by Randolph Dunn - The BibleWay Publisher
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Time Before Christ

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Table of Contents

1. Creation and Fall

2. Early Man

3. Their Choice

4. God's Promises

5. Gevious Sin

6. Slavery

7. Deliverance

8. Tables of Stone

9. After God's Heart

10. Prophets of the Old Covenant

Creation and Fall
Genesis 1-3

Speaking of the creation, Genesis 1:1-3 states, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light." While John 1:1-3 states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." The only thing man knows about the beginning is what God has chosen to reveal to him. Theories of "learned men" are unproven and often contrary to what has been revealed.

The last day of creation as recorded in Genesis 1:26-27 is "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." This creation was different from all His other creations as man was made in God's likeness, in his image. Man is not an exact copy of God. Man was created flesh and blood while God is spirit.

God put man in the midst of the rest of creation to rule over and have dominion over it. He told the man, Adam, to work it and take care of it. "And the LORD God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die'." (Genesis 2:16-17)

The Devil took on the form of a serpent to tempt Eve, lying to her. "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." (Genesis 3:6). James defines the temptation process: "but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:14-15)

To Eve the fruit was pleasing to the eye and desirable to make her wise but disobedience has consequences. In this case the consequence was immediate. However, in some situations sin may not be found out until the judgment when one faces God. They were removed from paradise to a land of toil and pain. God said to the serpent " 'Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head,and you will strike his heel.' To the woman he said, 'I will greatly increase your pains in child bearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband,and he will rule over you.' To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it', 'Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you,and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return'." (Genesis 3:14-19).

With this sin both Adam and Eve were separated from God and in need of being reunited with Him. This reconciliation would require a perfect sacrifice for their sin of disobedience.

Questions:
1. The Word existed before the creation.
          

2. The only instruction God gave to Adam was not to eat of the tree knowledge of good and evil.
         

3. Adam and consequently all mankind were created
     Exactly like God.
     Like all other animals that breathed air.
     In the likeness of God.

4. Eve did not understand that she should not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
         

5. Adam and Eve sinned because
     They ate the forbidden fruit because they were starving.
     The devil in the form of a serpent forced them to eat the forbidden fruit.
     They disobeyed God by yielding to temptation and decided to eat the forbidden fruit.

6. Since Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, Adam had no choice as God had made Eve for him.
         

Early Man

Adam and Eve
Eve, knowing that God commanded them not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, yielded to her desires, ate of the fruit and gave some to Adam and he also ate. The devil in the form of a serpent had enticed them to sin. This action of disobedience resulted in them being expelled from paradise, the Garden of Eden, and suffering other consequences of their sin. The consequences were separation from God, pain and death.

Their greatest pain may have been when one son, Cain, killed another son, Abel. Sin was present before the murder as Cain's heart was not pure and godly. Both Cain and Able offered sacrifices to God. But, Cain became angry because Abel's offering to God was accepted and his was rejected.

Cain and Abel
In Hebrews 11:4 we read that Abel's offering was by faith. Now faith is based upon knowledge and love. So Abel's action and attitude pleased God whereas Cain's did not. God said of Cain's offering " if you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." (Genesis 4:7). Therefore it appears the object Cain offered was not acceptable or his attitude was unacceptable or both. He may have not offered the best he had, he may have offered something not authorized or he offered exactly what was required but with an attitude other than love of God. Whatever the situation, God was not pleased and Cain knew why. As punishment, the earth would not yield fruits for him and he would become a restless wanderer.

Noah
God told Noah what he must do to save the righteous people from perishing in the impending flood. No doubt these instructions appeared to be unusual but very explicit. Noah may have even questioned how a boat made only from one kind of wood exactly so long, wide and high with only one window and door could possibly save him and his family. However he began building immediately warning others of the consequences of their rebellious and sinful lifestyle. In Hebrews 11:7 we read "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith."

Summary
So far in only six chapters of the first book of the Bible we have seen three situations where people disobeyed God's commandments, substituting their own desires; one disobeyed because it was pleasing to the eye and something to be desired to make them wise, one disobeyed by presenting an offering, an act of worship, that was not pleasing to God and one group disobeyed as the thoughts and intent of their mind was evil continually. God was displeased in every case, judging their actions against his standard, his Word. A righteous God, their creator, established the consequences He considered appropriate for their action.

Questions
1. Cain's offering was not acceptable because
     It was a grain offering rather than an animal offering.
     Cain was not obedient thus sinned with his offering.
     He kept the best for himself.
     It was not revealed.

2. Noah followed God's plan exactly and did not substitute his own opinion for God's.
         

3. Noah's faith was based upon
     His feelings about what God wanted.
     Someone else's opinion of what God wanted.
     Knowledge of what God said He wanted.

4. God is displeased when those created in His likeness disobey.
         

5. There are no consequences for rebelling and disobeying God.
         

Their Choice
Genesis 7-10

Noah was a righteous man who obeyed God. By faith he built an ark saving mankind from annihilation. After the ark was completed Noah and his family entered the ark and God caused the animals that breathed air to come into the ark. After God closed the door He opened the fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven to flood the earth. After days and months the waters abated. Then Noah, his family and the animals came out of the ark.

Noah immediately built an alter, offered a sacrifice and worshipped God. This offering pleased God "The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: 'Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease'." (Genesis 8:21-22). God also gave some instructions or commands (Genesis 9:3-7):
    • Everything that lives and moves will be food for you

    •Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything,

    • But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.

    • And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.

    •Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.

    •As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.

God then established a covenant with Noah and every living creature.

Sin knocked at the door again as Ham showed disrespect for his father whereupon he was cursed to become a slave to his brothers. In Romans 1:28-32 "Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." Note the parallel in Noah's time and our situation:
    a. The people were sinful and we are sinners - Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

    b. They were about to die and we may also - John 8:24a "I told you that you would die in your sins;"

    c. Noah was told what to do to save the righteous and so have we - John 8:24b "if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins."

    d. All the people of Noah's time had a choice to make and we also have a choice - 2 Corinthians 6:2b "I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation."

Questions:
1. Noah was considered righteous because he built an ark and saved mankind.
       

2. When is an acceptable time for one's salvation.
    After one has sown their wild oats.
    When the time pressures are not so great from family and work.
    There is no time like the present.

3. What happens when people refuse to retain God in their knowledge?
      It is never too late to accept God's call.
      Time will mellow the heart creating a desire for knowledge of Him.
      God gives them over to their desires.

4. Following Noah's worship to God, God promised to never agan destroy all living creatures by water.
       

5. Those who do not believe Jesus is the Christ will die in their sins
       

God's Promises

Years following the temptation of Adam and Eve and their yielding to their desires rather than obeying God, two hundred ninety years following the flood and hundreds of years before God gave Moses the Commandments on Stone, Terah became the father of Abram. After becoming an adult, God made a promise to Abram. "The LORD had said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; all peoples on earth will be blessed through you'." (Genesis 12:1-3) God changed Abram's name to Abraham when He established His covenant with him. So Abraham left his home and went to Canaan.

In Hebrews 11 we read, "By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God." (Vs. 8-10) It should be clear that God's promise to Abraham was to all mankind rather than to one nation.

Abraham and Sarah, his wife, were childless even though God had promised they would have many descendants. They became impatient for God to fulfill his promise of a son. Using human reason, they took matters into their own hands. Their impatient action caused great conflicts later between Ishmael's descendants, Abraham's first born by Sarah's handmaid, and those of Isaac, Abraham's and Sarah's son of promise. God waited until it was physically impossible for Abraham and Sarah to have a child so when they did have one there would be no doubt that it was a direct result of God's promise and their faith. (Hebrews 11:11-12)

Abraham became the father of many nations and known as the father of the faithful, but he was not without sin. He lied on more than one occasion. When confronted by God he repented and put his faith and trust in Him. It is through descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that a savior would come into the world to redeem the obedient faithful.

"When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, 'I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers'." (Genesis 17:1-2) The covenant was sealed by Abraham's obedience to God's command to circumcise all males. This was before they had any children and hundreds of years before the Law was given to Moses. About a year later Isaac was born and Abraham circumcised him on the eighth day according to the covenant.

Later, when Isaac was older, God commanded Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering sacrifice. This was a test of Abraham's faith. Abraham reasoned that since God gave him Isaac when it was physically impossible for him and Sarah to have a son then He could bring Isaac back from the dead in order to fulfill his promise.

What is so significant about this relationship between God and Abraham? First and foremost God requires obedient faithfulness. Through Abraham's faith God's promise to provide a way for man to be reconciled to Him was initiated. It would not be realized until years later when Jesus of Nazareth, through complete obedient faithfulness, would offer himself as the atoning sacrifice for man's sins. It was through Isaac, the son of promise, not Ishmael his first born, that the covenant would be continued as Jesus was a descendant of Isaac through David.

It was God's promise that through Abraham all peoples of the earth would be blessed. Therefore, there is no way mankind can earn his reconciliation. It is a promise and matter of attitude, faith and obedience to Jesus, the Christ, His Word, the Message of Reconciliation.

It should not be so amazing that God blesses the faithful obedient and disinherits the rebellious disobedient.

1. God's promise to Abraham that his descendant would bless all mankind was given
     following the giving of the Ten Commandants.
     at the time Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice to God.
     while with his father, Terah, and prior to going to Canaan.

2. God's covenant with Abraham was based upon Abraham's willingness to put his trust in God.
           

3. God spared Isaac's physical life because of Abraham's faith and obedience.
           

4. Abraham was referred to as the father of the faithful because he trusted God.
           

5. God is faithful in keeping His promises.
           


Grievous Sin
Genesis 18-19

Because of problems between herdsmen of Abraham and Lot, his nephew, Abraham allowed Lot to choose his land and Abraham would take another area. Lot chose the better area near the city of Sodom. "And the LORD said, 'Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know' ".  (Genesis 18:20-21). Before God sent angels to destroy Sodom He revealed His plans to Abraham who pleaded with God to save Sodom because of righteous people living there. But there were so few. So God's angels in the form of men appeared at evening entering the city of Sodom. When Lot saw these visitors he insisted they enter his house under his protection.

The wickedness of Sodom is clearly seen in the following; "Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.' So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, "Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! 'See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.' And they said, 'Stand back!' Then they said, 'This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.' So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. But the angels reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door." (Genesis 19:4-10)

The angels explained to Lot the purpose of their mission so "When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, ‘Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.’" ... " ‘Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.’ The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah from the LORD out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground" (Genesis 19:15, 23-25)

God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden because of disobedience.  He destroyed by water all people because of the wickedness of man and the evil intent of his heart (mind) except Noah, his family and selected animals.  Now He destroyed Sodom by fire because of grievous wickedness. It should be evident that disobedience and wickedness is not tolerated by God and those who practice such will also be destroyed unless they turn from their wickedness and obey the will of God.

Questions:
1. What sin was so great that God decided to destroy Sodom?
      Abortion
      Devil worship
      Homosexuality

2. Lot chose the land east of Jordan because
      He desired the city life offered by Sodom and Gomorrah.
      He wanted to get away from Abraham as they constantly argued.
      The land appeared to be the better land.
      The Bible does not say.

3. Disobedience to God caused problems     
      In the Garden of Eden.
      With the people in Noah's time.
      In the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
      All the above.

  4. The destruction of the area around Sodom and Gomorrah only affected the men who attempted to defile the men [angels] visiting Lot.
         

5. Abraham pleaded with God to save the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of righteous people living in these cities.
         

Slavery

Exodus 1-12
God called Abraham while he was living in Ur of the Chaldees to go to a far country. He had no place to call home; only a promise that his descendants would one day have a home. Abraham's descendants would ultimately become Egyptian slaves. God through Moses delivered them from slavery to go to the land of their inheritance, the land where Abraham wandered. This is very similar to our short stay here on earth amid wickedness being slaves to sin. God through Christ will deliver us from slavery of sin to a home in Heaven.

Their journey into that far country, Egypt, began with a cowardly act by Jacob's sons to a younger brother, Joseph, when they sold him to a band of Ishmaelites, descendants of Abraham's first born son. They sold him as a common slave and then deceived Jacob into believing Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. Remember, Jacob had also deceived his father in order to receive a blessing. Joseph remained faithful to God and God used him in his plan to create a mighty nation from Abraham's descendants. This would occur after years of slavery among a people who worshipped created things rather than Almighty God.

After four hundred years in Egypt Moses was born. His parents defied Pharaoh's edicts to kill the baby and they hid him. They acted righteously by their willingness to disobey Pharaoh's command rather than disobey God's." By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict." (Hebrews 11:23). Moses was found by Pharaoh's daughter who had compassion on him. Moses’ sister summoned her mother and "Pharaoh's daughter said to her, 'Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.' So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, 'I drew him out of the water'." (Exodus 2:9-10).

In Hebrews 11: 24-27 we read " By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible." After being trained in all the ways of the Egyptians for forty years, God trained Moses another forty years as a herdsman before calling him to lead Abraham's descendants from the bondage of slavery to the land promised long ago to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Because of these former slaves' lack of faith and obedience, it took forty years before they were ready to obey and claim their promised land. Even though this land was given to them by God’s grace they had to fight God's enemies to inhabit it.

Today mankind is under the bondage of sin. We are freed from the bondage of sin by the blood of Christ. It takes continued obedience and faithfulness for us to reach Heaven, our promised land, while always fighting the enemies of God.

Questions
1. Moses was born a slave but became grandson of Pharaoh, ruler of all Egypt.
          

2. Moses chose not to continue being Pharaoh's grandson.
      Because Pharaoh was partial to his other grandchildren
      Because Pharaoh mistreated Moses birth family
      By his faith in Jehovah God

3. Since God gave Canaan to former Egyptian slaves, they were not required to do anything to receive their Land of Promise.
         

4. People who are slaves to sin today are not required to do anything to inherit Heaven, the spiritual Promised Land.
         

5. God trained Moses 40 years in Egypt and 40 years as a herdsman before appointing him to lead the Children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery.
         

Deliverance

Exodus 13-14
At the appropriate time Moses’ mother took Moses to Pharaoh's daughter.  "Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not." (Acts 7:22-26)

In fear resulting from his rash action he fled from Pharaoh, going to the land of Midian. He humbled himself as a shepherd for forty years, after which God was ready for him to deliver the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob from the bondage of physical slavery, a symbol of our slavery to sin. God gave Pharaoh and the Egyptians ten opportunities to choose obedience over destruction. Pharaoh appeared to recognize God's power but with each passing opportunity it was easier for him to refuse. After the death of his first born he told the Israelites to leave. But he changed his mind and pursued them to bring them back to slavery.

It was at the Red Sea that the Israelites had to make a choice to obey God or return to slavery. It was also there that Pharaoh and his army were buried in the waters of the sea. A new nation, freed from slavery, arose on the other side. This is also like our flight from sin. At the cross of Christ we must make a decision and bury our sinful master in the waters of baptism in order to arise as a new creation. Paul stated in Romans 6:3-7 "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin."

They did not enter into Canaan immediately as their faith was weak. They rejected the report of Joshua and Caleb who trusted in God.

Consequently, they wandered in the wilderness, near their promised land, for forty years, never entering the Promised Land. It wasn't until all males over twenty died (except Joshua and Caleb) that they would be allowed to enter the Promised Land. Moses was prohibited, by God from leading them into Canaan. Instead it was Joshua, Moses's faithful aide. Once they put their faith in God and obeyed him, they were allowed to enter their Promised Land. We too must have obedient faith and be reconciled to God to enter our Promised Land, Heaven.

Questions
1. In attempting to deliver Israel from oppression, Moses attempted to take matters into his own hands rather than waiting upon God.
            

2. God did not give Pharaoh any choice to escape death and destruction.
            

3. Faith in God allowed the Children of Israel to pass through the waters of the Red Sea to become free from bondage and arrive upon the other shore a new nation.
            

4. Upon first reaching the Land of Promise, the children of Israel put their faith in
     The report of Joshua and Caleb with God's guidance.
     Their own ability

5. Moses was permitted to
      Lead the Israelites into the Land of Promise
      Enter the promised land but told Joshua to lead
      See but not enter the Land of Promise
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Tables of Stone Covenant

God performed many miracles of blessing upon the Israelites, the most prominent being the leading of millions of slaves toward a land promised years before to Abraham.

Three months after they departed Egypt and around four hundred years after God's promise to Abraham they camped at Sinai. Here God appeared, delivering to Moses his commandments. Exodus 24:12 "The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction '." We refer to them as the Ten Commandments and they are listed below as recorded in Exodus 20:3-17.

    ° "You shall have no other gods before me. "

    ° "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [ generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments."

    ° "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. "

    ° "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

    ° "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."

    ° "You shall not murder."

    ° "You shall not commit adultery."

    ° "You shall not steal."

    ° "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."

    ° "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

Read them again and notice that they are laws, rules, regulations, things to do and things not to do. Did you find any statement of forgiveness or faith? Did you notice that only one or two dealt with man's heart, mind or attitude? This covenant was designed to bring us to Christ, and as stated in Hebrews, is replaced by a new one, a covenant that forgives wickedness. "For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.But God found fault with the people and said: 'The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord'." (Hebrews 8:7-9 quoting from Jeremiah 31:31)

" 'This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more'." (Hebrews 8:10-12)

" By calling this covenant 'new,' he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear." (Hebrews 8:13)

When Jesus came he preached a message of repentance, a message of God's grace and of faith, love and reconciliation. His mission was "to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." (John 4:34). HE opened the way for forgiveness of sin by willingly giving his life as the atoning sacrifice for OUR sins, to all who believe on Him and who "wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted." (Romans 6:17)

"Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law." (Galatians 3:23-25)

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross." (Colossians 2:13-14) God's love and mercy, provided the perfect blood sacrifice in His Son. Christ's death established the “new covenant", providing for forgiveness of sins and freedom from sin to all who obey the call to repentance and obedience. (Read Hebrews 9:16-28)

So "Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!" (James 2:12-13)

Questions:
1. God called Moses upon the mountain to give him the Ten Commandments for the
      Gentiles and Israelites [Jews].
      Children of Israel forever.
      Israelites until replaced by another and better covenant.

2. The Ten Commandments, the Law, was a tutor or custodian to bring mankind unto faith.
         

3. Some of the Ten Commandments could be kept outwardly even though they were not kept inwardly in the mind and heart.
         

4. The Law of Moses provided for salvation, the forgiveness of sin.
         

5. God removed the Law of Moses, “the handwriting of requirements”, by nailing it to the cross by the death of Jesus.
         

After God's Heart

1 Samuel 16 – 2 Samuel 7
After being delivered from Egyptian slavery and receiving a land flowing with milk and honey, Israel was governed by judges whom God selected. But the Israelites wanted to be like all the nations around them. They rejected God and wanted a king. So God gave them a king - Saul. He ruled by what the people wanted - rule by opinion rather than as an obedient servant of God. Therefore, Samuel, at God's direction, anointed David as king, one who would obey him. Many times David had to flee from Saul because Saul was hunting him down like a common criminal desiring to kill him. Yet, in spite of this David refused to do anything "against God's anointed".

After Saul's death David became king. God said of David: "After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.' From this man's descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised." (Acts 13:22-23).

On one occasion David's men were among the flocks of a very wealthy man and while there they dealt honorably with him protecting him, not mistreating his herdsmen or taking anything of his. Later David was nearby, his men were hungry and in need of food so David requested assistance, but Nabal, a surly man known for his mean dealings, refused David's request in a harsh and disrespectful manner. David became very angry, intending to kill him, but he repented, allowing God to exercise his judgment.

But not everything was godly in David's life. Instead of going to battle with his army he remained at home. There he saw a lovely woman, lusted for her and sent for her to commit adultery. Learning she was pregnant by him, he ordered the murder of her husband to cover up his sin. Terrible? Yes! Pleasing to God? No! David desired fleshly satisfaction and yielded to the temptation. He suffered much for this sin. But when confronted by Nathan, the messenger from God, he admitted his wickedness, repented and pleaded for forgiveness. Although forgiven, he still suffered the consequences of his sinful actions. No doubt his attitude of heart, his remorse and desire for forgiveness in order to be reconciled to God is why God would say "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will." This is everyone's situation today. We have all sinned, need the proper attitude toward our sin and need to be reconciled to God.

God promised David that one of his descendants would sit on his throne forever, referring to Jesus, the Christ, whose kingdom will have no end. It was Christ, without sin, totally obeying God, willingly giving his life as an atoning sacrifice for us, thus fulfilling God's promise to David and Abraham.

Questions
1. David refused to harm Saul, King of Israel, as Saul had been appointed king by God and to do harm to him would not be respecting God.
        

2. A person after God’s own heart means
     One who teaches God laws and commandments.
     One who is powerful in leading God’s people.
     One who desires to do what is right and desires to correct sinful acts he may have done.    

3. David is an example for us in that he
    Was a powerful King.
     Did not sin therefore Jesus who had no sin could be the Son of David.
     Was quick to repent and plead for God’s mercy upon becoming aware of his sins.

4. God was always pleased with David’s actions.
         

5. Jesus, a descendant of David, gave His life as the atoning sacrifice for forgiveness of sins
         

Prophets of the Old Covenant

God spoke directly to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob during the era many refer to as the Patriarchal Age. During the establishment of the nation of Israel He spoke to Moses, Joshua and then their judges . While Samuel was judge the people rebelled demanding a king. During the reign of the kings God delivered His message through men we refer to as prophets. All prophets delivered God's message to the Children of Israel but not all delivered prophecies about the coming Messiah. Over hundreds of years and by many different prophets more than 50 prophecies are recorded, all of which were fulfilled in Jesus. A few prophesies are listed below followed by their New Testament fulfillment.

Malachi 3:1 - "Watch out! I'm sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the LORD you are looking for will come to his Temple. He is the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Watch out! He is coming!" says the LORD of the Heavenly Armies.
    Matthew 2:2 - After Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who was born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."


Genesis 49:10 - The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
    Luke 3:23-38 - The genealogy of Jesus is tracing His linage back through David all the way to Adam.


Jeremiah 23:5 - "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
    Matthew 1:1 - This is a record of the life of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.


Isaiah 7:13-14 - And he said, "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
    Matthew 1:18 - Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah happened in this way. When his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, before they lived together she was discovered to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit.


Micah 5:2 - But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
    Matthew 1:1 - This is a record of the life of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, [Bethlehem] the son of Abraham.


Zechariah 9:9 - Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
    Matthew 21:6-7 - And the disciples went, and did even as Jesus appointed them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their garments; and he sat thereon.


Isaiah 53:5 - But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed
    Matthew 27:26 - Then released he unto them Barabbas; but Jesus he scourged and delivered to be crucified.


Isaiah 53:7 - He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
    Matthew 27:12-4 - While Jesus was being accused by the high priests and elders, he made no reply. Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear how many charges they're bringing against you?" But Jesus did not reply at all, so that the governor was very surprised.


Isaiah 53:9 - And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
    Matthew 27:57-9 - Later that evening, a rich man arrived from Arimathea. His name was Joseph, and he had become a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, and Pilate ordered it to be done. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. Then he placed it in his own new tomb, which he had cut out of the rock. After rolling a large stone across the door of the tomb, he left.


1. God spoke directly with Adam, Noah, Abraham, and David.
         

2. There are no prophecies about a redeemer
           

3. Isaiah was the only prophet to prophecy about a Mesiah.
           

4. There were over 50 prophecies by many prophets all of which were fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ.
           

5. God delivered his message through the kings of Israel to His prophets.
         
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