Exile and the Promise of Restoration

April 28, 2017

Time and again, God was faithful to keep His promises to His people. He multiplied Abraham’s descendants into a great nation; He planted the Israelites in the land of Canaan, and He established David’s kingly line. But God had also promised Israel that if they disobeyed, they would be conquered by a foreign nation, pulled […] [more...]

Searching for the Kingdom of God

April 26, 2017

After the reign of King David, Israel had a disappointing line of kings. Eventually, the kingdom of Israel grew so wicked that God sent them away from the Promised Land and into exile (a period in Israel’s history that we will explore in the next session). Once Israel lost the kingdom, their national identity was […] [more...]

God’s Covenant with King David

April 25, 2017

But God still had plans for Israel. When God rejected Saul as king, He called Samuel to anoint David, a shepherd, as the next king. The concept of anointing is important. The king of Israel would literally be anointed with oil, and then he would be known as “the Lord’s anointed,” an idea that finds […] [more...]

The True King of Israel

April 24, 2017

We get another powerful picture of God’s kingship when He led His people out of slavery in the exodus. Through the ten plagues, God showed that He was the supreme Ruler of this world—He entered the dominion of Pharaoh and of Egypt’s gods and asserted His ultimate authority. By defeating the false gods of Egypt […] [more...]

The Kingdom of God

April 21, 2017

Finally, after years of Israel’s sin and struggling in the desert, God marched His people into the Promised Land! Israel witnessed God’s unmatched power firsthand as their army consistently destroyed enemies that were far bigger and much better armed. At this point in the story, you would think that we would see Israel thriving, rejoicing […] [more...]

The Temple

April 19, 2017

Ultimately, God went with His people, and they carried the tabernacle from place to place until God gave them the land of Canaan as He had promised. After Israel was well established in the land, David became the king of Israel. David decided that he wanted to build a temple, a permanent dwelling to replace […] [more...]

God’s Blessing without God’s Presence

April 18, 2017

Before Israel had a chance to take God’s presence for granted, they almost lost it. As soon as God delivered the covenant to Moses on Mount Sinai, Moses walked down the mountain to convey it to the people. But what Moses encountered was shocking. He left a discussion with God Himself only to find the […] [more...]

God’s Presence on Earth

April 17, 2017

Does anything matter more than God’s presence with us? Think about it: What could be worse than being separated from Almighty God? The Bible is filled with stories that describe the blessings that come with His presence and the horrors that accompany His rejection. God’s presence with people is a central theme of the Scriptures. […] [more...]

The Problem with Animal Sacrifices

April 12, 2017

The need to constantly repeat these sacrifices points to a limitation inherent in the Old Testament sacrificial system. But that wasn’t the only problem. The effectiveness of these sacrifices was never based on the mere performance of a ritual. From the very beginning, it has been about the heart of the worshipper, not about the […] [more...]

The Day of Atonement

April 11, 2017

We have already raised the question, “How can sinful humans live in proximity to a holy God?” The answer is found in the sacrificial system generally, but there is one event in the middle of Leviticus that cuts to the heart of this question: Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (an event that Jews still […] [more...]

Sacrifice in the Law of Moses

April 10, 2017

We see occasional sacrifices throughout the first part of the Old Testament, but it wasn’t until God gave the Law to Moses that animal sacrifices became an integral part of the life of Israel. The Law encompassed many things. It dictated their civil life and government, their moral behavior, and their religious and ceremonial practices. […] [more...]

Sacrifice in the Unfolding Old Testament Story

April 7, 2017

Sacrifice is seen throughout the Old Testament. Think back to your study of Adam and Eve. As soon as they ate the fruit that God had forbidden, they felt ashamed of their nakedness and tried to cover themselves with leaves. God’s response to this problem foreshadowed the way He would continue to deal with human […] [more...]

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