July 14, 2021 – The Old Testament
We have reached the end of the Old Testament. How about a review? In the beginning God created everything that is (Genesis 1 & 2). Everything was good, but our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned and brought judgment and death into the world (Genesis 3). God promised a redeemer who would deliver from death and judgment (Genesis 3:15). Sin multiplied in the world; then, one day, God spoke to a man named Abram, made a covenant with him, and promised to make a great nation of his descendants. Through his descendants the world would be blessed (Genesis 12). Abraham’s descendants grew in numbers, the people ended up in Egypt from which God, by a mighty hand and by Moses, delivered them from great oppression and instructed them as to how they must live and worship their God (Exodus and Leviticus).
The people quickly forgot the God who had delivered them, and they were forced to wander in the wilderness for forty years before coming into the land of promise under Joshua (Numbers and Deuteronomy). They fought for and settled in Canaan (Joshua) and there they lived through the time of the judges, the leadership of Samuel, and the establishment, division, and fall of Israel and Judah, exile, and return from exile (the historical books and the prophets). To one of the kings, David, God promised an eternal kingdom and a throne upon which an eternal king would sit (2 Samuel 7). The continuing story of the Old Testament, from the wisdom writers to the prophets, tells of the preparation for the coming of the redeemer spoken of back in Genesis 3 and promised to David.
The last book of the OT, Malachi, ends with the prophet pointing to “the great and awesome day of the Lord” (4:5) and the coming of one who is likened to the prophet Elijah. The story of the coming of that one begins in Matthew 1.
These are the days of Elijah,
Declaring the word of the Lord . . .
Behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun, at the trumpet call!
Lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee
And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes! --Robin Mark, 1994