This Lent we are learning the Bible, Bible 100 style. In other words, we’re developing an overview of the entire collection of 66 books. Here’s a summary of what we covered this week. If any of this sparks your curiosity, I hope you will watch the short videos I recorded through Facebook Live. Of course, you can always turn to the Bible to learn even more!
Lesson 7: Jacob Becomes Israel (Genesis 26-33)
- Jacob leaves in search of a wife and a life away from Esau.
- He goes to his mother’s homeland, Paddan-aram, where he meets and falls in love with Rachel.
- Rachel’s father (Jacob’s Uncle Laban), tricks Jacob into marrying Leah.
- Jacob eventually has children with both Leah and Rachel, and their maidservants.
- Jacob fathers twelve sons.
- God changes Jacob’s name to Israel in both Genesis 32 and Genesis 35.
Lesson 8: Joseph, Dreamcoat to Death (Genesis 37-50)
- Joseph is #11 of the 12 sons of Jacob (Israel).
- He has prophetic dreams and the gift of interpreting dreams.
- His father showed him preferential treatment, once giving him a coat of many colors.
- Joseph dreams his brothers will bow down to him. (Genesis 37:5-11)
- Joseph’s brothers conspire against him. He is sold into slavery.
- Joseph rises to prominence after interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams. (Genesis 41:39-40, 43)
- Joseph is unexpectedly reunited with his brothers during a widespread famine.
- Joseph forgives his brothers and brings the entire family to live safely in Egypt.
- Genesis ends with the death of Joseph. (Genesis 50:26)
Lesson 9: Meet Moses (Exodus 1-2)
- God told Abram his family would end up being slaves in a foreign land.
- The Israelites were not originally slaves in Egypt, but that changed.
- The Israelites did not build the pyramids.
- The Pharaoh orders the execution of all male Hebrew newborns because he is worried about the security risk of having so many immigrants on a potentially vulnerable border.
- Moses is spared. He is raised in the Pharaoh’s palace, despite his Hebrew origins.
- Moses murders an Egyptian and flees to Midian where he gets married and settles down.
Lesson 10: God’s Plagues & The Exodus (Exodus 3-19)
- Moses meets and speaks with God when God appears in a burning bush.
- Moses doesn’t seem to know God. He asks God for his name. God responds, “I AM.” God cannot be contained by one name.
- Pharaoh refuses to release the Israelites from Egypt. God sends a series of plagues.
- The plagues simultaneously do 3 things:
- demonstrate for the Egyptians that the God of Israel is the True God
- destroy the Egyptians false gods
- demonstrate God’s power and presence to the Israelites whose spirit and faith had been damaged by harsh living conditions
- The Pharaoh relents only after the 10th plague, the death of all the firstborns.
- The Israelites escape by passing through the Red Sea (a la Charlton Heston)
- In Exodus 19 God reaffirms his covenant with the Israelites by giving them the law, the Ten Commandments. The rest of the Bible is about applying those 10 principles.
Lesson 11: Wilderness Journey, Manna & The Tabernacle (Exodus to Deuteronomy)
- God provides manna for the Israelites as they make their way to the Promised Land.
- God confirms his covenant with the Israelites by providing the law and the tabernacle. (Click here to see what the Tabernacle might have looked like.)
- The glory of the Lord enters the tabernacle in Exodus 40:34.
- The Golden Calf incident happens while Moses is meeting with God. (Exodus 32)
- The book of Leviticus teaches the Israelites how to apply the law and use the tabernacle, including the 5 great sacrifices.
- Numbers 13-14 tells us the Israelites wandered the wilderness for 40 years as a consequence for their lack of faith.
- Deuteronomy brings a review of the history so far and also the death of Moses.
Lesson 12: Moses’ Successor and Meeting Rahab (Joshua)
- Joshua’s name was originally Hoshea, but Moses changed it. Both names have significant meaning.
- Hoshea means salvation
- Joshua means the Lord is salvation (Jesus is a Greek translation of the name Joshua)
- Joshua leads the Israelites in beginning to conquer the Promise Land
- Rahab, a prostitute who is not an Israelite, helps in a significant way. Rahab is included in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1.
- The Ark of the Covenant allows the Israelites to safely pass through the Jordan River at flood stage, much like the earlier generation had passed through the Red Sea.
- The covenant of circumcision is renewed.
- Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down.
Want to sum up this week’s lessons in just a handful of verses? Try these:
- Genesis 32:24, 27-28 (Jacob becomes Israel)
- Genesis 47:27 (Israelites relocate to Egypt)
- Exodus 12:40-41 (Israelites escape from Egypt)
- Deuteronomy 34:7-9 (Joshua replaces Moses)