A BIRD'S EYE VIEW-part 3
Series 1 Lesson 5
In the last two lessons, we covered the first 6 “C” words, which start to give us an overall view of what the Bible is all about. This lesson will cover the next 4 C’s which will give us a good bird’s eye view of the events from the time the Jews were first in the promised land until the end of the Old Testament. So far, we have covered …:
CREATION - In 6 days, God created the world and everything in it. He created with order and intelligence. He made the first man and woman. God called His Creation “very good”.
CLEANSING - The very first people chose to disobey God and sin entered the world. The world became very wicked. God cleansed the world with a world-wide Flood. He provided a way of escape through Noah and the Ark. Only 8 people chose to enter the Ark to be saved.
CONFUSION - After the Flood, God told the people to spread out across the earth to raise their families. They did not. So, at the Tower of Babel, God turned their one language into many languages. After this confusion, the people obeyed God and moved out to settle the earth. The population grew large.
CALL - God personally called Abraham to obey and follow Him. God promised to make Abraham’s family into a large nation, and He did … they became the Jewish people. God promised that someday they would have a land of their own and they do … Israel. God also promised Abraham that the Savior of the world would come from his family line and He did … Jesus the Messiah was born just as promised.
COMMANDMENTS - God gave the Jewish people laws to live by. The most famous of these laws are the 10 Commandments. Today these laws are still good for us. When followed, they help us to live in peace and order. But no one can perfectly follow the commandments and earn their way to Heaven … that is why God promised us a way of Salvation through Jesus the Messiah.
CONQUEST - The Jewish people grew many in number just as God promised. They had good times and bad. An enemy became afraid of the Jews and made them slaves for over 400 years. God provided a way of escape through Moses. Moses led the people toward the Promised Land. But the Jewish people didn’t trust God so He told them they had to wander in the Wilderness for 40 years before they would be allowed to enter the Promised Land. Once they finally got there, God helped the Jews conquer their enemies and successfully settle the Land.
Now let’s look at the next 4 C words ….
COMPROMISE (Judges, Ruth)
The Jewish people had no king, and everyone did pretty much what they wanted to do (Judges 17:6 & 21:25). They forgot about God and began to worship idols (false gods). They lived just like the ungodly people who were living around them. This greatly displeased God, so He allowed enemies to come and cause much trouble and heartache for the Jews.
In their suffering, the Jews called out to God for help, and He sent leaders called “Judges” to lead the people back to God and once again live in peace. Sadly, the Jewish people would “forget” their need to keep following God and they would go back to ungodly living with all of the bad consequences. This cycle of compromise was repeated over and over for hundreds of years.
Even today you and I can be badly affected by the people around us. The Bible says that we shouldn’t be fooled … bad companions ruin good character (I Corinthians 15:33). We need to make sure that we follow God with our choices and behavior.
CROWNS (I & II Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes)
The Jews also looked around them and saw that the surrounding nations all had a human king to rule them. Even though God was their King and He always did what was best for them, they decided that they too wanted a human king. God warned them that a human king was not always a good thing. But the people kept insisting and begging, so God gave them what they asked for.
The first king, Saul, started out well, but in time he disobeyed God. He did things his own way and God replaced Saul with a man after God’s own heart, David. David was a great king. He loved God very much and he wrote down many wonderful thoughts about God. You can read his words in the book of Psalms in the Bible. David, however, took another man’s wife and had the man killed (murdered). This sin caused much heartache in David’s family and in his nation. David eventually repented and asked God to forgive him.
David’s son, Solomon, took his place as King after his death. The Bible says that Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived (except Jesus). He asked God to give him wisdom so that he could rule the Jews well. Like Saul, Solomon started out well. He built a beautiful Temple where people could come to worship God. But Solomon married many wives from foreign countries. They led him to worship many false gods. Solomon also built temples to worship these false gods. This was very bad..
When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king. He was not wise and a decision he made caused the Jewish nation of 12 tribes to split into two kingdoms … north and south. When the nation split, two tribes stayed with Rehoboam. The other ten tribes made Jeroboam their king. The northern kingdom, led by Jeroboam, took the name Israel. Rehoboam’s southern kingdom was called Judah.
Over time the northern kingdom had 19 kings, all bad.
The southern kingdom had 20 kings. Eight were good, twelve were bad.
The Temple which Solomon had built to God was located in Jerusalem, in the southern kingdom of Judah ruled by Rehoboam. Jeroboam in the north was afraid that his people would return to following Rehoboam if they went to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem. So, he decided to build two places in Israel where the Jews could worship. This was convenient, but this wasn’t what God wanted. Jeroboam didn’t worship the true God. He worshipped idols. He led the people away from obeying the one true God Who had helped them and loved them.
All the kings in Israel after Jeroboam followed in his steps. They all were corrupt and worshipped false gods and they led their people to do the same things. Judah had some kings who followed God, but some of their kings were also corrupt and led their people in idol worship too.
CAPTIVITY (Prophets, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Daniel)
God, who knows all things and is all powerful and sovereign (rules over all), saw all these bad things. And even though the Jews were still His chosen people and He loved them very much, God couldn’t let them get away with ignoring Him and following false gods. God sent prophets to warn the Jews of coming judgment if they didn’t repent (which means to turn away from the false gods and follow God). But they ignored these men who spoke for God and even killed some of them.
So, God sent the promised judgement. First, God sent an enemy called the Assyrians against Israel. The Jews were taken away as captives to a foreign country.
You would think that Judah would have taken notice, but they too ignored God’s prophets and God sent Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon against Judah. He carried them away into captivity as well and they remained there for 70 years. Eventually God allowed the Jews to return to their homeland, but life wasn’t like it had been and they still had to live with the consequences of their disobedience.
The 10 commandments are good rules for you and me too. God didn’t give us these rules to take away our fun and make our lives miserable or to take away our chance to go to Heaven. These rules are given for our benefit and our good. They bring peace and order to our lives and world. They also show that we need a Savior … and that is why God sent us Jesus just like He promised. Jesus was sent to be the Savior! 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
We can learn from their example … follow God and live a good life for Him or … don’t follow God and live a life of trouble & heartbreak. You have to choose one way or the other.
Now this brings us to the end of the Old Testament.. God was silent for the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments. He did not speak with the people in anyway … and nothing is written. In our next lesson we will see that God broke His silence for a very important reason. We will also finish covering the Bird’d Eye view of the Bible with the last 3 C’s.