THE KID IS ON THE WAY
Ok- lets pick up where we left off the other day.
On the basic theme of the bible- that you can sum up the main story as a promise God made to a man- named Abraham.
If you remember- God told Abraham if he went out to a strange land- God would bless him with many kids- and thru HIS SEED the whole world would be blessed.
So- as you read thru the bible- the Old Testament- everything else you read- is sort of building up to the time that this Chosen kid would arrive.
Which is Christ.
A few points.
As I write this week- and follow world issues- the world in many ways is in turmoil because of the religious/political uprisings in many nations.
Much of the division is due to a divide within the Muslim faith itself [Sunni, Shia].
I have talked about what this division is all about in the past.
But for now- it would be too much to get into.
Another cause of serious concern is the present day persecution of Christians in these areas where these wars are taking place.
Ok- in the promise to Abraham- we see that God sort of joins the various peoples of the earth and says ‘yes- this blessing is for all of you- Jews, Arabs [Muslims] and Christians’.
And it is popular in our day- among politicians- to refer to the 3 great faiths of Abraham.
Islam, Judaism and Christianity do indeed find common ground- as they all look to Abraham as the father/founder- in a way- of these faiths.
What I want to offer here- is in order for my Muslim and Jewish friends to partake fully of this promise- they can only fully grasp it by seeing that the fulfillment is thru the promised Son who is Christ.
As we move along in the story of the bible- we see the various situations that these kids of Abraham went thru.
At one point God tells Abraham that this family will be in bondage 400 years in a strange land.
That’s the whole story of Moses and the famous Exodus out of Egypt [the name in the bible book- Exodus- is taken from this story].
The children of Israel are finally delivered from Egypt- and after 40 years in the wilderness- they take the Promised Land.
Now- an important- and overlooked theme- is that the Apostles in the New Testament [in the book of Acts].
Seem to see this promise as being fulfilled in a spiritual way thru the resurrection and ascension of Christ.
That is- the actual teaching from the bible is that all who believe in Christ- whether they be Jewish or Muslim or any other group- they are now receiving the promise that God made to Abraham.
It’s no longer a debate about actual physical land- or about a specific ethnic group [The Jewish people].
But no- the Apostle Paul writes the letter to the Galatians and says-
‘They are not Jews who are Jews outwardly- thru the circumcision of the flesh- but inwardly- those who are circumcised in heart’.
The apostles begin seeing the promise to Abraham’s seed- as the spiritual promise- given to all who believe in Christ.
The reason this is important to see is because some of the divisions- the religious divisions- are based upon what ethnic group will ‘possess the Holy Land’.
Though these are true- serious concerns- because lives have been lost over this.
Yet- when we see the true intent of the promise- a spiritual blessing to all nations- no longer a land issue- then I believe it will help all of us- Jews- Muslims and Christians- to find true common ground.
Because at that point we are no longer debating- having wars over who gets what.
But we can begin seeing each other as ‘heirs with him- OF THE SAME PROMISE’.
THE THRONE OF DAVID-
As we follow the main theme of the bible- and hopefully cover the whole bible in a few more posts [yes- that’s possible- and important. Many times sincere people say they tried to read the bible but got lost along the way. That’s why it’s important to kind of do a summary like this. Believe it or not- many preachers/teachers have never done- or realized- that you can sort of break it down like this- in an easy to understand way].
Let’s briefly see where we are at.
In the beginning of the story- found in Genesis- God made a promise to a man [Abraham] and his kid [Isaac- and eventually the whole nation of Israel- then the promise- that God would bless all nations thru his kid- is fulfilled thru the person of Jesus Christ himself].
The Old Testament is usually divided into 3 categories- The Law [1st 5 books of the bible] The Psalms [which by the way contain a lot of prophecies about Christ- because king David- who wrote lots of the Psalms- will have special promises made to him too- just like Abraham] and the Prophets.
So- the Law- 1st 5 books- cover this Promise to Abraham- and how it takes various twists and turns- Moses delivering the people out of Egypt- Joshua’s leading the people into the promised land- etc.
But- as you read- many of these stories are simply ‘framework’ about this promise- that Christ will come.
After the children of Israel take the land- they go thru a history of disobeying God- and over time various countries will conquer them and they will live under enemy occupation for a time [Babylon- Syria/Persia].
We read about this in the 3rd division of the Old Testament- called the Prophets.
The Prophets are simply the stories of God reproving- correcting- the people [the people are the nation of Israel- the kids of Abraham- see how this initial promise can be seen as a structure for the Whole Story?].
But during the history of the various kings [we read about them in the books of Kings- and Samuel- found in the Old Testament].
There is special attention given to King David- whom the bible refers to as a man ‘after God’s own heart’.
God makes promises to King David- that his ‘Son’ will sit on his throne [the throne- rule of David] quote- FOREVER [how can one Son sit on the throne- forever? The Apostles in the book of Acts see this promise fulfilled- because Jesus- the Son of David- now lives forever- he has an endless life. They saw these promises as pointing to the resurrection of Christ].
Ok- we see- once again- certain special promises about a future Son [Jesus- the same Son that Abrahams promise spoke about].
But this time God will give us more details about the Son.
Some of the prophecies [promises] about David’s Son- are what we call dual prophecies.
They apply both to Solomon [David’s son] as well as to Christ- also referred to as the Son of David.
It’s interesting- in one of the many debates that Jesus has with the religious leaders of his day- he asks them-
‘Who is Christ- the Son of David? If so- then why does David him call him Lord? How can Christ be David’s Son- and the Lord of David at the same time’?
Jesus was quoting an actual Psalm of King David- Palms 110.
So these prophecies about a coming Messiah were known among the people of Jesus day.
But the deeper meaning- that Christ would indeed be born thru the Seed of David- but that he had always existed with God the Father from all time.
That truth was not known- so Jesus stumped them with this question.
We see under the rule of King David that God makes certain promises to David about a future Son.
That this Son would sit on the Throne of David- forever.
In the book of Acts- these promises are quoted from the Apostles- Peter and Paul- and they are preaching to their fellow Jewish countrymen.
And are trying to show them ‘look- this Jesus- whom God raised from the dead- he is the promised one we have all been waiting for’!
As you read the sermons in the book of Acts- this is a main theme.
It’s almost as if the Apostle Paul is frustrated that they can’t ‘see’ this!
Paul will later teach [in his letter to the Corinthians] that satan has blinded the minds of those that don’t believe.
Because to the early Jewish followers of Jesus- it was obvious to them that this Jesus- this miracle worker who lived among them.
Lived a spotless life.
He was the one.
Then he told them something one day- well- that seemed to confirm the accusations of others- that he was nuts.
He said ‘I must go to Jerusalem and die- be killed- and the 3rd day rise again’ [which would be the only way the promise to king David- and Abraham- could be fulfilled. The apostle Peter actually says this in his preaching- that God raised up Christ to sit on the throne- where he is now seated at the right hand of God- forever- like the promise said- because he has been raised from the dead].
His followers did not fully understand all of it.
But sure enough- after his brutal crucifixion at the hands of an unjust govt.
He shows up to his followers and various other witnesses [the bible tells us there were about 500 people who saw Christ alive after his death].
And yes- he himself becomes the promised kid.
The Seed of Abraham- and the offspring of David- the Root of Jesse.
Yes- in the pages of the New Testament we see the promise fulfilled.
Ok- I might do just a few more posts on this.
But as you can see- you really can cover the main theme of the bible- in a short time.
A key to remember when doing a study like this is that everything points to Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of the promises.
Of course there are lots of other details- and important stuff that you have to skip over when doing this brief overview.
But even if we get into all those other stories- they still point to Christ.
NOTE- a good passage from the bible that covers how the early Jewish followers saw that Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise made to King David is Acts chapter 2: verses 24-35. See how the apostle Peter- in one of the most famous chapters in the bible [because it is usually seen as the beginning of the church- the pouring out of the Holy Spirit].
But look how much of Peter’s famous sermon talks about this very thing- the promise of God made to king David- that a Son would sit on his throne- and how Peter saw this as being fulfilled thru the death and ascension of Christ to the right hand of the throne of God.
I’ll give you just a few examples from the pens of the Apostle Paul and John - ‘Concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh’. Romans 1:3.
‘Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel’. 2nd Timothy 2:16.
‘And one of the elders saith unto me- weep not: behold- the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book and to lose the seals thereof’. Revelation 5:5.
‘I Jesus have sent my angel to you to testify these things in the churches, I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star’. Revelation 22:16.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBoook] - I have posted lots.