Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Brief Overview of Biblical History 2 of 7

The People of God in the Promised Land. When the Israelites arrive on the borders of Canaan, Joshua, Moses’ successor, becomes their leader as they enter the Promised Land. Commanded by God to totally eliminate the Canaanites, the Israelites disobey, settling into Canaan and adopting many practices of their neighbors. They are obedient to Mosaic law throughout the lifetime of Joshua, but after his death its influence diminishes. When the Israelites begin to do “evil in the sight of the Lord (e.g. Judges 2:11; 3:7), the surrounding tribes attack them. Because there is no political entity to unify and protect them, the people call out to God and he sends someone to rescue them. After the crisis they are faithful to God for a time, but then they fall into disobedience again. They cry out again, are rescued again, and the cycle repeats. The phrase “all the people did what was right in their own eyes” describes these times (Judges 21:25).

The People of God as a Nation. In spite of the Israelites’ many failings, God remains faithful to them. When they ask to be ruled by a king, God tells them the consequences of their choice. Even though their request indicates that they do not want God as their king, in time Israel is transformed into a nation with a monarch. The second king, David, consolidates his power and brings the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem, the political capital. Under David’s son Solomon, Israel becomes a center of commerce and trade, and the Temple is built. The people survive the division of the country into two parts - Israel and Judah - and a succession of corrupt rulers. Still they continue their pattern of alternately forsaking and returning to God. As a consequence, God allows Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and then Judah (the Southern Kingdom) to be conquered and their ruling class taken into captivity. God’s presence (shekinah), which had been with the People of God since the exodus, departs.

(From The Life With God Bible)

Related Post with Diagram: A Panoramic View of God's Purpose in History

No comments: