellence So whilst it is sad that Moses dies, there is the hope and expectation of a coming prophet who will be like Moses. Since He will be a prophet like Moses we know that He will fulfil the role of a priest as well. The coming prophet-priest will speak God s words to the people, and also turn aside God s anger from the people. He will be an Israelite and like Moses He will perform mighty and powerful acts. We can also conclude that He too will know God face to face. And if we take the last words of Deuteronomy seriously, then this prophet-priest will be like Moses, in that, at His time in history there will be none to compare Him to. 155

13 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 21 The Rescuer-Ruler So far the Bible has been painting a progressive picture of the Rescuer-Ruler: He will be a human being from the family line of Eve; He will defeat Satan but will be injured in the fight; He will come from the line of Abraham and so will be a King; If He is a prophet like Moses then He will be a priest as well; If He is the person Moses has promised, then He will know God very personally and perform mighty and powerful acts; At His time in history there will be no-one to compare Him to. So far the promised Rescuer-Ruler can fulfil three roles King, prophet and priest. God s Kingdom can surely be established if such a person is ever to live on earth. Joshua a new leader At the end of the book of Deuteronomy we are told that Moses dies and Joshua his assistant is chosen by God to be the new leader of the people. Joshua is one of the two spies who had faith in God s promises. The name Joshua means, Rescuer. Is Joshua to be this prophet-priest who Moses promised? Is he the promised Rescuer-Ruler? 156

14 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 21 Think it through & discuss 1. How would you summarise the book of Deuteronomy? 2. What will happen if Israel disobeys God? 3. How are these warnings in Deuteronomy connected to God s Kingdom? 157

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16 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 22 The Story so Far... The Bible The Bible is God s book. God is the author of the Bible, but He used human beings to write it. Every word in the Bible comes from God. The Bible has one story Jesus and His Kingdom. The beginning of God s Kingdom In the beginning God created a perfect world. He created human beings (Adam and Eve) to be in a relationship with Himself and to obey His words. God had a special place called Eden where He lived with His people. In the beginning, God put His people in His place and asked them to obey His words. God had established a Kingdom - God s people, living in God s place, under God s rule and blessing. The ruin of God s Kingdom An angel from heaven called Satan rebelled against God and was thrown out of heaven to the earth. He entered the Garden of Eden and tried to destroy God s Kingdom. God gave human beings the role of ruling the world, but they failed in a big way. They wanted to be their own rulers, deciding for themselves what is right and wrong. They listened to Satan and rejected God s authority and His loving rule. The result was a broken relationship with God and the Kingdom was ruined. God s punishment God judged human beings and threw them out of His place and did not let them go back into the Garden of Eden. The punishment was a broken relationship with God and with each other. Death entered the world. The Kingdom God had established was ruined. God s promise But God also acted in grace and promised a Rescuer-Ruler who would come and defeat Satan and rebuild God s Kingdom. The Rescuer-Ruler would come from the family line of Adam and Eve and rescue people back into the Kingdom of God. The rest of the 159

17 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 22 Bible is the progressive story of how the promised Rescuer-Ruler will come and establish God s Kingdom. A new beginning In the story of Cain and Abel we saw that human rebellion had been passed on to the whole human race. We all die because we have all chosen to be the rulers of our own lives. However, human rebellion increased to the point where God decided to judge the world. In the flood God re-created the world and gave human beings a new beginning. By saving Noah He showed His commitment to restoring His Kingdom through the promised Rescuer-Ruler. Human rebellion again But things soon went wrong again. People disobeyed God s words to populate and fill the earth. They tried to stay in one place and build a city for security and a tower for their own religion. Like Adam and Eve they tried to become like God, and make a name for themselves. God judged them by confusing their language, scattering people over the whole earth. God s purposes were still fulfilled. The promised Kingdom God s response to the rebellion at Babel was to choose a man called Abraham. God graciously promised him three things: a land, a people, and a blessing. God was re-establishing His Kingdom through the family of Abraham God s people, living in God s place, under God s rule and blessing. God tested His own Kingdom promises by asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham obeyed God, but just before he was about to kill Isaac, God provided a substitute sacrifice in order to keep His Kingdom promises. From slavery to service God s promises to Abraham involved his children living in a foreign land as slaves for 400 years. Through Joseph God s people went to live in Egypt and after some time they became slaves to Pharaoh, king of Egypt. God then sent Moses to Egypt to rescue His people, but Pharaoh refused to let them go. So God fought for His people as the Warrior-King against Pharaoh and destroyed their enemy. God then brought Israel to Mount Sinai where He gave them His rules. He was now their King and so they could not 160

18 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 22 live any way they wanted. Israel was to live in obedience to God, and so like Adam, be a priest to the world. Through Israel God would rule and bless the world. From Sinai to Canaan At Mount Sinai God instructed the people to build Him a tent. God s plan was to rescue back a people for Himself so that He could live with them. God was restoring His Kingdom God s people, living in God s place, under God s rule and blessing. However, it was not long before Israel disobeyed God and broke the rules of the covenant. But God was able to keep the covenant going by graciously providing a sacrifice and a priest to help pay for the people s disobedience. When Israel reached the Promised Land they refused to enter it because they were scared of the people. God punished Israel for 40 years in the desert, yet He remained faithful and eventually brought their children to enter the land, along with Joshua and Caleb. Just before they entered the land Moses warned them: If you obey, you will be blessed. If you disobey, God will punish you by removing you from the land. 161

19 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 22 God s Kingdom Constitution: I will be their God, they will be my people God s promises Place People Rule & Blessing King Creation Eden Adam& Eve God s word Adam God s Kingdom ruined Abraham Canaan Abraham s family God s promises Kings from Abraham s family Israel in desert Tabernacle Israel nation God s rules Tribe of Judah Israel in Canaan Temple in Canaan Israel nation God s rules David, Solomon 162

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21 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 23 Old Testament Books 164

22 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 23 Chapter 23 Joshua The Story so Far See Chapter 22 Objectives To see God as the promise-keeper by Him giving Israel the land To explain why killing the Canaanites is not unfair To understand that Joshua repeats the conditions of the covenant blessings and curses Connections God is re-establishing His Kingdom by giving Israel the land Israel is like a new Adam subduing the place God has given him Covenant warnings are repeated again Moses Joshua Summary God is a promise-maker, and a promise-keeper Israel inherit the land God promised to Abraham. 165

23 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 23 The Promise-Keeper God keeps His promise (Joshua 1:2-6) Moses is dead and Joshua is now the new leader of God s people. God speaks to Joshua and reminds him that He will keep His promise that He made to Abraham and to Moses to give the land of Canaan to the people of Israel. This time Joshua and the people cross over the Jordan River into the land. God again performs a miracle and parts the Jordan River so the people can cross over (Joshua 3). The children of Israel have faith that God will give them Canaan even though the strong people and the walled cities are still there 40 years later. The city of Jericho The first city that the people come to is the mighty city of Jericho, close to the river Jordan. It is one of the strongest in all of Canaan with a great wall around the city. If you are from China then you can appreciate what a great wall looks like. Below is an example of what Jericho would have looked like. A walled city in Israel something like what Jericho would have looked like The defeat of Jericho (Joshua 5:13-6:27) God gives Joshua very strange commands in order for the people to capture this city. They have to walk around the city walls once a day without making a sound. This is to be done for six days, and then on the seventh day, they are to give a great shout. God tells 166

24 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 23 them that on the seventh day the city walls will fall down. He then commands them to kill all the people in the city. God performs a great miracle so that the Israelites can capture this mighty city. The Israelites obey God s command, the walls fall down, and the city is destroyed. Not one Israelite warrior is killed in the whole battle. The walls and the big people are not too powerful for the Israelites warrior God. A common question Is it right to kill the Canaanite people? This is a frequently asked question and so we must turn to the Bible to find an answer. We are told in the Bible that these Canaanite people are evil. Their disobedience and rebellion makes God angry and God has said He will punish them with death. God is using the Israelite people to punish the people of Canaan. He uses the Israelites as His means to punish a rebellious nation. Today God uses governments to punish those who do wrong. So it is not as if the Canaanites don t deserve death. All human beings deserve to die for disobeying their Creator. But the question we should ask is why does God not punish the Israelites because they too are disobedient and evil? The answer is found in one word grace! That s exactly the point, God gives the Israelites what they do not deserve He acts in grace and gives them the land. He gives the Canaanites what they do deserve punishment. God is gracious to Israel and He is just to the Canaanites. The Promise-Keeper (Joshua 23:14) Joshua leads Israel in many great victories. They defeat the city of Jericho and many other kings in the land. Joshua then divides up the land among the 12 tribes of Israel. God has fulfilled His promises to Abraham, Moses and Joshua. God is a promise-maker, and a promise-keeper Israel inherit the land God promised to Abraham. 167

25 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 23 Kingdom blessings and curses (Joshua 23:15-16) Joshua is about to die. Whenever a leader of God s people dies the covenant is potentially in danger of being broken, because God s people can easily forget God s rules. The people have entered the land and God is establishing His Kingdom again God s people, living in God s place, under God s rule and blessing. But the heart of man is deceitful and easily led astray. And so Joshua reminds them about the covenant obedience will lead to blessing, but disobedience will lead to removal from the land. 168

26 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 23 Think it through & discuss 1. What evidence is there that God is Israel s warrior in the land? 2. Is it fair to kill the Canaanites? 3. How do we know God has kept His promises? 4. Explain God s Kingdom blessings and curses. 169

27 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 23 Old Testament Books 170

28 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 24 Chapter 24 Judges The Story so Far At Mount Sinai God instructed the people to build Him a tent. God s plan was to rescue back a people for himself so that He could live with them. God was restoring His Kingdom God s people, living in God s place, under God s rule and blessing. However, it was not long before Israel disobeyed God and broke the rules of the covenant. But God was able to keep the contract going by graciously providing a sacrifice and a priest to help pay for the people s disobedience. When Israel reached the Promised Land they refused to enter it because they were scared of the people. God punished Israel for 40 years in the desert, yet He remained faithful and eventually brought their children to enter the land, along with Joshua and Caleb. Just before they entered the land Moses warned them: If you obey you will be blessed. If you disobey, God will punish you by removing you from the land. Through Joshua s victories Israel inherited the land God promised to Abraham. Objectives To explain the cycle in the book of Judges To show the solution to Israel s problems Connections God s Kingdom cannot be established without a King Summary God s Kingdom cannot be fully established until there is a King. 171

29 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 24 The Time of the Judges An introduction to Judges The book of Judges records a very troubled period in the history of Israel. This is the period of time between 1398 BC 1043 BC, a period of about 350 years. God s people have entered the Promised Land of Canaan. Joshua has led them in many great victories, defeating the great cities and kings. The land has been divided up among the 12 tribes of Israel. After Joshua s death the people start to be ruled and led by judges, also known as rescuerrulers. Summary of Judges (Judges 2:10-23) Judges 2:10-23 summaries the whole book of Judges and helps give an introduction to this period of time in the history of Israel. Disobedience (Judges 2:10-13) The generation of Israelites after Joshua disobey God and worship other Gods. The main problem is summarised in Judges 2:11: The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baal s. 172

30 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 24 God s punishment (Judges 2:14-15) The Israelites break the first rule. Just like with the golden calf, so now with the Baals, they worship other gods. Because of their disobedience God no longer fights for them as their warrior. God s grace (Judges 2:16-19) The Lord s response is to hand Israel over to the Canaanites for a period of time to become enslaved to them. God then shows grace to His people. They deserve to die because they have disobeyed God and His Law. Yet God only punishes them for a time; then He raises up a rescuer-ruler who defeats the enemy in the land and rescues His people. God s punishment again! (Judges 2:20-23) But after the rescuer-ruler dies the people disobey God again. In fact, even the rescuer-rulers fail because there is only peace in the land for as long as they live. They are not really the great solution to Israel s problems. Israel s repeated disobedience leads God to allow the other nations to remain in Canaan. He does this to test Israel to see if they will keep and obey His rules. God the great warrior, who once fought for them, is now fighting against His own people. God s grace again! After Israel cries out for help again, God sends another judge to help them, and the cycle repeats itself. The following diagram helps to summarise Judges 2:

31 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 24 There are nine cycles of rescuer-rulers: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Tephthah and Samson. Most of these judges rescue and rule for a time but end up leaving things as they find them. The rescuer-rulers are not the answer to Israel s problems. The problem At the end of the book of Judges the nation of Israel is in a bad way. Israel is failing religiously (Judges 17:1-13), politically (Judges 18:1-31), morally (Judges 19:1-30) and socially (Judges 20:1-21, 25). All the rescuer-rulers that God has provided for His people have not solved the problems. They bring deliverance and order to Israel only for a time. Great Problems Religious problems Political problems Moral problems Social problems Great Solution Israel needs a King 174

32 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 24 The solution (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25) The rescuer-rulers are not the answer to establishing God s Kingdom in the land. They are not perfect and do not live forever and therefore cannot establish God s Kingdom. The writer of Judges suggests a solution to all the problems Israel needs a King. God s Kingdom cannot be fully established until there is a King. 175

33 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 24 Think it through & discuss 1. Explain the cycle in the book of Judges 2. How does God show His grace to His people during this time? 3. What is the solution to Israel s problems? 4. Is it true that Israel does not have a king? 176

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35 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 25 Old Testament Books 178

36 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 25 Chapter 25 1 Samuel The Story so Far When Israel reached the Promised Land they refused to enter it because they were scared of the people. God punished Israel for 40 years in the desert, yet He remained faithful and eventually brought their children to enter the land, along with Joshua and Caleb. Just before they entered the land Moses warned them: If you obey you will be blessed. If you disobey, God will punish you by removing you from the land. Through Joshua s victories Israel inherited the land God promised to Abraham. During the first 350 years in the land judges ruled Israel. But the system was not working Israel needed a king. God s Kingdom could not come until Israel had a king. Objectives To introduce the concept of kings and their qualifications To show how Saul was not the king Israel needed Connections Like Adam in the garden, God s King is always to live under His rule in obedience to Him God s Kingdom can now come through a king Summary God s King is always to live in obedience to Him; otherwise God s judgements come to Him and the people. Saul is not the king Israel needs, and is replaced by David. 179

37 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 25 The Kings of Israel But Israel has a King The problem appears to be that Israel has no king to rule over them. Yet we know God, the Lord, is Israel s King. He is the powerful Maker that rules over His creation, over Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham. He is the great King that rescues Israel from the enemies in Egypt and gives Israel His rules to obey on Mount Sinai. Appointing a king (Deuteronomy 17:14-20) God always knew that Israel, because of their disobedience, would need a king. So through Moses, many years earlier, God gives instructions for appointing a king. He outlines the qualifications needed: 1. God must choose the king. 2. He must be an Israelite. 3. He must be morally upright. 4. He must write out a copy of the Law for himself, read and obey it all the days of his life. In one sense, the king is to be as much like God, Israel s true King, as possible. We want a king! (1 Samuel 8:1-5) The final judge in Israel s history is a man called Samuel. He is an excellent judge over God s people but when he is old the future for Israel becomes uncertain. It is at this time Israel declares that they want a king. Rejection of the true King (1 Samuel 8:7; 12:12) The reason that the people want a king is because the sons of Samuel (those who will succeed Samuel as judges) are not good men or good leaders. So Israel asks for a king. But God exposes the underlying sin behind their request - Israel wants a visible human king, not an invisible divine King. Their sin is that they want to escape God s rule over them and they also do not trust God s protection of them as their King. 180

38 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 25 God gives Israel a king (1 Samuel 12:14-15, 24-25) God in his grace gives Israel a king. The human king of Israel is to obey God s rules, and act as God s representative to the people. God now rules the people through a human king instead of judges, but He is still their true King. They are still under obligation to obey God s commands, and under threat if they disobey His commands. God s King is always to live in obedience to Him; otherwise God s judgements come to Him and the people Saul the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 11:1-11; 15:1-26) God gives Samuel the task of setting up the monarchy in Israel. God organises events in such a way that Samuel meets a man called Saul. God tells him that Saul is the one He has chosen to be ruler over the people. The people are full of hope; they have a king to rule over them. A new hope, a new disappointment (1 Samuel 11:1-11; 15:1-26) Saul starts well as king by leading the army of Israel to a great victory over the Ammonite nation. Saul, however, is not the great king that Israel has hoped for as he starts to disobey God and ignores the Lord s commands. The Lord tells Saul to punish the Amalek people but Saul fails to obey, sparing the king and the best animals. God s response is severe; Saul cannot be Israel s king any longer; the Lord is going to choose another. David (2 Samuel 7:24, 29b) A man called David from the tribe of Judah becomes king of Israel after the death of Saul. King David reigns for many years in Israel from his capital, Jerusalem (Jerusalem is on Mount Moriah, where Abraham had to sacrifice Isaac). The City of David remains to this day and parts of the old buildings can be seen. This powerful king wisely governs the tribes of Israel forming them into a united nation. He extends Israel s lands, triumphing over Israel s enemies the Canaanites and the Philistines. Prosperity follows and God blesses the nation. 181

39 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 25 Think it through & discuss 1. Who is Israel s real King? 2. Why do we know their request for a king is wrong? 3. What are the qualifications for God s King? What does this mean? 182

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41 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 26 Old Testament Books 184

42 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 26 Chapter 26 2 Samuel 7 The Story so Far Through Joshua s victories Israel inherited the land God promised to Abraham. During the first 350 years in the land judges ruled Israel. But the system was not working Israel needed a king. God s Kingdom could not come until Israel had a king. Israel s first two kings were Saul and David, but they both failed. However, God promised David that from his family there would come a King, whose Kingdom God would establish forever. This King was the promised Rescuer-Ruler that was introduced at the beginning of the Bible. Objectives To introduce the covenant with David and explain what it contains Connections God s covenant with David is continuous with His covenant with Abraham The promised Rescuer-Ruler will come through the family of Abraham and David Summary The promised Rescuer-Ruler is going to be a King from David s family line. 185

43 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 26 God s Covenant with David A house for God (2 Samuel 7:1-2) After some years David defeats all the remaining people groups in the land. The wars are over and God s Kingdom is nearly established - God s people, living in God s place, under God s rule and blessing. God has a king who rules His people well. At this time David is living in a big palace in Jerusalem. However, the Ark of the Covenant is in a tent in Shiloh. David s natural response is that he wants to build a house for the Ark. Remember God lives between the two angels that are on the Ark. So where the ark lives, God lives. What David is really saying is that he wants to build a house for God to live in. A house for David (2 Samuel 7:11b) God sends a prophet to David called Nathan. He tells David God s response regarding his plan to build a house for God. It is not David who will build a house for God; it is God who will build a house for David. There are two possible meanings in English for the word house. It can mean, a building where people live, but it can also mean a family / dynasty. So if we say in English the 186

44 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 26 Qing household, it is actually referring to the Qing family / dynasty. It is important to understand this because God tells David that he (David) will not build the Lord a house (building). But rather, God will build David a house (family / dynasty). God is making a contract with David. This is an act of God; He gives David what he does not deserve. The contract-keeper (2 Samuel 7:12-16) The contract is made by God and kept by God. It is not dependent on David s obedience but on God s grace and faithfulness (just like the contract God made with Abraham). God s contract with David is one hundred percent secure. We see this in three ways: 1. Death cannot stop the contract David s Kingdom is going to be established forever (2 Samuel 7:12-13). 2. Sin cannot destroy it God will punish every king from David s family who does wrong, but God will never remove his love from the king (2 Samuel 7:14-15). 3. Time will not bring the contract to an end the dynasty and the Kingdom will be forever (2 Samuel 7:16). In summary, God is promising David a Kingdom and a dynasty that will be forever. From David s seed there will be a King who will live forever and whose Kingdom will be established forever. This means that through this King there is going to be restoration to life in a place like Eden God s people, living in God s place, under God s rule and blessing. Great success (2 Samuel 7:24, 29b) David is a great king and during his reign it appears that God s promises are being fulfilled. God gives the people rest from all their enemies and the main theme of God s promise has come true. Great failure Although David succeeds religiously and politically, he fails morally (his behaviour is not correct). David sees a very beautiful woman and decides that he wants her even though she is already married. David sleeps with this woman and then has her husband murdered to cover up his sin. He is not acting as God s King should act. 187

45 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 26 Expectation The history of David is more disappointing than king Saul. He is a great king, and Israel thought he was the one who would establish the perfect Kingdom. But he does not meet the qualifications of the king in God s law. We must look forward to another great King, David s greater Son who is still to come the one whose Kingdom will be forever. This seed that God promised David refers to his son Solomon, but also looks forward to the promised Rescuer-Ruler. The word seed is used in Genesis 3:15 and Genesis 15:5, and refers to the person of the promised Rescuer-Ruler. God says to David that He will raise up the seed to be King on His throne. Connections There are two main connections here with the Bible story: 1. The promise of the Rescuer-Ruler In the beginning, God promised a Rescuer-Ruler who would come from the family line of Eve. God then promised Abraham that kings would come from his family. Now God is promising David that there will be a King that will sit on His throne forever. This means that the Rescuer-Ruler is going to be a King, but no ordinary king His Kingdom will be forever. The promised Rescuer-Ruler is going to be a King from David s family line. 2. The covenant with Abraham The covenant God makes with David is very similar to the covenant He made with Abraham. 188

46 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 26 Abraham David I will make your name great (Genesis 12:2) I will make your name great (2 Samuel 7:9) a son who will come from your own body (Genesis 15:4) I will raise up your seed to succeed you, who will come from your own body (2 Samuel 7:12) I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you (Genesis 17:6) and I will establish the throne of His Kingdom forever (2 Samuel 7:13b) So God s contract with David is part of the same contract with Abraham and Israel. God has not added anything new; He simply expands what He has already promised. Remember, God s revelation is progressive. 189

47 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 26 Think it through & discuss 1. What does David want to do for God? 2. What will God do for David? 3. How is this covenant connected to Genesis 3:15? 4. In what way are the covenants with Abraham and David similar? Explain your answer. 190

48 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter

49 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 27 Old Testament Books 192

50 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 27 Chapter 27 1 Kings 2 Kings 1 Chronicles 2 Chronicles The Story so Far During the first 350 years in the land judges ruled Israel. But the system was not working Israel needed a king. God s Kingdom could not come until Israel had a king. Israel s first two kings were Saul and David, but they both failed. However, God promised David that from his family there would come a King, whose Kingdom God would establish forever. This King was the promised Rescuer-Ruler that was introduced at the beginning of the Bible. Objectives To show how the kingdom comes during Solomon s reign To understand how the kingdom declines and is finally ruined with the exile Connections All the promises to Abraham and Moses become a reality under king Solomon The kingdom promised to Abraham comes to realisation during Solomon s time, but then declines again and is finally ruined at the exile God s people, like Adam and Eve, are removed from God s presence Summary During Solomon s reign the kingdom comes, but it soon goes again due to his disobedience. God s people are removed from His presence into exile, and the kingdom is ruined again! 193

51 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 27 The Kingdom Comes and Goes King Solomon (1 Kings 1:28-30) When David becomes very old he gives orders that his son Solomon should be made king. Will Solomon be the King whose Kingdom will be forever? Things look good from the start. The kingdom comes (1 Kings 4:20-25) The blessings promised to Abraham seem to become a reality under Solomon s reign. God s people have greatly increased in number. God s people are living in God s place under God s rule through Solomon the king. God is blessing His people in His place. The rest and paradise of Eden have been restored in some form. Each man (representing his family) lives in safety and plenty in God s land. The temple (I Kings 8:20-21, 56) Solomon builds a permanent home for God to live in. This is known as the temple and it replaces the tabernacle. The temple in Jerusalem becomes the centre point of worship for God s people. It represents three important things: 1. Presence God lives in the Holy of Holies 2. Rule God s throne is represented by the Ark of the Covenant which contains the ten rules 3. Relationship - God s meets with His people at the temple through the priest and the sacrifices Promises fulfilled (1 Kings 8:56; 10:13) Things seem to be going so well that at the dedication of the temple Solomon says that God has fulfilled all the promises made through Moses. The nations of the world are being blessed. Even the Queen of Sheba comes to receive wisdom and blessing from Solomon. God s promises to Abraham are being fulfilled: I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you (Genesis 12:3). 194

52 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 27 God has been faithful. He has re-established His Kingdom. He is reclaiming His rule and blessing over the earth. God s Kingdom Constitution: I will be their God, they will be my people God s promises Place People Rule & Blessing Creation Eden Adam & Eve God s word Adam God s Kingdom ruined King Abraham Canaan Abraham s family God s promises Kings from Abraham s family Israel in desert Tabernacle Israel nation God s rules Tribe of Judah Israel in Canaan Temple in Canaan Israel nation God s rules David, Solomon Solomon the failure (1 Kings 11:1-6, 10-13) During Solomon s reign the kingdom is at its strongest. However, Solomon soon fails God. He marries many foreign women and begins to worship the false gods of his wives. Solomon s time as king is the start of the decline of Israel s kingdom. God s punishment is to divide the kingdom into two nations north and south. So Solomon is not the great King from David s family line who will establish His Kingdom forever. The kingdom divides (1 Kings 12:16-17) Solomon s son Rehoboam succeeds him as king. During the time of king Rehoboam there is a civil war. The 10 northern tribes rebel and split from the two southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The northern tribes keep the name Israel and make Samaria their capital city. They elect a new king called Jeroboam (who is not 195

53 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 27 from the family of David). This new king encourages people to no longer worship the one true God. The southern tribes become known as Judah. Searching for the King The books of Kings & Chronicles record the history of the reign of the various kings in both Israel and Judah. The spotlight on the kings swings south to north, north to south, searching for the King that God promised David. But He is not to be found. The kingdom goes (2 Kings 17:22-23, 24: 20) The nations of Israel and Judah disobey God so much that in the end God decides to bring on them the curses He promised through Moses. Remember, sons of fathers cannot live any way they like. Disobedience leads to punishment. So God removes them from the land this is known as exile. Israel is removed by the Assyrians, and Judah is removed by the Babylonians; but the result is the same they are both removed from God s presence. In the Bible God s land represents His presence. It is the place where His people enjoy a loving relationship with Him. The temple is the centre point of His presence, rule, and relationship with His people. The temple is destroyed and an enemy occupies the land. The people, like Adam and Eve before them, are thrust from God s presence into exile. The Kingdom is ruined. It will take a new exodus to bring them back into God s presence and under His rule again. During Solomon s reign the kingdom comes, but it soon goes again due to his disobedience. God s people are removed from His presence into exile, and the kingdom is ruined again! Waiting for the King We must understand the significance of what is happening. Like Adam, Israel has failed in their mission to bring blessing to the world as God s priest. In order for God s Kingdom to be established and blessing to come to the world, there will have to be a priest who is faithful to His mission. So far, both Adam and Israel 196

54 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 27 have failed. We need the King God promised, who will be both an obedient King and priest, to establish God s Kingdom. God s Kingdom Constitution: I will be their God, they will be my people God s promises Place People Rule & Blessing Creation Eden Adam & Eve God s word Adam God s Kingdom ruined King Abraham Canaan Abraham s family God s promises Kings from Abraham s family Israel in desert Tabernacle Israel nation God s rules Tribe of Judah Israel in Canaan Temple in Canaan Israel nation God s rules God s Kingdom ruined again! David, Solomon 197

55 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 27 Think it through & discuss 1. In what ways do we see the Kingdom come during Solomon s reign? 2. What three things did the temple symbolise? 3. Summarise the books of Kings and Chronicles. 4. How is the Kingdom ruined? 198

56 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter

57 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 28 Old Testament Books 200

58 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 28 Chapter 28 Jeremiah 31 Ezekiel 36 The Story so Far Through Joshua s victories Israel inherited the land God promised to Abraham. During the first 350 years in the land judges ruled Israel. But the system was not working Israel needed a king. God s Kingdom could not come until Israel had a king. Israel s first three kings were Saul, David and Solomon. Each of them were good in different ways, but they all failed and disobeyed God. After Solomon the kingdom declined, and eventually God removed the people from the land due to their disobedience. God s Kingdom was ruined again. However, all hope was not lost. God had promised David that from his family there would come a King, whose Kingdom God would establish forever. This King was the promised Rescuer-Ruler that was introduced at the beginning of the Bible. Objectives To introduce the prophets and their message To explain the details of the new covenant how it is similar and different from the old covenant Connections Old covenant and new covenant connected by: I will be their God, they will be my people. Summary God gives His people a new covenant. He promises to give them hearts that will obey His laws, and also to forgive their sins forever. This will happen when the King arrives. 201

59 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 28 A New Covenant The prophets During the time of the kings, God sends prophets to speak to His people. Prophets are people sent from God who speak His words. Often they open their speeches with the words: Thus says the LORD There are three periods in the history of the prophets: Before the captivity to Assyria and Babylon, prophets speak to God's people During the captivity, prophets speak to God's people After the captivity, prophets speak to God's people The Message of the Prophets The prophets say four things in their messages from God: 1. God's people have broken the covenant with God - they have broken the Sinai Law that God had given them. 2. God is going to judge them for breaking His law: a. Israel will be taken into captivity by the Assyrians 722 BC (Hosea 9:3, 7; 10:10; 11:5) b. Judah will be taken into captivity by the Babylonians 586 BC (Jeremiah 1:16; 20:4-6; 25:1-14) There is one clear reason given for the captivity of God's people sin. 3. God is faithful to His covenant - He will save a remnant of people and bring them back to the land. God will re-establish His Kingdom God the King ruling His people in His land (Jeremiah 29:10-14). 4. The prophets make many predictions about the Rescuer- Ruler who had been promised by God. He will be a King from the line of David (Jeremiah 23:3-8). Will this new Kingdom work? So far we have seen from the Bible that God's covenant with Abraham is good but it is not perfect. It did not work because the people disobeyed and God had to remove them from Canaan. If 202

60 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 28 God brings the people back into the land again will they obey Him and stay in the land? How can we be sure that the Kingdom will not be ruined again? Something has to be done with the human heart if God's covenant with Abraham is going to work. Remember God's covenant with Abraham can be summarised as It's the law part that is the problem. God is remaining faithful with the grace part, but the people just keep disobeying His law. This is highlighted in the diagram. GRACE Relationship with God is established by grace. LAW Obedience is the way of life for those in a relationship with God. The law is external, written on stone. People s hearts, like Adam s, are inclined to disobey God s rules. GRACE Forgiveness once a year through sacrifices and a priest I will be their God, they will be my people A new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) The problem with the first contract is that God's people have hearts that are unable to obey God's rules. God is making a new contract with them - He will write His law on their hearts. People will know God from their hearts. The law in the old covenant is external and written on stone. The law in the new covenant will be internal and written on the human heart. 203

61 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter A change of heart (Ezekiel 36:24-28) God said that in His new contract He is going to change the human heart. He is going to come and live in the human heart, remove the dead heart and replace it with a heart that is alive and willing to obey God's laws. He will do this by putting His Spirit in His people. This is how God's Kingdom will be established. 2. Forgiveness forever (Jeremiah 31:31-34) In the first covenant God forgave the people s sins once a year through a priest and a sacrifice. This had to happen every year because the priest was not perfect and did not live forever, and the animal s death could not remove the sins of the people forever. However, in the new covenant God will forgive the people s sins forever. God gives His people a new covenant. He promises to give them hearts that will obey His laws, and also to forgive their sins forever. This will happen when the King arrives. The first covenant continues Abraham s covenant was like a seed that grew into a mature plant the new covenant is the plant in full bloom. We know the covenant continues by the words: I will be their God, and they will be my people. The first covenant discontinues However, we should also understand that once the new covenant comes, it replaces the old covenant; just like Microsoft office 2000 replaces the 1998 version. The latest Microsoft Office has everything the last Office had, but the difference is that the new one is far better and has features the last one didn t. Both are connected. Office 2000 grew out of the 1998 design and it is connected to it, but it is so much better. It is the same with the covenants. The new covenant grew out of the old covenant. We see this by the phrase "I will be their God, and they will be my people. But the new covenant provides people with a new heart and forgiveness forever, which the old covenant didn t; and in that sense the new covenant is superior to the first covenant. That is why the Bible calls the first covenant the old covenant because it is now outdated and out of use. 204

62 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 28 GRACE Relationship with God is established by grace. LAW Obedience is the way of life for those in a relationship with God. The law will be internal, written on the heart. God s Spirit will live in people helping them to obey the rules. GRACE God will forgive His people s sins forever I will be their God, they will be my people 205

63 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 28 God s Kingdom Constitution: I will be their God, they will be my people God s promises Place People Rule & Blessing Creation Eden Adam & Eve God s word Adam God s Kingdom ruined King Abraham Canaan Abraham s family God s promises Kings from Abraham s family Israel in desert Tabernacle Israel nation God s rules Tribe of Judah Israel in Canaan Temple in Canaan Israel nation God s rules God s Kingdom ruined again! David, Solomon Israel in exile Return to new temple in Canaan Remnant New covenant A perfect King is promised 206

64 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 28 Think it through & discuss 1. What is the message of the prophets? 2. What are the differences between the two covenants? 3. What are the similarities between the two covenants? 4. How is the new covenant related to God s Kingdom? 207

65 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 29 Old Testament Books 208

66 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 29 Chapter 29 Ezra Nehemiah Malachi The Story so Far Before, during and after the exile God spoke to His people through prophets. They were people called by God to speak God s words to His people. Their message was simple Israel had sinned, God would remove them from the land. But they gave a message of hope God would be faithful to His promises. He would bring a remnant back into the land. In particular God promised a new covenant, one in which He would change the human heart to obey His laws, and also in which He would forgive people s sins forever. Objectives To understand the books of Ezra and Nehemiah = rebuilding of temple and walls of Jerusalem To show how the new covenant has not yet fully arrived Connections Partial fulfilment of new covenant promises Still waiting for the King to arrive Summary The new covenant has not yet arrived as God s people continue to disobey Him back in the land. God is coming to visit His temple in judgement. 209

67 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 29 Still Waiting Rebuilding (Ezra 1:1-3; Nehemiah 2:4-5) After 70 years God brings a remnant of His people back into His land. They rebuild God's temple and also the walls of Jerusalem, which have been destroyed by the Babylonians. This is recorded for us in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. God's law is taught again to the people and they want to obey it. It seems as if God's Kingdom is going to be rebuilt. The Kingdom not yet (Nehemiah 10:28-29; 13:6-28) Once the people are back in the land their hearts have not been changed. This is illustrated to us in the book of Nehemiah. When the people return to the land they renew their commitment to God by making three main promises to God: not to intermarry, to observe the Sabbath (religious day), and to maintain the temple. However, by the end of the book of Nehemiah the people have failed in each of their promises. They have disobeyed God again, and are abusing the sacrifice system and the new temple. The new covenant has obviously not yet arrived. The people s hearts remain unable to obey God s rules. God Himself is coming (Malachi 3:1) God s temple has been rebuilt after the exile but it is being abused. Even the priests are not offering the right sacrifices or with the right attitude of worship. God speaks to His people through the prophet Malachi and promises a coming judgement. He Himself is coming to visit His people. To be more exact; He is coming to His temple. The Kingdom of God is coming... The new promise God made through Jeremiah and Ezekiel has not yet arrived. It is only partially fulfilled. We know from the Bible that God keeps His promises. God has promised through the prophets that He will rebuild His Kingdom. The Old Testament ends with a big expectation for the Kingdom of God to finally come. God promised it to Abraham near the beginning of the Bible, but we have not yet seen it fulfilled. God promised a Rescuer-Ruler in the very beginning who would rebuild His Kingdom. A King will come from David's family line that will shepherd God's people and rule over them in the land. A new 210

68 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 29 temple is coming when God will live again with His people in the best way possible. A change of heart is on its way. The new covenant has not yet arrived as God s people continue to disobey Him back in the land. God is coming to visit His temple in judgement. 400 years of silence At about 400 BC, there is a pause in God s revelation of Himself in history. During this time in history, Alexander the Great, a general of the Greeks, conquers the Middle East, bringing the Jews under his rule. The Israelites from the tribe of Judah and Benjamin become known as the Jews. Greek becomes the spoken language of this area. Some Jews combine Greek culture and their beliefs about God. These people are called Sadducees. The Sadducees start to deny parts of the Bible and take away parts of it. On the opposite side are the Pharisees. They do not take away from the Bible but add to it. The Pharisees add to God s 10 rules and make their own interpretations of them. There is another group of people living at this time in Israel, called the Scribes. They are like human photocopiers they write down copies of the Old Testament, and are known as experts on the Law of God. In 67 BC General Pompey from Rome conquers the land of Canaan and enters Jerusalem. The Romans treat the Jewish people fairly and let them follow their religion, as long as they pay their taxes. The Roman Empire is too big to be ruled in every country by Romans, so local leaders are chosen to rule in different areas. The Romans choose a man named Herod as king, and he rules from Judea. He is not God s choice as king, but is the Roman s choice. Four hundred years pass without God acting for His oppressed people. By this stage, His people are looking for a king from God who will bring political freedom but God has promised a spiritual Rescuer-King, not a political one. There are 400 years of silence and the people still wait 211

69 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 29 Think it through & discuss 1. What are the books of Ezra and Nehemiah about? 2. Why do the old men cry? 3. Has the new covenant arrived yet? Justify your answer. 212

70 The Story of a Kingdom Chapter 30 The Story so Far... The Bible The Bible is God s book. God is the author of the Bible, but He used human beings to write it. Every word in the Bible comes from God. The Bible has one story Jesus and His Kingdom. The beginning of God s Kingdom In the beginning God created a perfect world. He created human beings (Adam and Eve) to be in a relationship with Himself and to obey His words. God had a special place called Eden where He lived with His people. In the beginning, God put His people in His place and asked them to obey His words. God had established a Kingdom - God s people, living in God s place, under God s rule and blessing. The ruin of God s Kingdom An angel from heaven called Satan rebelled against God and was thrown out of heaven to the earth. He entered the Garden of Eden and tried to destroy God s Kingdom. God gave human beings the role of ruling the world, but they failed in a big way. They wanted to be their own rulers, deciding for themselves what is right and wrong. They listened to Satan and rejected God s authority and His loving rule. The result was a broken relationship with God and the Kingdom was ruined. God s punishment God judged human beings and threw them out of His place and did not let them go back into the Garden of Eden. The punishment was a broken relationship with God and with each other. Death entered the world. The Kingdom God had established was ruined. God s promise But God also acted in grace and promised a Rescuer-Ruler who would come and defeat Satan and rebuild God s Kingdom. The Rescuer-Ruler would come from the family line of Adam and Eve 213

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