Series Trailer:

There may be no form of communication more powerful than stories. From our infancy to our dying days, we listen to, learn from, are shocked by, memorize, laugh at, retell, cry from and connect to each other with stories.

So it should be no surprise to us, that the Bible loves to use stories to help us know the God who invented the art of story. Throughout this series, we will be looking at many of the individual stories that tell important moments in the overarching story of the Old Testament. In the individual stories and the bigger picture, we will see God's incredible faithfulness to move His people and all of human history toward the centerpiece of the entire story; Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. 

So we invite you to join with us for our new series, Anthology: Learning to Love the Stories of God.

A Brief Overview

 

God always intended the world to work a certain way. He created the world good, with a beautiful harmony to it, but also wild and in need of cultivating. At this time, humanity’s relationship with God was humble and worshipful. Human interaction with each other was life-giving and rich. Humanity’s relationship with all of creation was at peace.

And in the midst of this good world, God invites humanity into His mission by commanding Adam and Eve to Be fruitful & multiply and fill the world with a giant family of God worshippers. 

But this peace didn’t last long. Mankind was lured into rejecting God and His love when they were tempted by the snake in the Garden of Eden, and they continue rejecting Him in the following generations. Because of this great “Fall”, all of creation is now cursed with suffering and death. This “Fall” is the reason we all sense that there is something wrong with our world when we see injustice and suffering, and it is the reason God promises to send a son of Eve that will crush the serpent’s head and bring peace back to creation

Key information

Scripture: Genesis 1-11

Dates: > 2200 BCE

Key Events:

  • Creation
  • Fall
  • Covenant established
  • Flood
  • Babel

Characters:

  • Adam
  • Eve
  • Serpant
  • Cain
  • Noah

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

 

The generations after Adam continue to rebel against God and reject His command to fill the earth with God worshippers.

Through Abraham, God lovingly continues His plan to establish and create a great family that fills the earth with people who live in right relationship with God and worship Him. In fact, while humanity is busy choosing anything and anyone but God, God promises to give Abraham’s descendants a prosperous land and use Abraham’s family to bring blessing (the opposite of the curse) to every family/nation on the earth.  In His faithfulness to His promise to Abraham and Eve, God miraculously and sovereignly overcomes many obstacles that seem as if they would prevent His promises from coming to past.

KEY INFORMATION

Scripture: Genesis 12-50

Dates: 2200-1550 BCE

Key Events: 

  • Abrahamic Covenants
    • promised lineage maintained through multiple obstacles
  • Joseph sold to Egypt by his brothers
  • Joseph rises to power and saves his family

 

Characters: 

  • Abraham
  • Sarah
  • Isaac
  • Jacob/Israel
  • Joseph

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Despite God’s gracious pursuit, God’s chosen people find themselves enslaved and oppressed in Egypt under the tyranny of Pharaoh, where they were forced to worship a false god.

God raises up a deliver to lead His people out of Egypt, and through incredible demonstrations of His power, He brings His people into the land He’d promised to their forefather, Abraham.  Before they enter the Promised Land, He makes a covenant with them where they promise to serve Him alone, and He promises to treasure them as their God, as use them as a nation that will show who He is to the other nations of the earth. All along the journey, the Israelites keep revealing that, as much as they needed rescue from their taskmasters, they also need rescue from their own sinful selves.

God remains faithful to His promises to His people by getting them into the Promised Land, despite the fact that they are not faithful to Him.

KEY INFORMATION

Scripture: Exodus - Joshua

Dates: 1300 BCE

Key Events: 

  • Slavery in Egypt
  • Passover & the Exodus
  • Crossing the Red Sea
  • The Law & the Tabernacle
  • Wandering in the wilderness
  • Moses' Death

 

Characters: 

  • Moses
  • Pharoah
  • Israelites
  • Aaron
  • Priests
  • 12 Spies
  • Joshua
  • Inhabitants of the Promised Land

KEY INFORMATION

Scripture: Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel 1-9

Dates: 1200 - 1000 BCE

Key Events: 

  • Idolatry - Affliction - Supplication - Salvation Cycle
  • New King Desired
  • Ruth (David's Ancestor) converted

Characters: 

  • Judges (Gideon, Samson, Samuel)
  • Eli
  • Israel's enemies
  • Ruth
  • Naomi
  • Boaz

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Even after entering the Land God promised to give them to allow them to worship Him exclusively, God’s Covenant people repeat a rebellious cycle where they continuously are unfaithful to the God who has been extremely faithful to them.  In this cycle, God’s people (1) worship false Gods, (2) cry out to God after they suffer under oppression of their enemies, (3) are rescued by a judge that God raises up to save them, and finally (4) worship the Lord and return to Him.  After a period of worshipping the Lord and enjoying the peace He has brought them, they turn away from God and worship false gods, continuing in the cycle.  In this period, there was no king/kingdom in the land that would lead God’s people to worship Him from generation to generation.  

God’s people needed a King.  God’s people wanted a human like the other nations had, who would lead them in victory over their enemies.  God wanted Himself to be their King to lead their hearts to worship Him.

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

God gives His people a human king as they asked, after they reject Him as their king, and He warns them that their human king will not meet their expectations and be harsh to them. This act ends the period of the Judges and ushers in the era of Israel have a king and a Kingdom.  The Kingdom stays united under the reign of 3 kings, Saul, David, and Solomon.  None of these kings are perfect, but David is definitely the best out of the three. 

One very important thing to note about this era is the covenant that God makes with David that David will have a Son that will reign as King forever.  Its also very important to note that Solomon, David’s son, builds the Temple in Jerusalem where God’s demonstrates His presence with His people.

KEY INFORMATION

Scripture: 1 Samuel 10-31, 2 Samuel,         1 Kings 1-11, 1 Chronicles 10-29,                 2 Chronicles 1-9

Dates: 1020 - 922 BCE

Key Events: 

  • Israel becomes a kingdom
  • David's reign
  • David's military success & moral failures
  • Davidic Covenant
  • Solomon's reign
  • Temple built

 

Characters: 

  • David
  • Samuel
  • Saul
  • Nathan
  • Bathsheeba
  • Absalom
  • Goliath
  • Solomon
  • Rehoboam

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Shortly after Solomon’s death, the kingdom of Israel is ripped apart into the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah). The Southern kingdom, throughout its entire existence from generation to generation, has a son of David as king reigning in Jerusalem.  The other tribes make up the Northern kingdom of Israel where there are kings from different families/lineages. King after king in both kingdoms lead God’s people into idolatry, with Kings who call for repentance and returning to the Lord being a rare exception.  

This ongoing idolatry eventually leads to the destruction of both kingdoms, and God’s people being exiled by the Assyrians and the Babylonians.  The Kingdom united and Kingdom Divided eras show that if God’s people are going to prosper, they need a righteous, victorious king that will reign forever.

KEY INFORMATION

Scripture: 1 Kings 12 - 2 Kings 25, Micah, Nahum, 2 Chronicles 10-36, Jeremiah 1-39, Isaiah, Obadiah, Joel, Amos, Hosea, Habakkuk, Jonah, Zephaniah, Jonah

Dates: 922 - 587 BCE

Key Events: 

  • Kingdom splits into Israel & Judah
  • Consistent idolatry
  • Prophets call Israelites to repentance
  • Israel & Judah defeated & exiled
  • God promises to return from exile

 

Characters: 

  • Elijah
  • Elisha
  • Jeroboam
  • Assyria
  • Hezekiah
  • Hoshea
  • Jeremiah
  • Isaiah
  • Hosea
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Zephaniah
  • Habakkuk
  • Obadiah
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Jonah

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

After Israel is exiled by the Assyrians, the Babylonian empire comes against Jerusalem, destroys the city, burns down the temple, and exiles Judah The Promised Land. God’s people are taken by force as slaves to live in Babylon, but before they are even settled in in Babylon, God gives them a promise to bring them home.  For God’s people, once again, they are, against their own will, forced to live in a foreign land with a promise from God that He will bring them to their Promised Land. 

This shows us God’s character, that He will always bring His people home, no matter how sinful and rebellious they are.

KEY INFORMATION

Scripture: Esther, Daniel, Ezekiel, Obadiah, Jeremiah 39-52, Lamentations

Dates: 721 - 539 BCE

Key Events: 

  • Assyria exiles Israel/Samaria
  • Babylon exiles Judah/Jerusalem
  • World Empire: 
    • Assyria>Babylon>Mede-Persians

Characters: 

  • Daniel
  • Jeremiah
  • Ezekiel
  • Esther

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

After 70 years of exile, God raises up Nehemiah as a deliverer (much like Moses in the Exodus) to lead God’s people back to Jerusalem. The return home is not easy as great amounts of work are required to rebuild the city and Israel’s enemies engage in mocking and attacking God’s people as they work. 

In the process of returning home, God foreshadows that He will ultimately accomplish His mission. No matter what pain it takes; no matter how great the enemies are, God will bring and restore a new kingdom where His people as one rescued family all worship Him alone. 

From Adam to Noah to Abraham to Moses to David to Nehemiah, God promises and faithfully carries out His plan to establish a people; a family; a kingdom that will represent Him on earth and invite any and all neighbors who are far from God to come receive the same gracious treatment that they have received. This is God’s story. This is God’s anthology.

KEY INFORMATION

Scripture: Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah, Esther, Haggai, Malachi

Dates: 539 - 333 BCE

Key Events: 

  • Some return from exile
  • Rebuilt Jerusalem's wall
  • Rebuilt temple
  • Continued sin/idolatry

Characters: 

  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • Esther
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi