A BIRD'S EYE VIEW-part 1
Series 1 Lesson 3
Have you ever seen an aerial view of your house or school? In the “old days”, like when I was young, the only way to see such a view was to actually do a “fly over”. I wasn’t a bird and I didn’t own an airplane soooo … I missed out on the cool over-head view. But now, thanks to modern technology, with a few clicks of a computer mouse or a swipe of your phone screen you can look down on your whole neighborhood or town.
In our last Bible lesson, we looked at the truth and authority of the Bible … and how it is unlike any other book in the world. If you remember, the Bible is a big book with 66 complete books inside it … all with the same important theme showing God’s plan to save mankind by salvation through His only son Jesus. It may seem hard to understand, but if you can get an overview of the whole thing, then it will help you see how it all fits together.
In the next few Bible lessons, we are going to do a “fly over” to help us get a “bird’s eye view” of what the Bible is all about. We will use thirteen words beginning with the letter “C”. Let’s start with the book of Genesis (which means “Beginnings”).
CREATION Our first “C” is Creation. The Bible states over and over (and not just in the book of Genesis) that God made the world and everything in it. Pretty amazing! And while your science book may say that we are here by chance or through a series of random events, it doesn’t really make sense that everything around you could be made by “accident”, does it? In fact, the theory of evolution can NOT be proven scientifically and … neither can the biblical account of Creation. No one can go back and prove what happened … believing in either is a matter of faith.
The fact remains, though, that we ARE here and that there is amazing order in nature. Such order and intelligent design strongly suggests an intelligent Creator. Let’s look at it this way … did your house, car, or computer just happen through a series of random events? No, each had at least one designer and builder. People are so much more complex than the most complicated car or computer. The evidence shows that we too have an intelligent Designer and Builder … God. So, the Bible begins with the Creation account of how the earth, animals and people got here – created by God in 6 literal days and resting on the 7th day.
CLEANSING When God was done creating, He declared His work to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31). And it was very good. Would you describe the world to be “very good” today? What do you think when you watch the news or read the paper? Things aren’t all that “good” are they? The Bible explains why ...
In the beginning, God could have made the first man Adam and woman Eve like puppets or robots … only able to do what He says. Instead, God gave them a free will which is the ability to choose. God didn’t want them (or us) to love Him because they had no choice. He wanted them to love Him and spend time with Him because they wanted to.
What did Adam and Eve do with their free will? God gave them a huge garden full of food to eat and enjoy. God had only one rule … they were not supposed to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But they did. And the moment they chose to disobey God, sin entered the world. Since that moment, every human being has been born a sinner.
What about us, do you and I still have free will like Adam and Eve? Yes, we do have free will. Were you and I really born sinners? Yes, the Bible says that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). So, what is sin? Sin is anything you think, say or do that displeases God. Think about it … have you ever disobeyed your parents? Told a little white lie? Thought bad thoughts? Hated someone? The Bible says that all of these things are sins. I have done all these things (and more). How about you?
Have you ever had a garden? You might plant beans or tomatoes, but what else grows? Weeds, right? Sin can be like a weed growing in your life. If you don’t take care of it and pull it out, it will continue to grow and eventually take over. The Bible even tells us that there is pleasure in sin, but only for a short time. Sin always has consequences. Sin hurts us and those around us. The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
The Bible also says that there is good news … “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) and that “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). This gift is the only way to be saved from sin and it is yours for the asking. This gift is yours when you …
Admit to God that you are a sinner. He already knows but He wants to make sure you know.
Believe that Jesus is the only one who can save you and take away your sins.
Call upon Jesus … ask Him to save you and change your life … He will!
Have you accepted this gift of salvation? If you have, please let us know on the answer sheet.
This is the best decision you can ever make … it will cleanse your heart and change your life forever!
Now back to the rest of the lesson …Generations of people were born, lived and died. By the time Noah was born, sin had taken over the world and was the way most people chose to live. The Bible says that man’s thoughts were only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). It got so bad that Noah and his family were the only ones in the whole world who followed God … that was just 8 people.
Because of this God told Noah to build a big boat (called an ark) to save his family and 2 of each kind of animal (7 pairs of some). It took many many years to build this Ark, but Noah and his family didn’t give up …they obeyed God. All the other people laughed at Noah and chose not to join him. When the Ark was finished, there was plenty of room for all of the people, but they refused to get on board. God sent the animals to the Ark and then He closed the only door. When they were safe inside, God sent a flood that covered the whole earth that killed every living creature except those saved in the Ark. This cleansing of the earth happened less than 2000 years after Creation. God promised that He would never again send a world-wide flood to destroy the earth.
CONFUSION After this world-wide Flood, God told people to multiply (have children) and to spread out all over the earth. Man multiplied, but they stayed together in one place. God wanted man to experience His whole earth and to use the resources He made, not just in one place, but everywhere.
Well, men disobeyed God’s command and stayed in one place. Everyone began to work together to build a very tall tower to reach into the heavens (sky). They were determined to rule themselves and ignore God. They hadn’t learned the lesson from the world-wide Flood.
Until this time everyone spoke the same language. But now God stepped in and confused (changed) their one language into many languages. The people tried to work together on the big tower, but they couldn’t understand each other. It was very confusing and frustrating. In fact, the Bible calls this tower the Tower of Babel which means confusion. After the confusion, the people searched to find other people that spoke the same language as them. When they found them, they joined together and moved away to other parts of the world. This led to the establishment of the many nations that we have today.
Isn’t it sad that today one of the biggest barriers to missions is a consequence of the people’s sin at the Tower of Babel? It would be much easier to tell other people about God and His gift of salvation if the languages had not been confused and everyone spoke one language. But this barrier is being broken down as missionaries obey God to go around the world preaching and teaching the Gospel. It is amazing to see God at work!
In this lesson we have begun to get a bird’s eye view of the Bible with its message to us.
Creation - God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. He made the first man and first woman.
His Creation was “very good”.
Cleansing - God provided a way to get rid of the sin that people chose. He provided a way of escape back in the time of Noah. He has also provided a way of salvation for you and me. That way is Jesus!
Confusion – God confused the languages of the people when they refused to obey Him. They had the opportunity of a fresh start when they finally obeyed and moved out to settle the whole earth.
You can read more about God’s goodness as you read the Bible.
Let me encourage you to read a bit every day. You can read about all of the events in this lesson in just the first 11 chapters of Genesis, the very first book of the Bible.
In the next lesson we will continue with our fly over … there are sooooo many more exciting things to learn!