The Biblical story

God has a long-term plan, well underway

Late 20th century improvements in archaeology and Biblical research have improved our understanding of the 1st century.  With these and other developments we can better understand the Biblical story and the tension of God’s covenant faithfulness in the 1st century.

What is the Biblical story?

There are some key moments we can focus on to better understand the tension of God’s covenant faithfulness in the 1st century.

For example, why did God call Abraham in Genesis 12
The answer to this question depends on the story of Adam and Eve.  In brief, God called Abraham to undo the sin of Adam and Eve.

Other key moments and themes in the story of Israel include:

  • God’s pattern of selectivity.  (For example, why did God select Isaac and not Ishmael, and Jacob and not Esau?)
  • Moses and the Torah.
  • The promise of blessings or curses.  (For example, see Deuteronomy 28.)
  • The “golden age” of King David.
  • King David’s radical sin.
  • The long period of exile and the murder of the prophets.

Understanding these key moments helps to lead to the tension of God’s covenant faithfulness in the 1st century.  And, to our understanding of King Jesus’ Messiahship, cross and resurrection.

The tension of God’s covenant faithfulness

God had made promises (including as noted to Abraham in Genesis 12), yet the Jewish people were oppressed and subject to the nations.

After King David and in the long period of exile, the Jewish people had wanted God to act to defeat evil.  However, the Jewish people had been part of the problem.  So what was God to do?

Jesus’ ministry took place in this tension.

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John describe the time of Jesus’ ministry and of God’s answer to the tension.

Conversation in theology

Importantly, the story of Israel prior to Jesus’ ministry helps us to better understand the tension of God’s covenant faithfulness in the 1st century.

Through conversation, David helps to build this tension.  In Jesus ministry and in his death, burial and bodily resurrection, we can see God’s answer.

As we better understand yesterday, we can better understand today:

God has a long-term plan, well underway

 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash