Old Testament History
Explain how Gods promise to Abraham is gradually outworked in the Old Testament culminating in the coming of Christ
God’s relationship to man has been defined by specific requirements and promises, divinely imposed by God, unchangeable, legal agreement between that stipulates the conditions of their relationship. Man can never negotiate with God or change the terms of the covenants; he can only accept or reject them.
God’s response to the rebellion at Babel was to choose a man called Abraham. Abraham was a man that loved and worshipped the one true God. So God told Abraham to get away from the idolatrous people around him, to get away from his family and his father's house and go to a land that God would show him. God made this covenant with Abraham, a personal blessing to Abraham, and that he would become a father of a great nation of people. God tested His own Kingdom promises by asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham obeyed God, but just before he was about to kill Isaac, God provided a substitute sacrifice. Abraham was obedient to God, which renewed the covenant: “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and ill-treated four hundred years. But I will punish then nation they serve as slaves, and afterwards they will come out with great possessions…in the fourth generations your descendent will come back here” on that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said “to your descendents I give this land”.
God then chooses Jacob, grandson of Abraham and son of Isaac to be the next person in the family line of Abraham; it is from this line that the rescuer-ruler will come. God changes Jacobs name to “Israel” and becomes the name of the nation of people that God promised Abraham. Jacob has 12 sons and their families become known as the “12 tribes of Israel”.
Jacob’s sons are jealous of their brother Joseph as he is talented and Jacobs favourite so they sell him into slavery. Joseph is a slave in Egypt and ends up interpreting a dream God has given the Pharaoh about a future famine In Egypt and Canaan and Joseph tells the Pharaoh to prepare. During the famine Jacob and his sons come to Egypt where Joseph reveals his identity and the family live with Joseph in Egypt. This is how Abraham’s descendants move from Canaan to the land of Egypt. God’s plan is being accomplished. In the small picture God takes Joseph to Egypt to save many lives because of a famine. But in the big picture He guides Joseph to Egypt so as to fulfill His promise to Abraham.
After Joseph dies the Egyptians force the Hebrews to endure slavery and servitude, and anxious that the many Hebrews might revolt the Pharaoh instructs midwives to throw newborn boys into the river Nile. But the midwives feared God so did not obey the Egyptians and the Israelites continues to multiply and grow strong: “They were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them”
Out of this time Moses is born, saved by the Pharaohs own daughter after his mother has set him afloat in the river Nile in order to save him form the slaughter. Moses was unaware of this divine providence in his early years. Then God appears to Moses when he is 80 years old in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush commissioning Moses to bring the people out of Egypt. The commission involves God sending ten plagues before the Pharaoh allows the Israelites to leave and God parting the red sea to allow them to escape the Egyptians.
As the Israelites near the Promised twelve spies are sent to explore Canaan. Ten of the spies spread a bad report of how strong than Canaanites are, and the other two-Joshua and Caleb encourage to the people to have faith and remember all what God has done. The Israelites had seen miracles but were unfaithful and disobedient to God and rebel against him...