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The Bible and chronology (2)

In this post (and the next one as well), I want to expand upon the little outline I gave in The Bible and chronology (1)My hope is to provide enough background to enable us to step into the one story of the Scripture. 

1.  Creation  (Genesis 1-5)

God speaks the universe into being, but it is man whom He makes in His image and gives dominion to (Genesis 1:26-28).  Before the creation of the world there was glory and love within the Godhead (John 17:5,24).  There was a choice concerning Christ and His sacrifice (1 Peter 1:20ff).  The choice is made necessary when man’s sin mars both himself and a perfect creation (Genesis 3:17-18; Romans 8:20-22).       

2.  Cleansing  (Genesis 6-10)

Something radical happens in Genesis 6 – God regrets having made man!  The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain,” (6:6).  Why?  Because “The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time,” (6:5).  What a tragedy that man would take God’s gift of creativity and imagination (ways in which we reflect His image), and turn it on himself and others through sin.  God’s heart was filled with pain so He determines to cleanse the earth and start again through a man named Noah.

3.  Calling  (Genesis 11-50)

Unfortunately, the cleansed world doesn’t stay that way very long.  Soon after, a tower is built “so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth,” (11:4).  Mankind is back to the ways that brought the flood.  But there will be no more floods (9:15), God is intent on rescuing the lost world.  He calls a man named Abram to be blessed and to be His instrument of blessing for the world (12:1-3).  He renews this promise to Abraham’s son, Isaac, and then his grandson, Jacob (aka Israel).  He then preserves the family in Egypt after they leave Canaan due to a famine. God is at work rescuing His creation!     

4.  Chains  (Exodus 1-13)

Life in Egypt takes a turn for the worse over the years as the descendants of Israel swell and a pharaoh comes to power “who did not know about Joseph," (Exodus 1:8).  The people are subjugated and forced into hard labor.  Their pleas go up before God and He raises a deliverer named Moses to lead them out of their bondage.    

5.  Crossings  (Exodus 14-Deuteronomy)

Ten plagues pound down on Pharaoh and Egypt until he finally relents and releases the Israelites.  He immediately changes his mind and pursues them as they flee Egypt.  God parts the Red Sea for His people to cross and then closes it as Pharaoh and his army try to follow.  Israel receives the law at Sinai but spends the next forty years wandering the wilderness between Egypt and Canaan because of their failure to trust God (Numbers 13-14).

6.  Conquering  (Joshua)

Under Joshua’s leadership, God brings the nation into the land of Canaan.  The iniquity of the Canaanites is complete (Genesis 15:16), and as part of God’s judgment upon them their land is given to the Israelites to possess.  Faithlessness to God by Israel will later cause them to be dispossessed from the land also (Deuteronomy 28).


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