When we open the pages of the best seller of all time, we enter the greatest story ever told. Unlike the Koran, the Scriptures of both Jews and Christians tell a story. Do you know the setting of this story, the main characters, the plot, the climax, and the resolution? Who are the good characters and the bad? Is it a comedy or a tragedy? This series will help you feel comfortable and confident that you know the story that God is telling in His Word, why He is telling it, and how you fit into His Story.
The Law and the Wall and the Conclusion to HisStory - Old Testament (Ezra-Nehemiah)
Do you ever feel that it simply doesn't pay to believe in the God of the Bible? He simply can't deliver on what He promises. Nehemiah and Ezra were both slaves in Persia, but God kept His promises to them. He brought Nehemiah home to rebuild Jerusalem and Ezra home to rebuild obedience to the Law. Both men set the stage for the gift of God's Messiah four hundred years later.
he Beauty Queen Who Saved a Nation (Esther)
Hate for the Jew--from Pharoah in Egypt, to Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, to Xerxes in Persia-- right down to the present desire to blow them out of their land--Anti-Semitism remains a deadly poison in our 21st century. This explains why it is imperative of us to go back to the message of the 5th century BC story or Esther. God may seem absent and silent in history, but beware! He is not! When God seems hidden in history, will He still act to preserve His people and His plan? Esther, the Old Testament beauty queen, provides the answer.
Dreams of a Stone and of Wheels (Ezekiel-Daniel)
The wheels of Nebuchadnezzar’s chariots rolled over Daniel and Ezekiel’s beloved city, but both of these young Jewish prophets in Exile in Babylon saw the Lord prove that He controlled the wheel of history and that in the end a "stone cut out without hands" would destroy not only Babylon but all mankind’s rebel kingdoms against God.
A Soiled Bride for a Divine Bridegroom (Hosea-Malachi)
They are called the Twelve Minor Prophets but their message is major. From Amos to Malachi Israel’s prophets thunder divine judgment against God’s people because they have broken the promise they made to God at Sinai. How then do each of these hell-fire and damnation prophets find a tender, sweet song of salvation? Hosea gives the most provocative answer—the Lord still loves his divorced, immoral, and hardened woman. His gracious faithful love melts her heart in the end and a soiled bride becomes a virgin again for her bridegroom. What does this bitter –sweet love story have to do with our hardness and Jesus’ amazing grace?
The Suffering Servant and the Gift of a New Heart (Isaiah –Jeremiah—Lamentations)
Dr. Bruce Waltke was my major teacher at Dallas Seminary in Old Testament. He studied in Israel for a couple of years and once a week went and read the Hebrew Bible with a learned rabbi. One afternoon they read Isaiah 53 together with the wager, the Rav would fit the details of the passage identifying the suffering servant as Israel and Dr. Waltke would interpret the servant as Christ. In the midst of the discussion the rabbi became very agitated and his aid asked Dr. Waltke to leave. Let’s look at this high point of Old Testament revelation and discover the reason for the rabbi’s concern.
The Collapse of a Kingdom (I-II Kings, I-II Chronicles)
When you face the failure and inconsistency of God’s family, do you ever wonder whether God does have the power to accomplish His purposes on the earth? From Solomon to Jehoichin, the Kingdom of Judah was supposed to be the history of God’s Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Instead it became a history of idolatry, disobedience, and exile. As we face in Scripture the failure of God’s Old Testament people, can we still discover the hand of God’s grace?