Jan24WedJanuary 24, 2018
Our twins are in a phase of development where, instead of enjoying various books or movies, they often like to repeat the ones they know. For example, rarely does a day go by when they don’t ask to watch ether ‘Fireman Sam: Heroes in the Storm’ or ‘Cars 3.’ Our family has become so familiar with these movies over the past few months that we can watch a random moment in the film and easily identity what just happened and what will occur next.
Whether it be from a movie, book or family memory, I’m sure that you likely have narratives with which you are extremely familiar. Unfortunately, the narrative of Scripture is not one of those stories for many people.
Throughout the fifteen years in which I have served Christians through full-time ministry, I’ve been amazed with how few people can articulate the Story of God!
Certainly, the narrative of the Bible is secondary to articulating the gospel message (see Ephesians 2:1-13 if you need clarity on the gospel). However, the Bible can be extremely confusing when one isn’t able to connect the dots between Abraham the Hebrew, King David and Jesus of Nazareth.
Could you summarize some of the events which occurred between the decades when these men walked the earth? Don’t feel ashamed if you cannot – but rather get equipped!
There are a few resources which you can use to understand the full story. First, the Lord has given us a few places in the Scriptures which summarize part of the story of God’s people. Nehemiah 9:6-31 summarizes Creation through the time of the prophets. Deuteronomy 4:25-31 summarizes the time of Joshua through the Babylonian captivity. Acts 7:2-53 which summarizes the time of Abraham through Jesus’ death. If you would take some time to compare these overlapping accounts, you’ll get a fuller picture of what took place throughout the pages of Scripture.
The story of God is not as complicated as it seems.
The Lord God, maker of heaven and earth, created humans to be in relationship with Him as we were made in His image (Genesis 1:27). However, we listened to Satan’s deception and rebelled against God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:4, 11). God covered our shame by shedding innocent blood (Genesis 3:21). Yet as humans spread throughout the world, separated from God’s eternal presence (Genesis 3:23), we grew into people whose thoughts were on evil continually (Genesis 6:5).
After cleansing the world with a flood (Genesis 7:22-24) and starting anew with Noah’s family, God chose to work in a personal way through Abraham, whose faith was considered as righteousness (Genesis 15:6). Abraham’s extended family grew prosperous by God’s grace (Exodus 1:7).
After being enslaved by Egyptians (Exodus 1:11), the Lord set them free and established them as a nation through giving His Holy Law and Covenant (Deuteronomy 30:15-19). Although God gave them land (Joshua 11:23), a sacrificial system to atone for sin (Leviticus 16:18-19), and leaders (Judges 1:16), the people insisted to do what was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). They asked for a human king, thus rejecting God as king (1 Samuel 8:4-9) which only led to more bloodshed, idolatry and division. Therefore, “God sent prophets among them to bring them back to the Lord..but the people did not pay attention” (2 Chronicles 24:19).
Finally, as promised through the prophets, God came in the flesh (Matthew 1:23), lived a perfect life, died and rose again (Acts 2:23-24) in order to send His spirit (Acts 1:8). He equipped the church with the gospel (repentance and forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus) (Luke 24:46) and the task of making disciples (Matthew 28:19).
This mission continues until God, once again, makes His dwelling place with humans and takes away every curse from sin for all eternity (Revelation 21:3-4).
As this New Year moves forward, I invite you to learn or re-visit the story of God. It is the most important, true story, which has ever been recorded. It will serve us well to know it better! Plus, the story becomes so much more vivid when you are able to comprehend it as a whole.