“Bible Panorama” Part 2

Posted: January 7, 2014 in Bible Study, Church, Israel, Joshua, Judges

Exodus.  God had used Joseph to preserve His chosen people, the Jews, in Egypt during a seven year famine that covered the whole world (Genesis 50:20).  Isolated by themselves in the land of Goshen, the Jews multiplied greatly.  A new Pharaoh feared them and wanted to keep them from siding with Egypt’s enemies in the event of a war.  So he ordered the Jewish baby boys to be killed so the remaining Jewish girls would be forced to marry Egyptians and thus lose their unique identity as Jews (Exodus 1).

Moses.  After spending many years as slaves in Egypt, God used Moses to deliver His people from bondage.  The ten plagues brought the Egyptians to their knees and Jehovah God demonstrated to them that He alone was/is the true and living God (Exodus 5-12).

Sinai.  Moses led the Jews through the Red Sea to Mount Sinai where they received the Ten Commandments from God (Exodus 20).  Even before they knew what would be required of them, the Jews presumptuously said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8).  History records for us that they didn’t keep God’s commandments which led to their being dispersed among the nations (Deuteronomy 28).  But God will bring them back to the land that He promised to give to them as an everlasting possession (Genesis 15:18-20).  His initial rule over them will last for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-6; Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; Zechariah 14) after they have gone through “The time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27) known also as the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 6-19).

Spies.  Moses then led the Jews to a place called Kadesh Barnea and sent twelve men to spy out the land in which the wicked Canaanites lived. When the spies came back they reported that it was a land flowing with milk and honey.  But they informed the people that their cities were fortified and that there were giants in the land. Two of the spies said, “We can take the land.”  Ten said, “No we can’t.” So they had a congregational meeting, to determine whether or not to posses the land. The people voted, and said, “No, we won’t go.”  God said, “Because you voted no, all those twenty years old and upward will die in the wilderness” (Numbers 13, 14).

Wilderness.  So, for forty years the Jews wandered around until all those twenty years old and older died in the wilderness.  This meant that one person died about every twenty minutes for the next 38 years.  Then Moses led them to Mt. Pisgah where he also died (Deuteronomy 34:5).  Do you know why he didn’t enter the Promised Land at that time (Numbers 20:7-13)?

Joshua.  He was appointed by God to lead the people of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land, where he divided the land among the twelve tribes.  It was time for the wicked people living in Canaan to be displaced by the Jews (Genesis 15:16).  Rahab, the harlot, and her family were spared because they believed in the God of the Jews (Joshua 2).  She became an ancestress of Jesus (Matthew 1:5).

Judges. After this, the nation of Israel went through a period of seven social, spiritual, and economic ups-and-downs under the Judges. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes and things really got ugly and very bad toward the end of this period (Judges 19-21).

King. Then the children of Israel said, “We don’t want any more judges. We want a king like the nations around us” (1 Samuel 8:5).  There were three kings that ruled over all Israel: Saul, David, and Solomon. Because of the sin of Solomon, the kingdom was divided. There were ten tribes in the north known as “Israel.” Their capital was Samaria. Two tribes were in the south. They were known as “Judah.”  Their capital was at Jerusalem.

722 B.C.  This is when Shalmaneser, the King of Assyria, took the ten tribes of the north into captivity (2 Kings 18:9-11). They were dispersed among the provinces of Assyria and never heard from again.  Although they have been called “The lost tribes,” God knows where all of them are and will bring them back to the Promised Land some day (Ezekiel 36, 37).

605 B.C. Then Nebuchadnezzar came from Babylon and took the two tribes from the south into captivity. They were there for seventy years. After this period of time, Ezra and Nehemiah led about 50,000 Jews back to Jerusalem with the approval of Cyrus, king of Persia (Ezra 1:1).  They rebuilt the city walls, their houses, the temple, and re-established the worship of Jehovah.  And this is the chronological end of the Old Testament.

Silence.  There were no messages from God for the next 400 years until the angel Gabriel announced to a Jewish priest by the name of Zacharias that his wife, Elizabeth would have a son who would be the forerunner of the promised Messiah (Luke 1:5-25) as predicted by the prophet Malachi (3:1).  Six months later Gabriel was sent to the virgin Mary to announce to her that she would be the mother of the Messiah (Luke 1:26-38) as predicted by the prophet Isaiah (7:14; 9:6, 7; Matthew 1:23).

To be continued.

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