OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE #3
Joshua through End of Old Testament
Review of key verses:
Gen. 1:27 — God created man in his own image
Gen. 15:6 — Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him for righteousness
Gen. 50:20 — You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good
Ex. 3:14 — I AM that I AM — I AM has sent you (ever-present God)
God is a God of judgment — there are consequences to sin — but along with judgment comes a thread of grace.
Review summary words (one-word clues) for books of the Bible:
If I say Genesis, you say “beginnings”.
If I say Exodus, you say “exit”.
If I say Leviticus, you say “Offerings and Feasts”.
If I say Numbers, you say “wanderings”.
If I say Deuteronomy, you say “second law”.
If I say Joshua, you say “conquest”.
Joshua 1:1-5, 9
God says to Joshua, “Everything that I promised to Moses I promise to you…”
They cross the Jordan River after God parts it (like the Red Sea).
When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
They place a pile of stones as a monument on the west bank of the Jordan.
KEY POINT: God wants to be remembered.
God is a jealous God. When you hear the word “jealous,” do you think of it as positive or negative?
We think of that with a negative connotation, but with God it’s a positive thing — as if someone were taking something that rightfully belonged to you. He wants the glory.
He deserves the glory by virtue of who He is! God does not want you to worship something that will not fulfill you, God is the only one that satisfies. And God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
Isaiah 42:8 “I am the Lord, that is my name, I will not give my glory to another, or my praise to idols.”
Idols can be more than carved statues, they can be sports, video games, the opposite sex, etc.
The Israelite people were to be God’s own people. They were to go into the land and wipe out the pagan people there (who were sacrificing humans to the false”god” of Molock).
This was a unique period of warfare/judgment (not always the case).
Illus: cancerous tumor — must be gotten rid of or it will poison the rest of the body
So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword.
Jericho was the first city (where they walk around it 7 times and the walls fall down).
Then at the next city (Ai), they blow it by getting conceited and one man sins, brings judgment on the people.
Joshua – “conquest” – BUT -they didn’t totally destroy all the enemy, and that came back to haunt them.
Judges — “cycles”
This brings us to a period of the Judges, who were military leaders who would lead the people in driving out the enemy.
The key word for Judges is “cycles,” because seven times the same cycle is repeated:
the people sin
an enemy gains victory over them
God raises up a leader to conquer or frustrate the enemy
the people repent and are restored to God, then there is a time of peace
…..until the people sin again.
Samson (long hair), Gideon, Deborah, Samuel (the last “Judge” and the first “Prophet”)
There were 17 Judges in all…..
KEY VERSE: — summarize the entire book of Judges
Judges 21:25 — “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit”
Jump over the book of Ruth — a roadside stop; not on the historical highway — but a great read!
Ruth: “love story” — Boaz and Ruth
I Samuel 8:5-9
and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”
The people came to Samuel and said they wanted a king (like their neighbors).
They wanted to be led by a man rather than by God.
I Samuel 8:10-18
So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”
consequences of their wanting a king
I Samuel 8:19-22
But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”
they didn’t care about the consequences; they wanted a king!
I Samuel 10:23-24
Then they ran and took him from there. And when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
They also chose the wrong criteria for selecting a king
Saul is chosen because he’s tall, dark and handsome.
Israel becomes a united kingdom under three kings:
Saul — had no heart
David — had a whole heart
Solomon — had half a heart
Saul makes several key mistakes:
• He doesn’t completely destroy the enemy as God had commanded
• He saves some of the plunder
• He doesn’t kill off the enemies king (Agag)
• He offers the sacrifice before the battle (which God had said the Levitical tribe should do — Samuel — assumes the priest’s authority)
• He becomes jealous of David, who has become popular ever since he defeated Goliath (Saul has killed his thousands, but David his ten thousands) — Many of the distressed Psalms were written while David was on the run from Saul (But David says, “how could I kill the Lord’s anointed?”)
• Saul also consults with a fortune teller, participates in witchcraft
Saul ends up committing suicide — falls on his own sword (doesn’t start well, doesn’t finish well)
I Samuel 15:22 — “to obey is better than sacrifice” — KEY VERSE!
1 Samuel 16:1 — God says to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul…..”
God says that Israel chose a king by the wrong criteria.
God’s looking for a man after His own heart.
1 Samuel 16:6-7 — “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart…”
God says, you give me a shepherd boy with a heart after me, and I’ll turn him into a king!
David is referred to as a man after God’s own heart.
2 Samuel 5:4
David becomes king at age 30.
Starts well, but then blows it
2 Samuel 11 — DON’T READ — Bible is very honest about the failings of its “heroes”
Adultery with Bathsheba; “murder” of her husband, Uriah
David’s infant son died — yet God forgave His sin and gave him a new start
Sin has consequences, but God’s grace can overshadow sin.
With God, no mistake is unredeemable!
Even when David sins, he repents and seeks after God, and we see his heart in Psalm 51.
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
2 Samuel 7:16 — Your house and your kingdom will endure forever…..
David is given a promise that God’s kingdom will be established “forever” through him.
Here again we have the “curse” that comes from sin followed by the “promise” of restoration.
David dies, having done an outstanding job at conquering the land and uniting the kingdom.
I Kings 2:10-12
Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. And the time that David reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. So Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.
At age 9, Solomon becomes king.
God asks him what he wants, and he asks for a heart of wisdom to rule the people. (I Kings 3)
God then gives him riches and glory and peace as well — culminated in the building of the glorious temple in Jerusalem.
Now settled in the land, they could actually have a permanent temple building instead of a traveling tabernacle.
Solomon starts out great — in fact the Queen of Sheba (Ethiopia) comes and is impressed with the glory and riches of Solomon’s kingdom. (I Kings 10)
I Kings 11:1-6
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done.
BUT — Solomon has 700 wives and 300 concubines. Many were from other peoples who worshipped pagan gods. They turn Solomon’s heart away from God — and temples fill the land.
Under Saul, David, Solomon — Israel is the “United Kingdom.”
Then we turn to a time period where the kingdom is divided.
Solomon has a son named Rehoboam who becomes king (I Kings 11:42-43).
Rehoboam seeks counsel from 2 groups: a group of older men and a group of younger men.
The older men say to “serve” the people as king — leadership is service.
The younger people say to tax the people even more than Solomon did.
Rehoboam listens to the younger group, which is a gigantic mistake, and the people rebel.
There’s a split in the kingdom (in 930 B.C.), and 10 of the 12 tribes (all except Judah and Benjamin) go into a “northern kingdom” ruled by Jeroboam.
Jeroboam gathers the 10 tribes together, but the temple is in Jerusalem! So he sets up his own center of worship in Samaria at Mount Gerezim — in full view of Jacob’s well.
[cross-reference with John 4:1-30, esp. John 4:16-24].
Jeroboam is the first king of the northern kingdom.
After this, the northern kingdom will be ruled by 19 different kings, ALL of whom are evil. The southern kingdom will be ruled by 20 (19 kings and 1 queen), 8 of whom are good and 12 of whom are evil.
And that is basically a summary of I & II Kings; I & II Chronicles
I Kings 15:3 — Abijah, Rehoboam’s son (who rules over Judah), does not have the heart that King David had. God is looking for a king whose heart is his. Over and over, we read “he followed after the ways of Jeroboam” — one of the main wicked kings — the one who split/led the northern kingdom.
1 Kings 18:17-40 — (long story) Baal is the main religious adversary — Elijah does battle with the prophets of Baal. (Around the world even today there are many many people who are pleading and crying out for some response from false gods.) Stories like this happen frequently during the period of the divided kingdom.
God sends in 3 main enemies — 3 conquering, invading nations:
1. Assyria (Sargon) conquers the northern kingdom and scatters them.
The capital of Assyria is Ninevah [where Jonah and the big fish event takes place — and the whole city of Ninevah repents — that’s the REAL story, not the big fish].
The Assyrians not only scatters the northern kingdom — they intermarry with them, demand worship of idols, etc. — and this is where the SAMARITAN people come from (creating the “half-breeds” that pure-bred Jews in the southern kingdom came to hate — see John 4 meeting between Jesus and the “woman at the well”).
But in the midst of judgment, there is grace — Judah is preserved.
2. 136 years later, Judah is carried away by the Babylonians (Nebechunezzer) — see book of Daniel.
Even though they’re exiled for 70 years, the purity of the race is preserved.
During this time, the 2 major prophets who minister and write are Isaiah and Jeremiah.
(Jeremiah “stays back” with the few people left in Judah — he’s the “weeping prophet” who’s left with the hopeless people who don’t want to hear his message).
This is when “synagogues” come into existence — because they were separated from the temple.
Isaiah 7:14 — “a virgin shall conceive, and she shall call His name Emmanuel” — God with us!
Isaiah 9:6 — “for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders…”
Isaiah 53:3-9 — “He was despised and forsaken of men…..” — “All we like sheep have gone astray” — etc.
(this is written around 700 B.C.)
Isaiah presents a “line of hope” during this awful captivity of 70 years
3. Persia (Cyrus) comes in and wipes out everybody — as predicted in Isaiah 44!!
Cyrus is predicted as the one who will let the Israelite people go back to their land.
• 50,000 Jews (out of 2 or 3 million) go back in 536 B.C. with Zerubabel (a military leader)
• Ezra is a priest who goes back to
a.) read the word to the people to encourage them, and
b.) rebuild the Temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians when the left
• Nehemiah goes back to manage the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem
This is the END of the Old Testament, historically speaking!
The remaining books are prophets (“major” and “minor”), poetic books, etc.
PROPHETS minister to the people during this period.
That’s why the “key words” are important with each book — they tell you how each book fits into this overall context.
From Nehemiah on, there are 400 years of silence — meaning God didn’t speak through His prophet for 400 years. But in the meantime:
• Alexander the Great conquers from Rome to India — 14,000 miles of kingdom — half the world! This is the Greek empire — the “Hellenistic” period.
• After the Greeks come the Romans (Julius Casear, Cleopatra, etc.
Summary of the conquerors: (Assyrians – Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans)
Psalm 106 is a great “recap” of all this history.
Micah 5:2 — Bethlehem is predicted as the birthplace of the Messiah (over 700 years B.C.!!)