The Old Testament in 64 Sentences

• God created the universe, the world and people and it was all very good.
• Mankind disobeyed the one thing and the curse of sin and death came in.
• Sin increasingly spiralled so God brought a flood, saving animals & 1 family.
• Sin increased and God scattered the nations at the Tower of Babel. The world was bleak.
• What was God going to do?
• God initiates His salvation plan by calling Abraham and making promises with him.
• Abraham’s family are chosen and God works in their lives.
• The family end up in Egypt to escape a famine.
• The Hebrews become slaves in Egypt for 400 years.
• As with Abraham, God calls Moses, with the message to Pharaoh: ‘Let my people go!’
• The Israelites are rescued from Egypt with signs and wonders (ten plagues)
• At Mt Sinai they learn what this rescuing God is like: He is holy.
• God gives them laws, religious, social, medical, legal and Ten Commandments.
• They immediately break the rule and worship a golden calf (seriously, you couldn’t make it up)!
• That generation do not enter the Promised Land. They die in the wilderness.
• Joshua leads the new generation into the promised Land.
• They are told to drive out all the idolatrous nations (Canaanites).
• They drive out most of them and then settle and divide land between 12 the tribes.
• The Philistines become their main enemy and oppress the Israelites.
• The Israelites are oppressed because they keep breaking God’s Laws.
• Every time they get desperate they cry out to God for help.
• God always sends a deliverer, or Judge to rescue and lead the people.
• Then they do well for a short time before sinning worse than before and crying out again.
• This goes on for between 200-400 years. These days are very dark, the sin very bad.
• Despite the bleakness, the story of Ruth and the line of David happens here.
• Then the people demand a King ‘like the other (idolatrous) nations’ thus rejecting God’s Kingship.
• The people choose Saul. He looks good on the outside but is bad on the inside.
• God appoints David as King when Saul dies. Saul persecutes David.
• David becomes King. God makes a very special covenant with him: Messianic promises.
• Although David was ‘a man after God’s own heart’ he still had a human heart & it was bad!
• David murders, commits adultery, lies, steals and disobeys, but God never forsakes him.
• David’s time is marked by wars and warriors. David is trying to finish what Joshua began.
• David’s son Solomon reigns in peace and builds a world wonder: God’s Temple.
• Although Solomon is very wise he’s also very stupid. He commits mass idolatry in later years.
• His peaceful reign is superficial. When he dies, the Israelite Kingdom is torn in two.
• Ten tribes to the north. Two in the south.
• Multiple dynasties rule the north for over 200 years. All kings were idolatrous & evil.
• Because of God’s promise to David, his family rule the south for 400 years.
• After 200 years, the Assyrians capture the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and Exile all the people.
• They are destroyed forever and it was all spoken by the prophets and the Law.
• The prophets to the North were Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah, Isaiah, Jonah and others.
• The South (Judah) were captured by Babylon 200 years after that.
• Persistent idolatry, covenant unfaithfulness were Judah’s downfall.
• They were Exiled and held in Babylonian captivity for 70 years.
• Many prophets came to warn them this would happen.
• Prophets such as Jeremiah, Amos, Obadiah, Habakkuk, and others.
• The people didn’t believe it? Why?
• Because God had made unconditional promises to Abraham and David. God wouldn’t lie.
• They forgot to add into that the conditional promise made to Moses at Sinai
• “If you disobey, then this (curse) will happen…” “If you obey then this (blessing) will happen….”
• Prophets also spoke during and after the Exile. God was speaking and acting all the time.
• Prophets such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zephaniah, and others.
• During the Exile, the Jews were saved from annihilation by a brave Jewish girl, Esther.
• After Exile, the Hebrew people were freed to go home (a new generation).
• This historic return was led by Ezra who re-taught the religious laws of God to the people.
• And led by Nehemiah who rebuilt the city walls and the Temple (a poor imitation of Solomons).
• But the people soon forgot the Law and broke the covenant.
• God sent more prophets to warns them back: Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
• The OT ends in some disarray. It’s a cliff hanger.
• God’s word is ignored. Sin keeps spreading. Prophets are ignored. Lessons not learned.
• The last prophet and word in the OT is Malachi. He promises a special messenger.
• This messenger will announce the way for God Himself to come.
• Then the prophets stop prophesying. God is silent for 400 years (as he was in Egypt).
• Until we hear the shouting of John the Baptist in the NT: “Prepare the way of the Lord…”

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