Intro to the Bible (Study #4) – Israel & God’s purposes

Continuing from last time.

Intro to the Bible

Israel & God’s purposes – (Genesis to Deuteronomy)

  1. God’s promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)
    1. Blessing:
      God’s purpose is calling Abraham / creating Israel is to be a blessing which will reach all people on earth. Blessing is the opposite of curse, thus:
      “… the call of Abraham is to be God’s way of reversing the curse under which mankind has fallen.” (p49)
      A re-establishment of the situation in Genesis 1-2.
    2. A great nation:
      One part of sin’s curse was the breakdown of human relationships, and therefore the shattering of human society. This promise represents a promise to restore human relationships.
    3. Land:
      The curse of the fall involved a disruption to the harmony of humans and the environment. The promise of a ‘better country’ is a promise to remove the curse and restore the plan of Genesis 2.
  2. God’s redemption of Israel (Exodus to Numbers)“Egypt is the opposite of the land which God had promised Abraham… [it] represents life outside Eden.” (p52)

    1. Redemption – Exodus 6:2-8 It involves:
      1. God’s prior purpose or promise (Ex. 6:3-5)
      2. Great acts of judgement (Ex 6:6) – redemption requires judgement
      3. A positive goal (Ex 6:7) – redeemed to be God’s people and he their God.
      4. The land (Ex 6:8) – Egypt represents what they’re redeemed from, and the promised land represents all they are redeemed for.
    2. Meeting God at Mount Sinai – Exodus 19:1-25
      The goal of the exodus – God brought his people there himself, to meet with them.
    3. The Law – Exodus 20:1-17
      The Law was given after the people had been redeemed. It is not the means by which people earn God’s favour, but are how God calls his people to live after, and because, he has called out of slavery to himself.
      “Obedience to the law is to be Israel’s response to the grace of God.” (p54)
    4. The journey to the land
      God guides his people to the land promised, where they can enjoy life as a redeemed people.
    5. Rebellion
      God redeemed his people – faithful to his promise – while they were still sinners, and despite their repeated unfaithfulness towards him, even after redemption.
  3. The book of Deuteronomy

    Moses reminds the people to remember what God has done, and to be careful to respond rightly in the new life they are about to have in the promised land.
  4. Conclusion
    1. God has promised to bless Abraham’s descendants
      Blessing involves redemptions, judgement and being brought to God himself, and obedience to him.
    2. God has promised to bless mankind through Abraham’s descendants
      The history of Israel will lead ultimately to this blessing to extend to all nations on earth..

What do you think?