God’s Not Dead,! The Son of God, Noah, The Bible – all are recent media productions about God and His story. I have read through the entire Bible several times and am doing so again this year. God’s story is rich. His Holy Word is alive and active. It penetrates deep within our soul, and it cuts like a double edged sword. I encourage you to read it and re-read it for yourself. Each time you read through it God reveals more truth to you. But if you haven’t read it before, let me give you a synopsis to peak your interest. As my husband says, “The book is always better than the movie!”
The Bible opens with the story of creation; how God created everything. There is the story of Adam and Eve in the garden and of how the first sin happened. We call that the fall. After the fall, sin rules this earth. Everything is broken; torn from the perfect state in which God first created it. Bad weather, disease, sin, you name it; all of creation is broken because Adam and Eve did not obey God but chose to listen to satan’s lies. There is the story of Babel where God confused the language of the people into many different languages so they couldn’t communicate and He scattered them all over the earth. The story of Noah and his family and the great flood in which God destroyed all of life except for that in the sea and on the ark. The God chose for himself a people – one of the smaller groups of people. He called Abraham and sent him away from his home town to journey to a new land. Abraham, Issac, and Jacob were the fathers of Israel. God’s chosen people. Their family grew and grew.
Jacob’s son Joseph was sold off by his brothers into slavery and taken to Egypt where he was protected by God and raised up from slavery to a position of high standing. When the famine and drought came to the land, Joseph’s planning spared the people of Egypt from starvation and Joseph’s family came looking for food from them. This is how the Israelites ended up in Egypt. They settled there after finding food and finding Joseph. They grew in numbers so great that the new Pharaoh felt threatened by them and enslaved them. God heard their cries and sent Moses back to Egypt to rescue them. Moses was spared, as a baby, from the killing of the male Israelites and was raised in Pharaoh’s home. As an adult, he killed an Egyptian when he saw him beating an Israelite. After that he fled to Midian, married and had a family. This is where God found him when he called him to go rescue his people. God and Moses had a special relationship. God spoke with Moses “face to face”. With God beside him, Moses obeyed God, and the Israelites were freed from Egypt. God promised to give them a land filled with milk and honey. Whey they spied out the land, they were afraid of the inhabitants and didn’t trust God to give the land to them, so God punished them by sending them out to the wilderness for 40 years, and all the generation who distrusted God died and did not enter the Promised Land.
God gave Moses commandments for the people to follow. They built a portable temple where God met with Moses and where they offered their sacrifices. They were required to obey all of God’s commandments to stay right before God. God’s wrath was poured out upon them when they were disobedient. The laws of God were to be followed completely. The law revealed to us how imperfect we are. No one was able to follow the law perfectly. Animal sacrifices were required to pay for the sins of the people. Blood was the price to be paid for sin. Blood was life.
The people demanded a King, like all the other countries had, to rule over them. They had judges to settle disputes, but they wanted a king. So God allowed them to have a king – a series of kings – most of whom were evil in the sight of God. Israel is divided into two nations – Israel and Judah. They end up being attacked by their enemies because they didn’t obey God. They are taken into exile into Babylonia. Years later they are allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple. They have prophets who warn them of their disobedience and of God’s wrath, but they don’t want to hear from the prophets so God is silent for over 400 years.
Then God sends his Son down to rescue his people. His Son Jesus is the perfect and final sacrifice – spilling of blood for the price of all of our sins. A new covenant is made with God’s people. The prophecies of old are fulfilled in the coming of Jesus. The Israelites are hoping and waiting for a military king to come and rescue them from the Roman oppression that they were experiencing. But God didn’t have a military king in mind. He had an eternal king for them. Jesus.
Jesus’ earthly ministry lasted 3 years. He healed people, taught them of the Kingdom of God and of repentance for their sins, He showed them the scriptures and how God was fulfilling them through himself. His message angered the priests and teachers of the law. They eventually accuse him of religious crimes and have him crucified. He dies on the cross, is buried for three days and is resurrected. He is seen by over 500 people after his resurrection. He now sits at the right hand of God in heaven. God’s Holy Spirit is given to each person who believes in Jesus as God’s son and as our savior. When we confess with our mouths that He is Lord and believe in our hearts that He was raised from the dead. When we confess our sins and accept His offer of salvation, we are saved. We are sealed and have full confidence of eternal life in heaven with God. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. There is no other way to be saved except by him. His blood was the final sacrifice. It was shed for all of our sins. When we confess, accept, and believe, we become fellow heirs with Jesus of heaven. We become God’s children. We follow after the way of Jesus and obey God’s calling out of love and trust. We are saved by faith.
God’s Holy Word is astounding. It is truth and life. Jesus is called the Word. If you don’t have a love for the Word of God, ask God to give you a deep love for it. He will do that. Ask Him to help you understand what He’s written there for you. He will do that. Read a portion each day. Start with the book of John. Then read all the gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke). It is a love letter to us. The Old Testament shows us our sin and reveals God’s plan in prophesy. The Psalms and Proverbs are beautiful and encouraging. You will never learn all that God has for you, even if you read it every day for the rest of your life. There is so much there to understand and to apply to our lives! If there is ever one book you should read, it is the Bible.
I hope this synopsis gives you a glimpse into what God has for you. His Word is alive. Be encouraged. Read on.